USMLE Step 1 can be intimidating. Anxiety and uncertainty can lead to inefficient use of time and resources. Some might aggregate masses of test preparation resources and seek multiple recommendations on how and what to study. My advice is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Anxiety can be a good thing, pushing you to higher levels of performance. But it can also lead to a lot of mind spinning. Here’s a trick: build on the attitude of confidence in yourself, you’re completing your 2nd year of medical school so obviously you’ve got what it takes to succeed; breathe deeply; know you are doing your best; visualize the desired outcome, the score in your hand; and prepare.

There is a massive variety of study materials out there. Take as many practice tests as possible. Read quickly with laser sharp focus. Get plenty of rest several days before the test. Bring a clean, high calorie lunch with snacks. Be confident. Briefly skim over answer options before reading the questions or case presentations. If you do not know the answer to a question, fill in an answer and mark it for later review if time permits. You must keep moving during the test. And when you’re done, try not to ruminate for too long. And when you're done, try not to ruminate for too long. In the grand scheme, this test is one of many, many hoops you will encounter on your path to becoming a physician. Step 2 is not far away. So pay attention to what worked and what did not work for you as you prepare for and complete Step 1. Everything is going to work out just fine.