Open-ended Part 1 questions will help you dig deep into high yield USMLE Step 1 content

Ramping Up, USMLE Step 1, and Open-Ended Questions

Success in coursework and building a strong foundation are solid long-term strategies that lead to success on your USMLE Step 1 exam. In addition, having a board prep strategy prior to the 6 to 8 weeks leading up to your exam is equally important. In those final weeks, students often focus on multiple-choice questions, high-yield videos and annotating comprehensive review books. What about your mid-range plan - that interim period between 1.5 to 5 months prior to your scheduled exam date? Have you thought about effective ways to prepare during this time period? Check out the study tips below!

Effective Mid-range preparation for USMLE Step 1 with OEQ’s

One of the most effective ways to forge a bridge between course work and the intensive study period is working through open-ended questions. Open-ended questions (OEQs) facilitate a number of active learning objectives. For instance, OEQs require students to dig deeper into high-yield content in a focused manner. This question type also demands a different information-processing point of view than multiple-choice questions and improves long-term memory storage.

Here is an example (don’t cheat: Just read the next line without scrolling down):

Who was the third President of the United States?

What facts are running through your mind? You have a lot of historical and Presidential knowledge stored up there! Did you come up with an answer?

Okay, now answer the following question.

Who was the third President of the United States?

a)       George Washington

b)      Thomas Jefferson

c)       John Adams

d)      Abraham Lincoln

Was your answer the same from above?

Now, think about the difference between the two types of questions in terms of the way you arrived at the correct answer. OEQs require you to search for and retrieve the information, whereas MCQs require you to discriminate among the information presented.

At Doctors In Training, we have specifically developed Part 1 of our Step 1 Review Course around OEQs. We believe that our course structure with OEQs has served students very well in their preparation over the years, particularly in this mid-range preparation period. Click here for recommendations for utilizing the Part 1 questions and video answers.


About DIT Advising Team

The Doctors In Training Student Advising Team offers many advisory services including the following: customizing individual study plans for USMLE Step 1/ COMLEX Level 1 or USMLE Step 2 CK/ COMLEX Level 2, advising students with respect to combating everyday stress and test anxiety and preparing students for the residency application process.
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