You have prepared and studied for months, covering all the material you need to know to be confident in your knowledge to reach your peak score on the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK or Step 3 Exam; however, there are uncontrollable variables that you need to be cognizant of prior to test day. Doctors In Training’s student advising team is here to help you expect the best, but prepare for the worst.
What if…You oversleep?
Should you find yourself running late to your exam thanks to an unfortunate occurrence, such as oversleeping your alarm, immediately call the Prometric Center where you are scheduled to test. The testing facility will be able to explain their specific latecomer policy, so make sure you have their phone number handy before test day. USMLE.org recommends that you arrive to the testing center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled test time. If you are so late that you are denied entrance, contact the Testing Center Administrator and work together to come up with a resolution.
Test day tips to avoid the morning-of panic:
- Make sure your vehicle’s gas tank is full or arrange a reliable form of transportation before test day
- Pack a ‘test day’ bag the night before to include snacks, beverages, medications (example: Advil, Pepto-Bismol, Tums and any personal prescriptions), your required government ID, car keys, cash and any other items you may find useful
- Power off all electronics at least 30 minutes prior to your desired bed time
- Turn your cell phone to ‘do not disturb’ mode so your sleep is not interrupted
- Get a full night’s sleep
- Print out your transportation route, and make sure you allow extra time for traffic and parking
- Set multiple alarm clocks, varying in power source (battery, electronic, cell phone, etc.)
- Place at least one of your alarm clocks out of arm’s reach, requiring you to get out of bed to shut it off
- Wake up at least 2 hours before you need to leave for your exam
- Keep your diet consistent – test day is not the time to experiment with new vitamins or energy supplements
Apply this information to be best prepared for your exam day and avoid unnecessary chaos. Stay tuned for more test day tips!