Integrating AMBOSS into Step 1 Dedicated Study

Hi all!

AMBOSSador Fred from the University of Michigan Medical School here! I'll be entering my dedicated study period for Step 1 later this year and wanted to quickly share some thoughts on integrating AMBOSS into your study plan. I've personally given myself just over six weeks to study for Step 1; how long you ultimately choose to study depends on how ready you feel for the exam as well as how competitive your desired specialty is. (Consider taking a Step 1 Self-Assessment on AMBOSS before starting your dedicated study period and look into the average Step 1 scores for matching into different medical specialties:

The core of any Step 1 study plan comes in the form of practice questions, optimally in 40-question blocks. I’m aiming to complete two 40-question blocks per day for six days/week for the first three weeks of Dedicated and then three 40-question blocks per day (again for six days/week) for the remaining three weeks. Each block should take an hour to complete and another hour to review in full. Most of the blocks in the AMBOSS USMLE Step 1 study plan are exactly 40 questions, which is perfect for this plan!

The AnKing, whose Step 1 Anki deck I highly recommend reviewing, has a great video tutorial reviewing how to approach missed questions and review the related material in Anki ( In addition to these Anki reviews, I’m also planning to make note of any topics I find particularly difficult and watch supplemental videos to re-learn the material. 

Finally, after the first week of Dedicated, I’m planning to take an NBME practice exam, the organization that administers Step 1, once a week, naturally on the day in which I’m not also doing practice questions on AMBOSS. 

Here’s what a typical day will look like in my first week of Dedicated:

  • 6-7am: workout
  • 7-8am: breakfast + Anki reviews
  • 8-10am: AMBOSS practice question block + review
  • 10am-12pm: Anki reviews → focused supplemental videos
  • 12-1pm: lunch
  • 1-3pm: AMBOSS practice question block + review
  • 3-6pm: Anki reviews → focused supplemental videos
  • 6-9pm: dinner, chill, catch up with friends

Let me know what you think and how you’re planning to integrate Anki into your study plan below!

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Comments (5)

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    Great write up, Fred! I finished dedicated recently and took the beast in May (phew). I think Amboss really took my step prep to the next level. Many people do multiple passes of some question banks but rather than doing that I found that doing new questions from a high quality bank such as Amboss was much more beneficial for me. Also, the interface of exam mode is exactly like the real deal! It's even more accurate than the NBME practice exams. Best of luck to anyone taking it soon! - Alex Cong, M3 RWJMS

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    I think this sounds like a good schedule to start out with. It was very important for myself and several of my friends to understand that setting a schedule is important to stay on task and oriented, but that it is also okay if you change it or "get behind". It is very important to be honest with yourself and allow yourself to spend a longer time on something if it is helping to solidify it. Sounds like a good schedule to start off with Anki, but it is a lot of Anki, and as I got closer to my test date, i decided to do less anki and more questions. As you always hear, the amount of questions is directly correlated to how well you do on the exam. Don't forget to utilize other Q banks too(ex: UW), as questions on the real exam seem to really be a mix of all the different questions types that these Qbanks write. Good luck!

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    This looks like a great schedule, I will be using this template when building my dedicated study schedule. Thank you!


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    This was really insightful and I like how you create a balanced study plan that emphasizes self-care on both the beginning and end of the day. So many of my peers seemed to have very intense study schedules with seemingly no rest. 

    I will definitely be re-rereading this post in the early spring when boards are near.

    Thomas Kelly OMS-II PCOM-Philadelphia

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    This is a great schedule and thank you for sharing a detailed study plan. Reading this was very motivating and I am going to use your schedule as a template to make my schedule. 

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