Why should I use the USMLExcellence Curriculum instead of my own study schedule?

Too often, medical students spend large amounts of time creating and altering their study schedules with little knowledge of the best resources to use and the important topics to cover. Students frequently receive advice regarding test preparation from senior medical students who may not have performed exceptionally well on USMLE Step 1. Our proven curriculum was written and used by students who performed exceptionally well on USMLE Step 1. USMLExcellence has demonstrated repeated success for several years and provides students with a schedule they can confidently follow, allowing more time for studying.

Do I have to pay a monthly fee for the app?

No, once the app is purchased from the App Store there is no monthly cost.

Does the app contain copies of all of the recommended resources?

No, USMLExcel does not provide the user with copies of the recommended resources. We provide an optimized schedule which requires the separate purchase of each recommended resource.

What are the recommended resources?

The recommended resources are:

Phase 1:

  1. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1
  2. Pathoma Fundamentals of Pathology Text and Videos
  3. USMLE-Rx Step 1 Qmax Question Bank (from the authors of First Aid)
  4. Optional reference: Goljan Rapid Review Pathology
  5. Optional references: Microcards, Pharmcards, Biochemistry and Genetics Flashcards

Phase 2:

  1. USLMEWorld Step 1 Question Bank
  2. Kaplan Step 1 Question Bank
  3. Pathoma Fundamentals of Pathology Text and Videos
  4. Optional References: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, Goljan Rapid Review Pathology (while reviewing potentially unclear question bank answers)
  5. Optional References: Microcards, Pharmcards, Biochemistry and Genetics Flashcards (First Aid or flashcards for evening studying)

What is the estimated cost of the recommended resources?

Prices are given from product website or Amazon.com; book prices are for print version

Required Materials

  1. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1      $37.24
  2. Pathoma Fundamentals of Pathology Text and Videos      Pro 12-month option: $99.95
  3. USMLE-Rx Step 1 Qmax Question Bank (from the authors of First Aid)      3-month option: $149.00      til-you-pass: $199.00
  4. USMLEWorld Step 1 Question Bank       90 day option $210.00      180 day option with data-clearing capability: $299.00
  5. Kaplan Step 1 Question Bank      1-month option $99.00      12-month option: $299.00   (consider renewing a 1-month subscription once)

Optional Materials

  1. Goljan Rapid Review Pathology      $49.18
  2. Microcards      $38.66
  3. Pharmcards     $40.76
  4. Biochemistry and Genetics Flashcards      $28.48

Total Cost: $694.19-$1090.27

I don’t have an iPhone.  Does the app work on any other device?

USMLExcel is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. USMLExcel Requires iOS 6.0 or later.

I take USMLE Step 1 in six weeks.  Is it too late to use USMLExcel?

No. If you cannot complete the entire program, we recommend at least completing Phase II.  This can be done in as short as six weeks.

After downloading, there are no schedule options on the Pick a Schedule screen. How do I fix this?

This problem usually occurs when the app is downloaded in an area with poor internet connectivity. First, make sure that you are in a location with a good internet connection. Then, delete the app on your iPhone or iPad.  Go back to the App Store and re-download the app. You will not be charged again. The schedule options should then appear on the Pick a Schedule screen.

After downloading, I can only see a blank screen when opening the app?

The schedules are stored on a database and need to be retrieved when the app is opened. Please wait at least one minute to allow the data to be retrieved. Make sure that you are in a location with a good internet connection. If the screen remains blank despite this, delete the app on your iPhone or iPad.  Go back to the App Store and re-download the app. You will not be charged again. The app should then run properly.

I only have two, three, four or five weeks of committed study time for Step 1. How should I study?

We recommend choosing a longer study schedule to be performed in addition to taking coursework or working on the wards. Within your phone or tablet’s calendar, we recommend editing the provided schedule such that days during committed study time are more intensive. For example, you may complete one assigned day over the course of two days while classes are still in session, and you may complete two assigned days during one day of committed study time.