How to Prepare for Your USMLE Step 1 Test Day

What is the best way to be ready for exam day? Following weeks or months of preparation for such a significant and difficult exam, you may encounter several last-minute logistical issues and inquiries regarding getting ready for the actual USMLE test day. I’ll go over a number of these factors and frequently asked issues in this tutorial.

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Do I Need to Ask for Accommodations for the USMLE Exam?

Though it shouldn’t be answered “last-minute,” this is one of the most frequent queries we get from students, so I’ll address it here. Testing accommodations, such as more testing time or extra break time, can be given to students taking the USMLE exam based on their needs, much as for other standardized examinations. Making the decision to request accommodations is a personal one that should be done well in advance of the exam day. It could be necessary for you to present proof of prior accommodations for tests, as well as any limitations or disadvantages related to your health, physical condition, or learning that call for special accommodations. It would be best to investigate them as soon as possible during the test planning phase. mock answering questions and taking mock exams with the exact accommodations you will have on test day as soon as you are aware that you will have them.

The day before the Step 1 test, should I study?

The majority of test takers experience pressure to study right up until the very last minute. After all, the USMLE Step 1 covers so much ground that it seems like there is always more to study. Giving in to this temptation, meanwhile, can frequently have the opposite effect and make exam anxiety much worse. The day before an exam, I suggest minimizing your studying and instead concentrating on unwinding and making sure all the arrangements are set up. I would try to keep it to no more than one or two hours if it would help you unwind to go over and review a few items.

The day before the USMLE Step 1 Test, what should I do?

What should you do if you didn’t study the day before? The day prior to your USMLE Step 1 exam may cause you to feel anxious. However, you may use the following tactics to lessen this and position yourself for success:

Arrange the documents you have.

Make sure you have a copy of the documentation proving you are registered for the exam and your official government ID ready to show on test day.

Go early

If you can, attempt to arrive early the day before if you are traveling to take the exam somewhere else. The last thing you want is to find out there was a problem with your registration at 10 p.m. the night before your test and have to make last-minute plans to stay somewhere else.

Examine your testing facility.

If the location of your exam is nearby and convenient, you might visit the place the day before to confirm its exact location. Look about the non-testing regions at this time. You may see if there are water foundations and restrooms in the vicinity. You may also find out whether there is a fridge accessible to store your lunch and whether they have lockers for your possessions. This will help you avoid bringing a bag that is too big by accident.

Consume healthfully and stay hydrated.

Make sure you consume meals that you can tolerate well because everyone has a distinct diet and set of foods they are used to. Steer clear of heavy, fatty, or spicy foods in general. Ensure enough hydration.

Try to unwind!

Take the day off from studying and concentrate on giving your brain a rest before a demanding 7-hour exam day, as was previously recommended. This might entail exercising and taking a brisk walk or jog for some folks. For some, it may be spending the afternoon with loved ones. However, make an effort to divert your attention from Anki and UWorld.

Prepare your belongings.

Make sure your bag is filled with your ID, admittance ticket, earplugs, food, and any necessary prescriptions before the conclusion of the day. On exam day, buy whatever food you might like. Select foods that you would consume at room temperature and that don’t require refrigeration or microwave cooking, as these facilities might not be easily accessible at your testing location. Remember to include water and any caffeinated drinks, if you often consume them.


The value of getting a good night’s sleep the night before a demanding USMLE exam day cannot be emphasized. Make an effort to follow your usual sleep schedule. Steer clear of any new drug or sleep aids that might make oversleeping more likely. Make sure you have earplugs if you’re traveling for your exam in case the environment is noisier than you expected.

How Can I Get Rid of My Nerves on the Day of the USMLE Step 1 Test?

It’s normal to feel anxious. Because the USMLE Step 1 is a challenging and important exam, it is understandable to be nervous about how you will do. But have faith in the effort you’ve put into it and the knowledge you’ve gained from your weeks to months of study. Remember that you completed several MCATs, premed courses, and medical school examinations to get to this stage. However, you should think about talking to your advisers and/or a mental health professional who can offer techniques and help if anxiety is severely harming your performance or quality of life. Recall that while passing the USMLE Step 1 is a crucial first step in your medical career, it is only one in the process. Remain optimistic and focused!