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The Challenge Most 2nd Year Medical Students Face when Preparing for the USMLE step 1

Where Most USMLE STep 1 Prep Falls Short

Most USMLE step 1 question banks rely on the student to proactively schedule time, take questions and determine their own strengths and weaknesses.  From there, it is up to the student to apply their own studying habits to improve weak areas.  

A big challenge medical students face to prepare for USMLE Step 1 is competing priorities. Students struggle with ensuring they are studying the right materials at the most optimized time-frames while taking advantage of modern best-practices in learning science. You are studying to become a physician, not get a PhD in Learning Science.  

Many students will use multiple question banks and complete several practice tests in the weeks or months leading up to the exam resulting in confirmation of their current knowledge levels but don’t proactively immerse the student in the right follow-up content that leads to drastically improving weak areas in the shortest times possible.

how TrueLearn SmartBanks Directly Addresses that challenge

SmartBanks Include all the Fundamentals of traditional Step 1 Practice question Bank

TrueLearn’s USMLE Step 1 SmartBank has all the fundamentals of the traditional USMLE Step 1 Qbank. It includes 2,200+ expert written Step 1 practice questions mapped to the actual NBME blueprint.  You can create custom quizzes. It allows you to benchmark your performance against your peers.  It even has the Prometric testing interface so you experience what you will on test day.  There are many other standard features.  

This is where the Similarities Stop and Proactive use of Learning Science begins

As you take practice quizzes and complete questions, our SmartBank will identify your strengths and weaknesses.  We then create an immersive experience for the questions where you score incorrectly.   We construct “bottom line” explanations that provide succinct and easily memorable insight into the correct answer and proactively text that information to you at deliberately spaced time intervals back by Learning Science.

This results in multiple proactive and effortless impressions of the right information that will have the largest impact on improving your USMLE Score.  These additional impressions directly lead to stronger information retention and recall, literally turning your weak areas into your strengths.

Effective Immersive Experience that is Backed by Science

We shift the burden of studying best practices from the student to our Software

There are three key principles of learning science we embed into our Step 1 SmartBank to give you an advantage, whether you are using TrueLearn as a standalone Step 1 Question Bank or paired with other Step 1 qbanks in your study process.  

1.   Retrieval Practice:  The finding that long-term memory is increased when some of the learning period is devoted to retrieving the to-be-remembered information through testing with proper feedback. The effect is also sometimes referred to as retrieval practice, practice testing, or test-enhanced learning.

2.  Space Repetition:  A learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect.

3.  Testing Effect: The well-established psychological effect that the mere act of testing someone’s memory will strengthen the memory, regardless of whether there is feedback.

2,200+ USMLE Step 1 Practice Questions

Relentless Drive For High-quality USMLE Step 1 Practice Questions

USMLE Step 1 Questions are prepared by high-performing physician authors and reviewed by faculty with specific expertise to ensure the Step 1 question bank matches the format of the exam for style and medical accuracy.

A proprietary psychometric algorithm ranks question quality, helping us identify items to revise and adjust to ensure content that most effectively helps you prepare for the USMLE step 1 and improve your test score.


Rich Answer Explanations Fundamentally Improve Your Understanding

We make it easy to see what you missed, understand why incorrect answers were wrong, and why the correct answer was the best choice.  

We take it a step further and incorporate advanced learning science with spaced repetition. Opt-in to receive text messages at deliberately spaced time-frames with relevant insights to reinforce the information to long-term memory.

When Everything is Combined...
It's Extremely Effective!

96% – First-Time Pass Rates across TrueLearn SmartBanks

20% – Increase in Percentile when completing a SmartBank

11% – Score Improvement with completing a Smartbank

View the independent study by the American Journal of Surgery that validates our own internal findings.

American Journal of Surgery Study

Average student improves their 3-digit Score by 17% when completing a SmartBank.  We evaluated 3900 students controlling for multiple variables and found clear improvement trends for students engaging in retrieval practice by completing a Smartbank.

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