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Step 1 Biochem

Discussion in 'USMLE Step 1' started by cbokman7, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. cbokman7

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    I have received a lot of questions regarding biochemistry for step 1. From people freaking out about the entire biochem section of first aid to others just wanting a quick review, biochem is a daunting section of Step 1, and rightly so. Here's information on what I found useful for biochem prep and what I did to prepare. Most importantly, biochem was one of my top sections on step 1, so whatever I did must have worked, especially considering I nearly failed biochem when I took it my first semester of medical school.

    The best resource: Vijay's Underground Guide to Medical Biochemistry and Metabolic Disease. Think, well, "vijay." That's the only way I remember this resource when I am sharing my secrets during private tutoring sessions and can't recall the name. This book is to the point, short, and sweet with rather large font, which is always a less intimidating was of presenting biochem to any non-chemist. The author has the clearest understanding of biochem and explains some of the most important step 1 points with ease, breaking it down to the basics. He doesn't teach to step 1, but coincidentally highlights high-yield, step 1 topics including the metabolic diseases that run amok in first aid's graphs and charts. I don't recommend this book alone for biochem step 1 prep, but I highly recommend it without reservation to establish a good biochem base, and not take out too much time from your study schedule.

    What I did: So I was pretty frustrated when I was taking practice tests and biochem was consistently my below-average section on my score report, always bringing my other sections down and never letting me break a 240. Not that you need biochem to break that, but biochem is key and does help you understand other topics. And lets face it: you can't really break a 250/260 without getting at least average in biochem. So here's the resources I used.
    - I started with Vijay, and boy was it well worth it (read above)
    - USMLE Rx - just straight biochem questions. This helped guide my understanding of First Aid because this qbank refers directly to First Aid, but explains concepts so that I was able to annotate right in FA and have a better understanding of what exactly I needed to know (which is what FA is all above, AKA the Bible)
    - Uworld biochem - just straight biochem tests. Trust me, it works
    - First Aid: there's a lot, and there's a lot of short phrases, pictures and charts that confuse the heck out of people. But it is all GOLD. knowing the rate limiting steps and enzymes, and anything in chart form in that section is KEY. If you don't know something, look it up. Above all, you will be wasting your time by following other detailed resources or reading other books for better understanding of FA biochem, than just studying biochem in FA by itself. Everything you need to know is there in FA, and quite frankly, you don't need anything else.

    I tried Kaplan videos and they really deterred my studying. Way too detailed for me and for the test. Didn't try Becker, but likely a similar story. However, everyone is different, and if you have a year to study, may as well try these resources if you're really struggling.

    Please reply below with questions for me to answer - or arguments against my vehement opinion regarding the limitation of resources for biochem described above. Enjoy! Also, PM me for private tutoring session, first of which is free, including guided review of the biochem chapter in FA with my specific annotations and what was actually on my test.
     
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  2. Mariel Peña

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    Thank you so much. And definitely looking up for the private tutoring session with you very soon. :)
     
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  3. Sandra gomez

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    Thankyoiu
    Thank you, I'm studying biochem from FA book and Uworld QB at the same time i like it ......I'm planning to take step one in November 2018...i already start studying ...but also i will like to do a live review before the test any one that you can recommend ?
     

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