Recent Changes to the Step 1 Exam
"The number of items per block will decrease from 46 to 44. There will be a total of 308 items on each examination. The length of the examination day will remain unchanged. The test day will continue to be divided into seven 60-minute blocks, administered in one seven-hour testing session." - USMLE.org
A lot of students have been asking for my opinons about the recent changes to the step 1 Exam. So here is my two cents:
The exam is always evolving and getting more difficult. The length of questions has increased along with more clinical and lab data to sort thru. In addition, the exam is asking more multistep questions that require you to figure out one fact to answer the question about another fact. This is not new. This is always happening. These types of questions require more time so reducing the number of questions must be done from time to time. This is not the first time that the exam has reduced questions. The exam used to be 2 days 800 questions and will now be down to one day 308 questions.
The bottom line is that you need to take the exam when and where you are the most ready to get the highest score that you can. High Scores open doors! That's all that matters.... so take the time that you need to Rock the Exam!!!
That said... the exam is always getting more difficult so taking it sooner is better then later. Waiting another year means more "tinib" drugs to learn. Yikes! Another reason to take it before the change (May 11th) is that you will have to wait a lot longer for the results which is excrutiating!!! On the other hand, rushing to get it done and getting a lower score is certainly not the thing to do either!
The much more important issue for you is the addition of quality improvement principles and safety science! Do you know what a Fishbone Diagram or root cause analysis is all about?!?!?!?
Wishing you the best!