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Academic and Student Services

Boards Preparation

USMLE Step 1

Step 1 Preparation Program

The Step 1 Preparation Program prepares and guides M2 students as they integrate their coursework with Step 1 studying and resources. Small groups provide M2 students with the opportunity to meet monthly with volunteer M3 mentors who guide them through Step 1 content and questions. Large groups provide M2 students with the opportunity to review the broader Step 1 topics, such as how to dissect questions, effective study strategies, how to create a schedule, and high-yield subject specific material. A short newsletter series is prepared by the Step 1 Preparation Program Team to deliver well-balanced, thoughtful information and to initiate a healthy conversation about studying, resources, and wellness related to Step 1 preparation.

Step 1 Preparation Program Timeline (Academic Year 2018-2019)

  • Early July: Program invitation sent to M2s and M3s
  • July 31: Deadline for notice of participation
  • Mid-August: Groups are finalized
  • End of August: Program Orientation (required)
  • September: Small and large group sessions begins
  • April - May: Final group sessions are held

Kaplan Qbank

Second year medical students are provided with the Kaplan Qbank, which is paid for as a part of their tuition. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize the Qbank alongside their M2 coursework, completing subject specific blocks to integrate Step 1 knowledge. In addition to the questions, students have access to Kaplan self-assessments, which they may choose to include within their designated study.  

Kaplan 8-hour Practice Exam

Academic Support and Enrichment hosts Kaplan’s 8-hour Step 1 practice exam for students towards the end of April on the Milwaukee campus. The exam simulates the 8-hour Step 1 exam and offers students an opportunity to assess their baseline, while getting a better idea of the day-of stamina demand.

Regional campuses host Kaplan practice exams at varying times throughout the M2 year.


Students are provided with access to the Step 1 Preparation Program module within their M2 Academic Enhancement D2L course. Students will find examples of study schedules, banks of resources, M3/M4 strategies, the newsletter series, and more.


Consultation on Strategy & Resources

Academic Support is readily available for rising M4s and regional campus rising M3s to discuss Step 2 CK preparation, strategy, and best resources. Each student will be approaching the exams from a different lens depending on their specialty aspirations, academic background and needs. It’s important to assess goals and resources prior to scheduling. Students may schedule an academic consultation through WcOnline.

Additional support and resources include: