Microbiology is one of the most important topics for Step 1 and I will be honest the board loves Microbiology. And it is one of the easiest topics to get easy points.
You will get 7 to 8 questions per block on your exam. I had about 7 questions per block on my exam. And I can guarantee you that I had all of them right!
I have seen a lot of people studying so many sources for Microbiology. But today I will tell you exactly what you need to do to get all the Microbiology questions right on the exam.
First Aid microbiology section is extremely high yield and is all you need for Step 1. Every single question I had on my exam was from First Aid. You don’t have to be a Microbiology major or take any microbiology courses to ace this section.
So what do you need to do? Well, don’t just read that section like a newspaper. Memorize those pages!!! Make sure you remember every single page from the First Aid Microbiology section just like you remember your name!
The easiest way to memorize them is by having someone quiz you page by page. I used to sit down with a friend of mine and memorize 3 pages at a time and have him quiz me. If I got a question wrong, he would ask me that same question over and over till I get it right. And that’s how I memorized microbiology.
Now, when it comes to the viruses you might find them difficult to remember. But, don’t worry you are not alone. The good news is, they will barely ask you any questions from the virus’s segment, envelope and etc.
But please try your best to memorize them though and know the famous viruses (e.g. HSV, EBV, CMV, HIV, Rubella, Hepatitis, and E.T.C). You must know the diseases and cancers that are associated with them. When it comes to HIV make sure you memorize everything about HIV. Make sure you know at what CD4 level which bugs will infect an HIV patient.
Also, memorize the Antibiotics!!! They are high yield for both Step 1 and Step 2. Trust me they wouldn’t leave you alone. So memorize them really well!!!
A student of mine took his exam on June 2017 and had lots of question on HIV drugs. So you better memorize those HIV drugs. One more thing, don’t forget to use the First Aid 2017 version when it comes to studying HIV drugs because it has new drugs, side effects, and graphs.
Lastly, Microbiology is pure memorization. If you don’t have anyone to quiz you then you can buy these Lippincott Microcards: Microbiology Flash Cards. They are amazing especially at bedtime and you can quickly go over them.
If you still need help with USMLE Steps, NBMEs or study schedule feel free to check out my consulting service.
Resources I used for my Step 1 Microbiology preparation to get 266:
Good Luck Studying!