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Center For Academic Excellence

Board Review Program

2013 CAE USMLE Step 1 Board Review Program

Testing Strategies Seminar

Testing Strategies Seminars for COM students who will be taking USMLE Step 1 begin during the second week of February and continue through the end of March. These 2-hour seminars provide an overview of ways students can prepare for their Step 1 exams. The seminar assists students to develop a plan for studying on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. It also provides information about Step 1 test question design and strategies for more effective reading of these questions. In addition to presenting options for constructing study and review materials specific to each students needs, the workshop is an opportunity for students to get straight answers to any questions they may have about USMLE Step 1, preparation for it, and MUSC faculty members’ experience in helping students prepare.

To accommodate the entire second-year COM class, we offer the following schedule (first-come, first-served) of Testing Strategies Seminars. Please review and coordinate with your schedules the following dates/times for the Testing Strategies Seminar.

Testing Strategies Seminars

Because of limited space and in order to assure that all students can get their questions about board preparation answered, 15 students will be the maximum number for any given seminar.


February 181-3pm
February 283-5pm
March 41-3pm
March 61-3pm
March 73-5pm
March 111-3pm
March 131-3pm
March 141-3pm
March 151-3pm
March 181-3pm
March 191-3pm
March 211-3pm
March 221-3pm

Please register as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the CAE at 792-6390.

4-hour Diagnostic Computer-based Exam

The CAE offers a 4-hour diagnostic exam administered in a test-center like environment beginning in early March and continuing through mid-June. Slots for any given test time and date are limited so that we may better simulate the conditions under which COM students will ultimately be tested.

These exams are designed as a means to analyze student test-taking performance. While they provide some feedback about student performance in medical discipline, their value stems mainly from their analysis of other test-related factors that may impact a student’s performance—e.g. reading skill and speed, performance on questions of particular type (such as those with graphics), etc. Therefore, students do not need to study, and should not study, as preparation for this diagnostic exam. Their preparation as medical students over the prior 1.5 years is sufficient preparation to get a baseline idea of testing strengths and weaknesses before they begin intensive Step 1 preparation.

When you come to the CAE to take this test, we will schedule a time for you to review your results privately with a CAE faculty member.

Please register as soon as possible for one of the following times to take your 4-hour diagnostic exam. When the following link is live, you may register for the exam:

(Dates and times to be determined)

8-hour Mock Computer-based Mock Exam

Beginning in late May and continuing through June, the CAE offers an 8-hour mock Step 1 exam to any second year COM student. This exam is best taken 10-14 days prior to your actual Step 1 test date. It provides a predicted 3-digit score. More importantly, it provides a break down of particular organ systems’ and disciplinary strengths and weaknesses that may be used to assess study progress and perhaps tweak the final 10-14 days of the students’ study plan. As with the 4- hour Diagnostic Exam, this mock exam is administered in the computer lab of the CAE, a circumstance which provides a test-center like experience for students. Students should consider this test an opportunity to “practice” test day in terms of managing time, breaks, and even identifying ideal foods and beverages to maintain energy and stamina.

Please register as soon as possible for one of the following times to take your 8- hour diagnostic exam. It is very important not to take this exam any closer than 7 days prior to your actual test. Ideally, you would take it 10-14 days prior.

Please register as soon as possible for one of the following times to take your 8-hour mock exam. When the following link is live, you may register for the exam:

REGISTER FOR 8-HOUR MOCK EXAM (Dated and times to be determined)


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