Some of the review websites and books and software focus on using multiple choice questions, which afterall is the medium of testing in the USMLE exams. But MCQs have one serious shortcoming. They are only useful as testing tools, they are totally useless as learning tools. Think about it. MCQs are designed to disorient and confuse you even on simple points. Do you really want to use those for learning ? Whatever you learn from an MCQ book will not stay in your memory, and it will not help you in any way.
Then there is the second category of books and software and websites, these are more like classroom lectures, and believe me, if those were to work, you would have already been ready for the USMLE. Those throw huge amounts of information at you, and your brain will miss about 75% of it, it will take multiple revisions and reviews before your brain retains information presented in this manner.
The USMLE TOTAL REVIEW takes a novel and innovative approach to teaching. We have only two objectives: COVER EVERY RELEVANT LEARNING POINT IN EACH SUBJECT. MAKE SURE YOUR BRAIN RETAINS THAT NEW INFORMATION LONG ENOUGH TO HELP YOU ACE THE EXAMS. Our entire software series is built around this core principle. To summarize, USMLE TOTAL REVIEW is comprehensive, and you remember what you learn.
THE SECRET IS TO PUT YOUR BRAIN INTO "WRITE" MODE
No matter how many hundred dollar books and courses you have purchased, it all boils down to one very simple question: how much of that information have you retained in your brain? And what is the best way to retain that information? Well, you could make notes. And by the time you finish making notes for Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Internal Medicine, Gynecology, Surgery and Pediatrics, you will have a stack of papers that will reach all the way to the ceiling . Now what? How are you going to remember, or even revise all that on time for the examination? Wouldn't it really help if you had a friend who would sit across from you with that stack of notes, and query you about each and every point? For example, your scribbled note says "csf test- CJD - protein 14-3-3" . Your study partner asks you "What is the csf test used to diagnose CJD ?" You scratch your head trying to remember, and then your study partner reminds you gently of the answer. And your brain loves that kind of learning, and no matter how tired you are or how overwhelmed you are, you will retain the information you learn when it is presented in a question and answer format.
The human brain responds automatically to any question, it immediately goes into a "search for an answer" mode, whether you want it or not. And when the brain finds that answer, it remembers it. This is the principle we use in the USMLEReview Software series. Every teaching point is presented as a question, to jolt your brain, and then the answer is presented, and at that point your brain is in 'write' mode, and that piece of data gets written into your brain. Whereas if you simply read a whole page in a text book, your brain is in 'read' mode, and nothing gets written in your brain, and as a consequence you retain nothing of significance; and that is when you sit in the exam hall scratching your head trying to remember what you read the other day.
Each product contains a large number of questions and answers (in the thousands) , so as to help you memorize everything that needs to be memorized in that particular subject.
The ideal way to use these products is to pick those subjects that you are having the most problems with.
Do not get all of them at the same time, it is too overwhelming. Get it one at a time, and finish it before you buy the next one.