FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What should I expect in the first tutoring session?
You'll meet your Guru via Skype and discuss the exam you're preparing for or application you're working on, as well as your goals, and where you are now in the process of working towards your goals. You will go through some practice questions with your Guru to see how helpful tutoring can be for you. This also allows your tutor to assess where your strengths and weaknesses are for the first time. Towards the end of the session, you and your Guru will come up with a game plan for your studying in the short term, as well as cover how to plan your studying in the long term. Nearly every student who buys a first session purchases additional sessions.
2. Is the tutoring service a lecture based test preparation course?
No. We provide highly individualized 1:1 online tutoring focused on helping students build the knowledge and test taking skills needed to achieve a high score on the USMLE or MCAT.
3. Do you provide students with a test-prep schedule?
Yes. Our Gurus help you create a personalized and flexible schedule best-fitted to your needs as they change over time. This schedule incorporates which resources to use, when to use them, and how to use them.
4. What are the benefits of tutoring?
The most common benefits of tutoring are improving fund of knowledge, actively improving test taking skills from a guide who has been trained to recognize the most common cognitive errors students make during exams, having someone to help you identify and improve your weaknesses, having someone help motivate you during the challenging study process, and having an expert guide to help you individualize a study schedule that focuses on the most high yield info from the best resources. Students also appreciate that tutoring helps to save them time. For example, reviewing practice exams on your own can take 5-6 hours. Reviewing with a Guru takes 1-2 hours and helps students identify exactly why they got each question wrong, maximizing the amount learned per question reviewed.
5. How many hours do I need to get my goal score?
This depends most on 1) the difference between your goal and current average score, 2) how much time you have to study, and 3) how quickly you are able to improve your score. Your Guru will address these concerns and help you along the way, whether you'd like to purchase each session by the hour, or if you'd like to buy a number of hours in the form of a discounted package, by helping you weigh costs and benefits.
6. What resources do you recommend for preparing for USMLE Step 1?
We recommend active learning through practice questions and spaced repetition as the cornerstones of your learning.
The best question banks are NBME Exams, UWorld, AMBOSS, USMLE Rx, and Kaplan. Studies of USMLE Step 1 scores have shown that the more questions you do, the higher your score will be. Your Guru will work with you to determine how many questions to do per day, from which resources, and in which subjects, to help you achieve your goals.
Spaced repetition through diligent use of Anki flashcards is an effective and efficient evidence based way to retain information throughout your long study period. MedSchoolGurus has developed and curated high yield Anki decks which we recommend that students incorporate into their daily study routine. Your Guru will help you set up your Anki decks and settings.
The best video based resources are Pathoma and Sketchy Micro. OnlineMedEd has excellent videos for psychiatry.
The best textbooks for boards are First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, and Crush Step 1. First Aid is essentially a bullet point checklist of facts one should plan to study. Crush Step 1 is a great resource if you'd like to read a concise paragraph about how something you don't understand works. Goljan's Rapid Review Pathology is an excellent reference which can be used to supplement areas in which you want more clarification or information.
MedSchoolGurus has compiled several high yield documents available to our students, including a systematic approach on how to tackle any USMLE Step 1 Exam question, common pitfalls to avoid during USMLE Step 1 Exam Questions, and a unique and super high yield document of all the labs values you need to know cold for the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2CK Exams.
Please see our blog for more tips and advice.
7. How much does tutoring cost?
See our pricing page for more information.
8. I am an IMG. Do you tutor IMGs?
Yes. We have successfully tutored many US and non US IMGs.
9. Do you offer a free trial session?
We offer a free 30 minute consult to help get you oriented and help you understand what to expect. We don't offer a first session for free, however. Over 95% of students who buy a first session like it so much that they purchase additional sessions. It's super helpful!
10. How do I get started?
Please contact us via our contact page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, and we would be more than happy to schedule you for a free 30 minute Skype consult and/or your first session sometime very soon!