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From USMLE Step 1 226 to Step 2CK 260

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NBME scores not improving?  Struggling with mastering the intricacies of First Aid?  Don’t have a clear schedule?  Losing your personal life and feeling like you have nothing to show for it?  Aiming for 260+?  Just aiming to pass?

About Alec:

Alec is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine, and is in the anesthesia residency program at Massachussetts General Hospital.  His success in taking and teaching standardized exams speaks for itself.  He has years of experience tutoring medical students, residents, and even attending physicians in the USMLE, shelf, and COMLEX exams.

Highlights include:

– 270 on the USMLE Step 1 and honors on all 3rd year shelf exams
– Named Stanford’s “Outstanding TA” as a biochemistry TA
– Pioneered lectures that were featured in a perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine

The Pudding:

37.3 increase in USMLE Step 1 Score

(25-75%ile increase: 31-45)

*Average increase in score for first-time students after I began working with them; baseline from 1st NBME taken when student began working with me

What others are saying:

At the beginning of my study period, I went through a video review course for about 5 weeks,  along with intermittent UWorld random timed sets that I’d annotate inefficiently into First Aid. After this, I took an NBME and got a 228. I knew at that point that I wasn’t reaching my goals and was clueless as to how to boost my score quickly, so I searched online looking for advice when I came across the site. Within 9 days, my next NBME score was a 249. I continued this process for another 5 weeks until all of Uworld was turned into pathophys-to-presentation cards.

Final score: 265
– Johns Hopkins student

I wish I could have gone to the Alec School of Medicine. As my husband says, “Alec is the best. He’s really your guy.”  He’s the best teacher I have ever had. I ended up raising my step 1 score by 29 points and plan to work with him on some of my third year shelf exams.

– University of Washington student

Finally! Specific information about learning and studying for the USMLE! Everything I had heard about preparing for STEP was the “What?” but could never find a source nor a person that told me the “How?” Alec does this and more. Instead of just saying what to use (UWorld & First Aid), he tells you *how* to use them…he also shows you the most important thing in my view, how to take notes, by giving specific instructions on using Anki as a note taking device. Then, once you have the fundamentals down and know everything via spaced repetition, he gives another key, *how* to interpret the vignette. Each line is there for a reason, let Alec show you how the vignette ties in with the answer to the question, and by knowing your notes (another specific technique Alec will teach you) you will be able to apply core concepts to any and every question!

– U of Mississippi Student

Not only is Alec extremely knowledgable, but he also has tremendous insight as to the study strategies and skills necessary to succeed on USMLE Step 1. With the demands of medical school, Alec understands the importance of studying efficiently and effectively and has truly transformed my approach to my coursework in the second year.

– Stanford University student, jumped from 175 to 247 in less than 2 months*

Yousmle is an awesome website for preparing Step 1, especially when you have reached a plateau. The method is to switch from passive studying- low-efficient and painful memorizing to active studying- integrating, understanding and applying knowledge into clinical situations (AKA most Step 1 questions). When you know what you are studying for, you study well. Also it teaches you how to make the best use of the powerful tool Anki (I like the idea of reverse cards a lot). I would strongly recommend this!

Final score: 252
– University of Nebraksa student

Still have questions?

Visit the “Tutoring FAQ” page here.

To Inquire about Tutoring:

E-mail me at  Tutoring spots are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.  The cost per hour starts at $375/hr, with discounts offered for the initial session, and for packages of tutoring hours.

Best of luck with your preparations!!


*Results not typical. Students doing at least 20 hours of tutoring typically improve scores by roughly 37 points on average

  • Rhea

    Hi Alec! I just recently learned about anki. And then just found out about you like right now. Ugh. I wish I had met all of you at the beginning of my studies. I had a few concerns and I was wondering if you can help me figure out what to do. I’ve been studying for this exam since August. I took the Kaplan 7 week course. And now I’ve just been going at it with fa and uworld. The first nbme I took in October was horrible 156 and the second one was in November 170. And now I just did the uwsa 1 and got 180. I had done a practice exam at the prometric center and got 65%. Basically my scores are horrible and the end of my eligibility is feb 28th. I was wondering what help can you offer me to increase my score. I’m looking to get 240. Is that even possible anymore? Thanks :) I hope to hear from you soon.

    • Yousmle

      Hi Rhea!

      Thank you so much for your message, and for your kind words. That degree of jump, particularly in such a short period of time is quite difficult, although I have seen larger jumps (I did have a student who started in the 170s who ended up with a 247). The biggest determinant will be what is the reason why your scores are not improving. If the problem is mainly knowledge or retention, it is harder to improve in such a short period of time. However, I have seen some students who had quite good knowledge, but just struggled with applying it to questions, so were able to approve this much faster.

      Hope this helps!

      On Thursday, January 22, 2015, Disqus <

  • Rahul Prasad


    I am in the final stretch (2nd year US Med student) before taking Step 1
    in early June and I was wondering if you have any advice for how to
    develop a focused schedule for studying?

    I find myself torn between how
    to balance using resources (Pathoma, First Aid), reviewing (Anki) and
    doing question banks in a progressive and organized manner – i.e. do you
    have any suggestions on how to organize time to create Anki cards,
    review them, and doing relevant questions on a day to day basis?

    • Yousmle

      Hi Rahul,

      Fantastic question. The biggest thing I would suggest is to focus more on trying to understand disease processes rather than having a set number of pages in a particular book that you want to read. For example, most students typically focus on learning everything in a particular book, then moving on to another. Instead, I would focus on learning the disease process, and using whatever resources you have available to do that. That way you can structure your day in a more predictable manner, focusing on learning a particular number of diseases or topics during the day, rather than trying to read some predetermined number of pages.

      Hope this helps!


  • Anonymoose

    I would be VERY interested in the tutoring you offer..
    Care to share more stats apart from the 25-75% range mentioned above ?
    FYI: latest NBME 17 online : 254 (Other NBMEs 15: 249 ; 13: 245; both given quite some while ago.)
    (Still have NBME 16 and 12 left to be given)

    3.5 months out..

    Target: 260+ minimum (would be fairly disappointed to get anything lower than that as I have quite some time on my hands)..
    270-275 + Dream score..

    Could you share whats the average increment students have had with your tutoring, who start working with you from a higher base, such as myself with 250 – ish already..


    • Yousmle

      I’m happy to address questions about tutoring via email. You can email me at

      • Anonymoose

        Sending you a mail !
        Thanks.. :-)

  • Harshana

    Hi Alec, I am interested in tutoring. I was wondering what sessions would be like and what kinds of packages are offered.

    • Yousmle

      Thanks for your message – I sent you an e-mail in response.

  • William Byas

    HI Alec, I am a first year medical student and I would like to start preparing for the STEPS now. What is the best way to go about that? Should I be studying a little bit extra using your material or other prep books. Also regarding tutoring, is that something I should probably look into as I get closer to the exam? Thanks.

    • Yousmle

      Thanks for your message – I just sent a response re: tutoring to your e-mail. Thanks!


      • smita maruvada

        hi Alec :)….i have my exam 2 weeks from now and i have done nbme 13 online 3 weeks back and uwsa1 a week back….i have scored 232 and 236 respectively….im aiming above 240… very much disappointed and will be finishng my another read of fa and pathoma in 2 days and im planning to give my nbme 16 soon in a couple of days. can u plz advice what to do? my eligibility is till april but i really want to give t in 2 weeks cuz im stuck wid other plans :(….plz reply

  • noble g

    Hi Alec, just kinda curious what is the best way to go about using ANKI if you have never used it before. I want to get your step 1 deck but I’m not really sure how to approach using it. Are there any tutorial videos available?

    • Yousmle

      Great question! The best way is to use it to hit your biggest weaknesses. The deck is divided into subjects – think biochemistry, genetics, cardiology, GI, etc.. When you are focused on, say, cardiology, you should be doing the cardiology cards concurrently, just like when you’re doing biochemistry, you should do the biochem cards to help you to learn/integrate what you’re studying. As far as the nuts and bolts of how to set it up, there is a follow-up sequence that will walk you through the basics of how to get set up!

      • noble g

        thank u! look forward to using the deck!

        • Yousmle

          Absolutely – best of luck!


  • Hi! I’ve heard about this website a few times now but never thought I would need it… I feel that I do. I recently scored 205 on NBME 17. I’ve scored 190/194 before. It’s going up but I still need help. I need 230-240 on my actual Step 1 considering that its been a while since i graduated… How do I start? Can I buy Anki from you?

    • Yousmle

      Absolutely – you can find the cards are

      If you’re looking for tutoring, you can send me an e-mail at alec at Group Tutoring join the fun

A fantastic way to address your content weaknesses, improve your study skills, and sharpen your question-answering abilities while working with other diligent, supportive medical students all aimed at the same goal.

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