June 29, 2006, 11:09:43 PM *
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Author Topic: Some tips from my exam - re breaks/lunch etc.  (Read 176 times)

Posts: 1

« on: June 06, 2006, 11:00:18 AM »

I just took Step 1 yesterday and sent out an email to friends with some tips.  I thought I'd post is here for folks too.  I took my test at the Clark St. center in Chicago.

-The test is exactly like the practice version available at the NBME website ( - you have to download and install the program.  If you look over it ahead of time, you can skip through the tutorial and that will add to your break time.

-If you finish a section early, that gets added to your break time and then you get a screen that lets you decide if you want to take a break or continue.  If your time runs out, you go directly to the next block so be sure to end the block at least a few seconds beforehand if you want to take a break.

-My test center was cool, but not super cold.  I wore a t-shirt and a zip-up hoodie.  You have to wear whatever you take in (you can't hang it over the back of your chair) so zip-ups are nice in case it warms up at all.  That said, I was never uncomfortable.

-At the Clark St. center there is a diner with a carryout place on the first floor of the building.  I got a sandwich there and ate it outside.  Other folks brought lunch and ate it at the center in their main lounge, but I saw a guy looking at FA over lunch and instantly decided I wanted to get far away from him.  There is also a Wendy's and a Subway nearby.  The line at Subway was insane at 12:30 though.

-You can look through the bulletin of info for more details on test procedures (  It's nice to do ahead of time so that you know what you are in for.

-They will give you tissues before you go in if you ask for them, but you can't have anything else with you other than the key for your locker and your ID.

-They have beautiful orange shooting range headphones to block out the noise.  I didn't like them, but most folks used them.  The noise levels didn't bother me, except for a fire truck that went by, but that was only for 30 seconds.

The Man

Posts: 6

« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 01:24:41 AM »

Great post!  Congrats on finishing step 1!  I hope you had a few celebratory beverages before starting 3rd year....
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