Best USMLE Prep Books

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States and is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).

The comparison chart below will help you to choose which study guide is right for your situation and which is the best to prepare for the exam. Have a look at our experts’ hand-picked the best USMLE prep books for 2017.

Helpful Comparisons + Best Pricing Options

USMLE Step 1 Books
RANKINGS

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OVERALL
RATING
COMPANY McGraw-Hill Education Kaplan Test Prep Saunders Saunders McGraw-Hill Education
PRICE  $39.77  $224.39  $33.85  $39.85  $34.96
PRACTICE QUESTIONS N/A N/A N/A N/A 1000
FULL PRACTICE EXAMS N/A N/A N/A N/A 1
PAGES 800 2752 880 680 784
FORMAT Paperback Book Paperback Book Paperback Book Paperback Book Paperback Book
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS None None None None None
DIAGNOSTIC EXAMS
PROGRESS TRACKING
KINDLE EDITION
VIDEO
MORE DETAILS Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review
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First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2017

OVERALL RATING: 

Often referred to as the Bible, First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 is one of the best USMLE Step 1 books.  This book offers a complete and helpful framework for test preparation and detailed strategies, tips, and techniques on how to actually take and succeed on the exam.

This book also provides readers with Hundreds of full color illustrations and diagrams, good content coverage, and a quick review section. Furthermore, readers of this book become part of an active online community, with the First Aid website offering frequent updates, errata, and study advice and schedules by the First Aid team and other users.

Some of the more notable highlights include:

  • 1300+ must-know topics
  • All subject areas revised based on feedback from thousands of students
  • Reviewed by nationally known USMLE instructor to ensure accuracy and relevance
  • Real-time updates at www.firstaidteam.com


USMLE Step 1 Lecture Notes 2017: 7-Book Set

OVERALL RATING: 

Containing seven individual guides covering information on Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Immunology and Microbiology, Anatomy, Behavioral Science, Kaplan’s USMLE Step 1 Lecture Notes provide a comprehensive review of the important topics on the Step 1 examination.

Some of the more notable highlights include:

  • More than 2,700 pages covering every discipline you’ll need on this section of the boards
  • Full-color diagrams and charts for better comprehension and retention
  • Chapter summary study guides at the end of every chapter for easier review
  • Updated annually by Kaplan’s all-star expert faculty


USMLE Step 1 Secrets, 3e

OVERALL RATING: 

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 offers highly targeted and effective coverage of Step 1 materials, is based on the authors own test-taking, experiences, and is regularly revised based on feedback by recent test-takers. With a clinical focus throughout, this easy-to-read book features questions and short answers, case scenarios to prepare you for the vignette-style USMLE exam, and a concise, integrated, clinical overview of Step 1 content.

Ideally used in conjunction with the First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 review book, this should definitely be part of your USMLE Step 1 preparation arsenal.


Crush Step 1: The Ultimate USMLE Step 1 Review, 1e

OVERALL RATING: 

Crush Step 1: The Ultimate USMLE Step 1 Review is ideal for those looking for a concise, highly organized review book. This guide is easy to follow and, thanks to its use of easily accessible approach, promises to by highly effective for a range of different test-takers.

This study guide also offers practice questions following key sections, and plenty of helpful lists and tables to highlight high-yield data.


First Aid Q&A for the USMLE Step 1, Third Edition

OVERALL RATING: 

The only comprehensive Q&A review for the USMLE Step directly linked to high-yield facts from Dr. Le’s First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, this essential study guide offers 1000 board-style questions and answers, easy-to-navigate, high yield explanations for correct and incorrect answers, and more than 350 accompanying images.

Some of the more notable highlights include:

  • 1000 board-style questions and answers
  • Detailed explanations for both right and wrong answers
  • 130+ high-yield images, diagrams, and tables
  • One complete practice exam consisting of 7 blocks of 50 questions simulates the exam experience