Reviewer: Allen B. Rawitch, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book contains a series of sections dedicated to the individual subject areas covered on the USMLE step 1 examination with approximately 100 questions in each section, followed by answers and explanations/tutorials. All the questions are derived from other publications from J & S Publishing, and the review was developed in collaboration with the Princeton Review corporation. The questions are targeted at the individual or specific areas taught in the first two years of medical school.
Purpose: The purpose is to allow the student to carry out a rapid, focused review of questions with "high yield potential," which I assume implies high probability of the subject of the question appearing on the exam.
Audience: The audience is clearly second-year medical students preparing for the USMLE step 1 exam.
Features: The book features high-quality graphics and a format that is very close to the USMLE format. Strengths of this text include realistic formatting and layout and some excellent tutorial material. Weaknesses include spotty coverage of some areas, uneven quality of explanations or tutorials, no references to standard texts that students could use for further reinforcement, and no index or other mechanism that would allow a student to look at questions on a specific topic. The latter two areas may be excused in a book whose purpose is to provide students an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.
Assessment: On balance, this is a reasonable tool for students who wish to assess their preparation for the various areas of the USMLE step 1 exam and, when used with a good basic text to help with reinforcement, should serve as an aid in the overall preparation of the student for this exam.