AMBOSS Step 1 Self-Assessment, 2023: Results & Analysis
AMBOSS Step 1 Self-Assessment Week has come and gone for another year—a big well done to everyone who participated. It was another momentous year, and you all knocked it out of the park!
Taking place from February 9-19, 2023, the self-assessment had thousands of participants in the US and around the world. Those in the US smashed it with students from >99% of US medical schools represented. And you were all hard at work! Collectively, you answered millions of USMLE®-style Step 1 questions.
The Step 1 Self-Assessment format
The Step 1 Self-Assessment was a mock version of the USMLE® Step 1 exam. It was comprised of four question blocks containing 40 questions each and was presented in the official timed format of the USMLE, meaning you had one hour to complete each block.
The self-assessment was updated to reflect the topic distribution and content tested in the latest Step 1 forms.
On February 23, 2023, students who completed all four blocks of the self-assessment received their results in the form of a pass/fail report.
Since the exam became pass/fail, we asked students whether they would still like to receive a 3-digit score. And an incredible +95% of students surveyed said they do want their scores, which is why we included it despite the move to pass/fail. The score will help you gauge where you are in your preparation and act as a jumping-off point for the rest of your studies.
The mean score of the entire cohort of AMBOSS USMLE® Step 1 Self-Assessment-takers was 196 with a standard deviation of 22.8.
The highest score anyone got on the self-assessment was an eye-watering 279 and this was achieved by two superstars.
For more information on how the score is calculated, check out this post.
The questions and disciplines
Students who took the self-assessment covered a wide range of questions and topics that are likely to appear on the real Step 1 exam. In our analysis of the results, we were able to see what proved to be the easiest and the most difficult disciplines in 2023.
The disciplines where students performed the best were Behavioral Sciences and Microbiology. The disciplines that saw the lowest performance were Biochemistry and Pathology.
The question that most students answered correctly needed you to know your basic gastrointestinal physiology quite well. Quickly brush up your knowledge on this topic using this excellent overview of the hormones and secretions of the GI tract.
The question most students answered incorrectly was the question that tested your knowledge of the clinical presentation of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The trick to getting the right answer was to recognize the rash (necrolytic migratory erythema), which is a paraneoplastic cutaneous reaction associated with glucagonoma. Read all about it here.
The top 5 most recommended articles from the Step 1 self-assessment were:
2. Overview of antibiotic therapy
3. Inborn errors of metabolism
4. Principles of medical law and ethics
How to use your report to improve your Step 1 score
The ultimate goal of the AMBOSS Step 1 Self-Assessment is to identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can shape the remainder of your Step 1 prep. The score report contains personalized study recommendations that help you to identify where you need to focus your attention most.
When reviewing these topics, you can avail of the powerful AMBOSS study tools. Let’s take a look at some of these features and how they can help you pass Step 1 with flying colors.
Key Info: When you use Study Mode in the AMBOSS Qbank, you can turn on the Key Info tool. This highlights the info needed to answer the question correctly. The more you practice with it, the more you’ll be able to intuitively pick out the info on your own.
Attending Tip: The Attending Tip won’t just give you the answer, but it will nudge you in the right direction like a good teacher would, too. This allows you to flex your critical reasoning muscles (which is ALL that the USMLE® Steps are about!), and decipher the answer the next time yourself.
You can also check out our super high-yield study plan: 200 Concepts That Appear in Every Step 1 Exam. You can consider it the highest-yield collection of Step 1 questions out there.
Keep up the great work—you’re nearly there! 🚀