F.A.Q.

BELOW IS A LIST OF OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!

You can either click on the question you want answered, or scroll below to read them all…

We are located at 1821 Walden Office Square, Suite 555, Schaumburg, IL 60173

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1. What Is The USMLE Success Academy & How is the USMLE Success Academy Different from Kaplan or Becker?
1a. What Is The Price, How Can I Pay, & Do You Provide Accommodations?
1b. What Makes Your Programs So Effective?
1c. How Have Past Students Described Your Programs?
1d. I’ve Been Away From Medicine/Out of School For A While.  Are Your Programs A Good Choice To Help Me?
1e. I’ve noticed your live program is only 4 weeks in length when other programs are 6-14 weeks long.  Will that be enough time to cover everything I need to know?
2. Can I Join From Anywhere In The World?
2a. Can I purchase individual lectures?
2b. Can I Follow Along With First Aid?
3a. How Much Time Will I Need To Set Aside Each Day for the Online Step 1 or Step 2 CK Program?
3b. How Long Can I Access The Online Program Lectures?
4. Can I Preview The Step 1 Online Program Material Before Signing Up?
5. If I Fail, Do I Get Anything Back?
6. Can I Reserve A Spot In Your Live Programs For A Later Date With A Deposit?
7. I Have Test-Taking Difficulties, Can You Help?
8. Once I register, how long does it take to receive my books?
9. I’ve Already Failed My Exam, Can You Still Help Me?
10. I’m Taking Step 2 CK, Can The Success Academy Help Me?
11. How Fast Do You Reply To Email Questions for The Online Step 1 and Step 2 CK Programs?
12. Do Your Courses Come With A Guarantee?
13. What Advantage Do I Have In Choosing Your Courses Over Others?
14. What Subjects Are Covered In Your Courses?
15. What Is The Passing Rate Of Your Students?
16. What Is The Background Of Your Instructors?
17. Do You Provide 1-on-1 Tutoring?
18. Can I Record The Lectures?

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1. What Is The USMLE Success Academy?

The USMLE Success Academy provides both Live (Chicago, IL) and Online Preparation Programs for the USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 CK and CS examinations.  Our Live Step 1 Program is held monthly and our Live Step 2 CS Program is held weekly at our location in Schaumburg, Illinois, which is located just minutes outside of Chicago.  Our Live Step 1 and Step 2 CS Programs are unique in that we keep our class sizes small, which enables us to give each student the high-quality training and individual attention they need to succeed.  Our Online Step 1 & Step 2 CK Programs have a low Student-to-MD ratio so that we can provide students with access to our Team of MDs throughout the duration of their Online Program access.  Additionally, our Online & Live Step 1 Programs offer our comprehensive, high-yield lectures, free practice NBME exams (pre & post program), the Success Academy’s exclusive practice exams & quizzes, Test-Taking & step-by-step Preparation Strategies, and access to our Team of MDs for questions, guidance, study plans, etc.   

Learn more and register for any of our USMLE Preparation Programs by clicking HERE

How is the USMLE Success Academy Different from Kaplan or Becker?

There are many reasons behind the differences between the USMLE Success Academy and Kaplan or Becker, but the following are a few of the highlights that make the USMLE Success Academy the only choice for students preparing for their Step 1 and Step 2 CK & CS exams:

  1. The USMLE Success Academy has an over 98% student success rate after helping thousands of students achieve success on their Step 1 and Step 2 CK & CS exams since our inception in 2009 (Note: Kaplan and Becker do not advertise their success rates as we do*).;
  2. The USMLE Success Academy’s entire teaching staff consists of physicians that have taken and scored exceptionally well on all USMLE exams and have completed residency training at a minimum.  Kaplan and Becker utilize PhDs to teach many of their courses that have not taken any of the USMLE exams and/or completed any residency training.;
  3. The USMLE Success Academy’s curriculum is exclusively focused and geared towards what is specifically required for success on each of the USMLE exams.  Kaplan and Becker’s respective curriculums include extraneous information that will likely not be covered on the USMLE exams which can cause wasted time studying and confusion as to what is important or not important for each exam.;
  4. The USMLE Success Academy has been voted as the #1 USMLE Preparation Program for Step 1 and Step 2 CS on www.usmle-forums.com which is the only independent review website that can be trusted because it maintains no affiliations with any of the USMLE review programs available on the market.;
  5. The USMLE Success Academy is the only Online Step 1 Program provider that offers access to its Team of MDs for questions, advice, guidance, etc.;
  6. The USMLE Success Academy’s pricing and what is included in each of its USMLE Preparation Programs are much more affordable and include many more features and benefits than what Kaplan and Becker charge and offer in each of their courses.

1a. What Is The Price, How Can I Pay, & Do You Provide Accommodations?

The tuition for our Live Step 1 Program begins at $2697USD when paid in full, up-front (students can pay a $500 deposit to reserve a seat in any upcoming session), and includes everything you will need over the course of your 4-week Live program.  You can pay up-front in full or leave a deposit ($150.00 fee associated with this option) to secure a seat and pay the remainder of the tuition 7 days prior to the 1st day of class.

The tuition for our Online Step 1 Preparation Program begins at $997.00 and increases depending on the Program Package you choose (options include Basic, Standard, & Premium).  Each option provides students with one (1) full year of access, comprehensive, high-yield lectures, practice exams, and much more!

The Tuition for the Live Step 2 CS Preparation Program begins at $1,497.00 and increases depending on the Program Package you choose (options include Basic, Standard, & Premium).

The Tuition for the Online Step 2 CK Preparation Program begins at $997.00 for 4 weeks of access and increases depending on the amount of access that you choose (access options include 4 weeks, 8  weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 24 weeks, 9 months, and 12 months).

Hotel Accommodations: Students requiring accommodations while with us in Schaumburg, IL can benefit from our discounted rates with the Holiday Inn Express located next to our Center.  Students who stay at our partner Hotel will benefit from free daily breakfast & lunch, free wifi, and free shuttle service to/from O’Hare International Airport and within a 5 mile radius of the Hotel.  The Success Academy’s students receive a nightly discount and free breakfast and lunch at the Hotel only when booking directly on our registration page.  The discounted price for the 4 week Hotel stay (the stay begins on the day before classes start and the stay ends on the day after classes finish) is $2,000.00 total for one (1) student with daily breakfast and lunch or $2,500.00 total with daily breakfast and lunch for two (2) students joining together and/or sharing a double-bed room.  In addition to the Hotel Accommodations, there is also a deli and restaurant located in our Center’s office park, as well as the Woodfield Mall and several other restaurant and shopping options within walking distance of our Center and the Hotel.

1b. What Makes Your Programs So Effective?

First and foremost, the USMLE Success Academy employs very unique exam preparation strategies, including two (2) free practice NBME exams, which involves helping our students to actively engage with the materials presented in our USMLE Preparation Programs.  Studies demonstrate that by taking an active learning approach, students will learn more, learn faster, and retain much more information over the long-run.  Therefore, by combining our in-depth, high-yield curriculum with an active approach to learning, our students excel and score well above average for most USMLE test-takers.  The Success Academy was also created and is operated by actual MDs who have years of USMLE preparation experience.  Whereas other popular programs hire PhDs, or even medical students, that have never taken the USMLE exams to teach their students, the Success Academy only uses MDs who have taken and passed all USMLE exams to guide and teach their students.  We know that you will learn much more from actual MDs versus PhDs that have no real-world experience with the nuances and difficulty of the USMLE exams.

The other reason why our Preparation Programs are so effective is because of the great attention to detail that we take in putting our programs together for our students. To start off, at the beginning of each year we determine exactly what the USMLE organization is making ‘fair game’ on the exam. Upon determining exactly what is considered to be testable material, we structure our programs and learning techniques in order to provide you with the information and tools needed for success on any of your USMLE exams.

The thing that sets our Preparation Programs apart from all of the other basic review programs out there is that we are teaching you the material that is most likely to be tested on your exam, and not simply re-teaching 24 months worth of basic sciences over the course of several weeks, while wasting your time and money. We focus 100% on the actual USMLE organization’s exam outline, ensuring that no time and money is wasted during the preparation months.  We pay close attention to top question banks in order to keep tabs on the most frequently tested concepts, we frequent the NBME examination in order to determine the level of difficulty that is being asked on the exams, and we combine everything into easy-to-use, straightforward Preparation Programs that provide results.  Our goal is to make studying for the toughest exams of your medical career as easy and painless as possible.

1c. How Have Past Students Described Your Programs?

The USMLE Success Academy was Ranked #1 by the students of USMLE-Forums.com.  Click HERE to see the results of the USMLE preparation programs poll.  Since 2009, we’ve helped thousands of students prepare for their USMLE Step 1 exam and boast an over 99% student success rate for our Online & Live Step 1 Program, a 98% student success rate for our Online Step 2 CK Program, and an over 99% student success rate for our Live Step 2 CS Program!  

To gain further insight into students’ perspectives on the Success Academy, we decided to contact our past students, as well as asked our current students, to find out just how they would describe our Preparation Programs. The majority of students described our Programs as being comprehensive, yet packed with crucial high-yield information without the unnecessary, extraneous information that the basic ‘review’ courses provided them or from what they were told from their colleagues.  We were pleased to receive such positive feedback because we created and provide a curriculum that adheres to the guidelines set out by the USMLE organization, and then diving into the material in a high yield format while implement our exclusive Test-Taking-Strategies and Preparation Strategies, thereby ensuring that no matter how the USMLE twists a question on the Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams, or try to confuse your during the CS exam, you are equipped 100% with the information, tools, and skills required to pass your USMLE exams and score exceptionally well.

1d. I’ve Been Away From Medicine/Out of School For A While.  Are Your Programs A Good Choice To Help Me?

Absolutely!  In fact, approximately 20% or more of our students are Foreign Trained Physicians who have been away from medical school for many years, and their success rate after utilizing our Preparation Programs is exceptionally high.  When we designed our USMLE Preparation Programs, we created them in a comprehensive, yet high-yield fashion, thereby ensuring that students would be exposed to all of the material that they need in order to achieve success on the USMLE exams.  Whether you are straight out of medical school or have been away for several years, our USMLE Preparation Programs will give you everything that you need to succeed – guaranteed!* (please see our Passing Score Guarantee for further details). 

1e. I’ve noticed your Live Step 1 program is only 4 weeks in length when other programs are 6-14 weeks long.  Will that be enough time to cover everything I need to know for the exam?

Yes, absolutely! We have created a USMLE Step 1 Live Preparation Program that goes into greath depth and detail about all of the high-yield Step 1 information being tested on the exam without covering all of the unnecessary, low-yield information that is unlikely to be tested.  Our goal is to expose you to excactly what you need to know, without wasting your time and money.  Our Step 1 Live Program also provides free, unlimited 1-on-1 daily tutoring sessions to strengthen and build upon your basic sciences foundation, for mastery of the testable high-yield information, and for building the necessary test-taking skills.  Because our program gives you everything you need in just 4 weeks, you will save precious time that can be used to study for the exam while also saving you a tremendous amount of money on accommodations and related expenses. We don’t want to keep you away from your crucial study time any longer than is necessary, thus we have streamlined our Program to ensure that you get the maximum benefits in a minimal amount of time.  All of our USMLE Preparation Programs, including our Live program in Chicago, is based on the criteria set out by the USMLE organization’s criteria of ‘testable material’, thus we cover exactly what you need to know to succeed.

2. Can I Join From Anywhere In The World?

Of course.  Any student who would like to join our USMLE Preparation Programs can do so.  For our USMLE Live Programs, as long as you are legally allowed to enter into the United States, you may attend.  For our USMLE Online Programs, as long as you have a high-speed internet connection you can take full advantage of the convenience of all the features included in our top-rated Step 1 and Step 2 CK Online Programs. 

2a. Can I Purchase Individual Lectures?

Unfortunately, we do not offer the option to purchase our Step 1 and Step 2 CK Online Program lectures individually.  

2b. Can I Follow Along With First Aid

While all of our USMLE Preparation Programs give you everything that you need to pass and score well on your USMLE exams, as well as going into much greater detail than the First Aid does, you may find it to be useful in elaborating on all of the topics covered in our curriculums after finishing our Program(s) and just before you write for the exam as a final review.  Please note that all of our USMLE Preparation Programs have been created to give you everything you need without the need for extra books or study guides.

3a. How Much Time Will I Need To Set Aside Each Day For The Step 1 or Step 2 CK Online Program?

For those students who wish to complete the Step 1 or Step 2 CK Online Programs in 4 weeks, you can expect to put in approximately 7-10hrs of studying per day, including taking the practice exams, quizzes, and the daily review sessions.  For those who wish to complete the Online Program in 8 weeks, you can expect to put in 6-8hrs per day, and for those who wish to complete the Online Program in 12 weeks, 3-5hrs per day is typical.  This includes lecture, quiz, and review time.  For those who wish to complete the Online Program over an extended period of time (4 months or longer), it is advisable to aim for at least 1 lecture per day, but the material can be explored at a much slower pace if you choose.  As you can see, the duration in which you choose to complete the Online Program will determine the amount of time you will need on a daily basis to cover the material, practice exams, associated quizzes, etc. 

3b. How Long Can I Access The Online Program Lectures?

Students have 1 full year of access for the Step 1 Online Program and either 4-weeks, 8-weeks, 12-weeks, 24-weeks, or 1 full year for the Step 2 CK Online Program.  This timeframe begins on the date your desired session starts.  Should students want longer access, it can be purchased at any time throughout the entire session for a nominal fee. 

4. Can I Preview The Step 1 Online Program Material Before Signing Up?

Absolutely!  In fact, we recommend that students preview our teaching methods thoroughly so they will know if it is compatible with their desired style of learning.  For example, one way to decide if the Success Academy’s Online Step 1 Preparation Program is right for you is by signing up for our FREE TRIAL absolutely free!  You can also view over 300 sample videos related to all of our USMLE Preparation Programs on our YouTube page by clicking HERE.  For the Step 1 Online Preparation Program, the entire lecture series is taught in the exact manner in which the videos appear.  For students who desire to attend our Step 1 Live Program in Chicago, you may sit in on a lecture by visiting our Center during our session hours.  Please call us to schedule a visit.

5. If I Fail My Exam, Do I Get Anything Back?

We take great pride in our Step 1 Preparation Program and have 100% confidence that any student who follows our step-by-step strategies will be successful on their exam.  We want all students to feel confident that when they choose us to help them with their preparation that will ultimately succeed on the exam, which is why we offer our exclusive, industry-only Passing Score Guarantee* for students enrolled in our Premium Step 1 Live Program, our Standard and Premium Package Step 1 Online Program, and Step 2 CK Program.   If a student takes any of the aforementioned USMLE Preparation Programs and follows our step-by-step plan for success, but fails, we will provide you with a full refund.  Failure is not an option for us or for our students, so rest assured that you are getting everything you need to succeed or your money back!

6. Can I Reserve A Spot In Your Live Programs For A Later Date With A Deposit?

Yes.  You can pay a $500 deposit to reserve a seat in any of our upcoming sessions.  Please note that we encourage all prospective students to reserve a spot in any of our upcoming Live Programs well in advance of their anticipated start date as classes fill in advance of each start date because the available space is purposefully limited in order to provide each student with the 1-on-1 attention that they need and deserve.

7. I Have Test-Taking Difficulties, Can You Help?

Yes, our USMLE Preparation Programs incorporate our Test-Taking Strategies, Preparation Strategies, and step-by-step plans for success which are outlined in-depth in our courses.  Our Preparation Programs are structured towards helping students, no matter what  their current level of knowledge or their test-taking struggles are in order to maximize their potential, get results, and excel on the USMLE exams.  If you have test-taking difficulties, anxiety, or any other concerns, our USMLE Preparation Programs will help you overcome these struggles.

8. Once I register, how long does it take to receive my books?

All coursebooks are sent out within 24-48hrs of registration.  Our standard shipping will take approximately 2-3 business days for Domestic U.S. shipping addresses and anywhere from 4-10 business days for International shipping addresses.  For students joining our Live Preparation Programs in Chicago, course materials will be given out on day 1 of their session.

9. I’ve Already Failed My Exam, Can You Still Help Me?

Yes!  Many students come to us after initially failing the Step 1 exam, and we have enjoyed great success in helping these students not only pass the exam, but to score higher than they ever expected (Our Step 1 Preparation Programs boast an over 99% student success rate!).  All of our USMLE Preparation Programs incorporate our exclusive, unique Test-Taking Strategies and step-by-step plans for success which are outlined in-depth in all of our Programs.  All of our Programs are structured towards helping students, no matter what  their current level of knowledge or their test-taking struggles are in order to maximize their potential, get results, and excel on any of their USMLE exams.  We are so confident in our results that we offer our industry-only Passing Score Guarantee!*

10. I’m Taking The Step 2 CK, Can The Success Academy Help Me?

We have created a USMLE Step 2 CK Online Preparation Program for students seeking assistance on the Step 2 CK.  With the increasing difficulty matching in today’s healthcare environment, just passing the Step 2 CK is not enough.  Students must strive to earn top scores on their exam in order to distinguish themselves from competing students during the match.  We created our Online Step 2 CK Preparation Program in order to help our students master the skills required to pass the exam and, more importantly for matching purposes, obtain a top score.  Most medical graduates choose to save money preparing for the exam by studying on their own and/or using outdated sources and incorrect test-taking strategies.  Students spend on average in excess of $100,000 on their medical education, but choose to study on their own for the CK exam to save some money.  Imagine what failing the CK exam would do for your career.  By taking the Success Academy’s Online Step 2 CK Preparation Program you will master the skills required to pass the exam and score high on your first attempt, thereby guaranteeing that your time, money, and investment in your future was not wasted away. 

According to NRMP.org, the mean CK score for IMG’s who matched into a Medical Residency in 2013/2014 was 233, while the mean CK score for American medical students who matched was 224.

With the Step 2 CK minimum passing score being changed to 209 (effective July 1, 2014), and the mean averages for matching students being at an all-time high, there has never been a better time to join the Success Academy’s Online Step 2 CK Preparation Program.

11. How Fast Do You Reply To Email Questions for The Online Step 1 and Step 2 CK Programs?

We make the questions of our ‘in-session’ students a top priority, and thus all emails are re-routed to our homes, offices, and cell phones.  During daytime hours (6am – 6pm), you can expect a response within 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the complexity and length of the question(s) submitted to our Team of MDs.  However, if there is a major time difference between your location and ours, then it may take 1-3 hours extra before we respond.  However, we will always strive to respond as quickly as possible.  During weekends and holidays, replies may take up to 12hrs.  Rest assured that all emails from students, especially during the first 30 days of their Online Program access, are our top priority around-the-clock.

12. Do Your Courses Come With A Guarantee?

Yes!  Our Premium Step 1 Live Program, Standard and Premium Package Step 1 Online Programs, and Step 2 CK Online Program offer our exclusive, industry-only Passing Score Guarantee or Your Money Back!  We have gone to great lengths to put together highly structured programs that will give you the best chances for success.  As long as you follow our step-by-step plan for success, then we Guarantee* your success.  And, should the unfortunate, unlikely instance of a failure occur (very rare), we will refund your entire tuition payment!*

13. What Advantage Do I Have In Choosing Your Courses Over Others?

Simply put, the Success Academy is the only USMLE Preparation Program that exclusively uses Medical Doctors with clinical experience and not PhDs that have never taken the USMLE exams nor practiced medicine.  Our Team of MDs have collectively  been to all of the major review courses on the market when they were preparing for their USMLE exams.  So, when we created our exclusive, one-of-a-kind USMLE Preparation Programs, we decided to provide our students with comprehensive, high-yield programs, free practice NBME® exams, our USMLE specific Test-Taking-Strategies, step-by-step-plans for success, and direct, 1-on-1 access to our Team of MDs at the best prices available on the market!  The courses available on the market today are just basic “review” courses.  They will only provide you with a review of medical school and a ton of extraneous information provided by instructors that have no USMLE and clinical experience, while drowning you out amidst their 100+ class sizes.  Class sizes that large make it impossible to provide the direct 1-on-1 attention that students require in order to pass and score well on their USMLE exams.  For these reasons, the Success Academy limits the amount of students that may register for each session so that we may ensure that we dedicate as much time as is needed for each of our students (25-to-1 Student-to-MD Ratio in Live Step 1 Program and 3-to-1 Student-to-MD Ratio in Live Step 2 CS Program).  The Success Academy is not a “review” course.  We are a Preparation Program that provides you with all of the skills and tools that you need to succeed on the USMLE exams.  And, another major difference between the review courses on the market and the Success Academy’s Preparation Programs is that you get our industry-only, rock-solid Passing Score Guarantee.*  If you follow our step-by-step plan for success, but fail your exam (very rare), we will refund 100% of your tuition payment!  None of the basic “review” courses have the confidence to provide such a guarantee, but the Success Academy does!

14. What Subjects Are Covered In Your Courses?

Our USMLE Preparation Programs cover all of the subjects being taught in U.S.-based medical schools.  Additionally, and more importantly for the USMLE exams, our Preparation Programs pay close attention and focus on everything that is considered ‘testable material’ on the USMLE exams as set forth by the USMLE organization.  All of our Preparation Programs provide students with the comprehensive, yet high-yield information required to strengthen their basic sciences foundation, all while giving them the essential skills and tools needed to succeed on the USMLE exams.  For further information on the various Preparation Programs we offer, please visit the Program Format page.

15. What Is The Passing Rate Of Your Students?

Since 2009, we’ve helped thousands of students prepare for their Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams and are proud to say that we have an over 99% student success rate for our Step 1 Prep Programs and an over 98% student success rate for our Step 2 CK Online Prep Program!  Additionally, since 2012, our Step 2 CS Live Program has an over 99% student success rate as well!

16. What Is The Background Of Your Instructors?

The USMLE Success Academy is the only USMLE Preparation Program provider in the United States that exclusively uses Medical Doctors that have taken all their USMLE exams and have clinical experience, and not like all the other basic “review” programs that utilize PhDs that have never taken the USMLE exams or practiced medicince.  Our Instructors hold a degree in medicine (M.D.) and have also completed Residency trainings in their respective fields.  Additionally, our Instructors gained their training and clinical experience through the United States Clinical Experience (USCE), thus we have a complete and thorough understanding of the U.S. medical system.  All of the Instructors at the USMLE Success Academy have a passion for teaching and have dedicated their lives to medical education.

17. Do You Provide 1-on-1 Tutoring?

Yes!  For example, in our Premium Live Step 1 Preparation Program in Chicago, we offer Live 1-on-1 tutoring for students as requested!  For our Premium Step 1 Online Program and our Step 2 CK Online Program we provide unlimited email access to our Team of MDs.

18. Can I Record The Lectures?

No.  Our lectures are copyrighted material and it is illegal to do so.  There are severe penalties for copying, distributing, and/or disseminating any of the USMLE Success Academy’s work-product and materials.  

 

*Kaplan and Becker’s websites were last reviewed and did not contain their respective Step 1 pass rates as of 11/21/2017.

 

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