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Lecturio USMLE Review
Our detailed evaluation and rating of the Lecturio USMLE review course
When it comes to USMLE prep, Lecturio gets rave reviews from their students. With a test bank of exam-like practice questions, thousands of quick hit video lectures, First Aid textbook references, and more, there is a lot to like. But does this video lesson-centric USMLE review course merit the praise? We take a close look at the Lecturio course structure, content and features in this detailed review guide, and evaluate whether it is the right USMLE prep course for you.
Unlike other USMLE prep courses, Lecturio offers a subscription-based model to access their content. Whereas other USMLE prep providers have you purchase a discrete USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 prep course, with Lecturio, you get access to all of their content. This includes study materials and prep content for USMLE Steps 1 and 2, COMLEX Levels 1 and 2, and MBBS (MBChB). This makes Lecturio pretty unique in its course option and pricing scheme. You sign up once for a given period of time, and get access to content for all of the above exams.
Specifically, you can sign up for a subscription period of 3 months, 1 year, 2 years or 4 years. The longer the period you subscribe to their services for, the cheaper the monthly price becomes. The 3-Month course generally starts at around $35/month, the 1-Year course at around $25/month, the 2-Year course at $20/month, and the 4-Year package at around $15/month. That said, you are not charged monthly for Lecturio’s services.
Though they market their prep services as being a monthly service, it is a really a one-time fee for your given access period (so just multiply the monthly rate by the number of months you sign up for). In other words, the four packages cost roughly $105, $300, $480 and $720, respectively. However, Lecturio frequently offers discounts and we often see these packages on sale for much less.
So if you are looking at tackling the USMLE Step 1 or USMLE Step 2 in a short, fixed timeframe, you would really only need a shorter access period for each exam (like their 3-Month or 1-Year package). This makes the cost of the individual USMLE prep package extremely affordable, and would be competitive when standing next to other courses.
That said, I do like the fact that when you sign up, you can get access to all of their materials for up to 4 years. You never know what will happen with the timing of your Step 1 and Step 2 exams, and some of the longer subscription periods may offer a cost effective means of getting prep material coverage for the long haul, allowing you to be flexible in your studies.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Analysis of the Lecturio Lessons and Coursework
Considering all of their prep materials together, Lecturio provides one of the most thorough bodies of coursework in the USMLE prep industry, even rivaling USMLE prep giant Kaplan in some respects. It is clear their course focuses on two things: high-quality, exam-like practice questions, and quick hit video lectures that cover just about every USMLE topic. There are obviously other features of this course as well, but these two aspects are by far and away the most noteworthy of Lecturio’s prep assets.
On the instructional side of your study work, Lecturio offers a library of thousands of video lessons. In total, there are roughly 515 hours’ worth of videos across 5,500+ lessons. These lessons can be accessed either directly through a filterable library (sortable by subject, organ system, or USMLE top diseases), or through one of their interactive study schedules. Lecturio offers a number of set study schedules, which you can adopt and follow. These study schedules will direct you each day on what to study. The 40-day schedule seems to be their most popular option.
In either case, no matter how you get to these video-based lessons, they are first-rate. The lectures are led by a wide range of extremely experienced professors, doctors and medical researchers, who appear on screen in every video. The instructors who cover each video lesson are subject matter experts in their given area, and never generalists who cover multiple topics. I loved this aspect of the Lecturio videos – you are always getting renowned thought leaders on a given topic.
As far as video format goes, your instructors appear on camera and as they speak, written notes, graphics and various digital effects appear around them to help exemplify their lesson points. Additionally, the camera will frequently cut from the lecturer to a digital whiteboard to focus in on more-detailed and complicated systems, equations, processes, and more.
I personally loved the structure of these videos. The frequent jumps between facetime lecturing from your professor and visualizations of what they are saying on the digital whiteboard really helps to increase comprehension and retention. Not only that, it makes the videos very engaging. Compared to old school videos where the instructor stands behind a lectern and talks for an hour, these videos are gold.
In addition, these videos are very short. On average, they are between 3 and 9 minutes long, and I rarely saw one more than 10 or 11 minutes in length. They are quick and jam-packed with info. This too increases comprehension and retention, as they hold your attention for the entirety of their short duration.
After each video lesson you are tasked with answering a few quiz questions which help to reinforce the material you just learned. These quiz questions are easier than actual boards-style questions, and are just meant to make sure understand and can apply the material you just learned. Across thousands of quick video lessons, this means you have thousands of these short quiz questions to answer. Having said that, while hearing “thousands of quiz questions” may seem daunting, they actually go really fast. There is usually just a handful of questions per video and they are over before you know it.
On the topic of quiz questions, one really cool feature of the Lecturio prep course that I have not seen elsewhere is an ongoing “spaced repetition” quiz that wraps around the entire course. As you miss quiz questions, Lecturio’s spaced repetition algorithm takes this into account and will repeat the question at set intervals to make sure you see this material again and again. Basically, their learning science studies show that seeing the same material over and over again increases long term retention. As such, they employ this spaced repetition structure to make sure you get plenty of reps on the same content.
While this is a very cool feature that I am certain does work for increasing recall powers, it is also a little annoying. You see old quiz questions again and again, especially when you get them wrong. I get the point of repetition, but it just makes for a lot of work. But if the end goal is to memorize all of this info and have it stored up for the USMLE Step 1 exam, so be it.
One final feature worthy of note around the videos is the First Aid textbook references. No matter what video lecture you are on, Lecturio will provide you with the corresponding topic and page reference in the First Aid prep book. This is a very helpful feature when studying in conjunction with this textbook.
Before moving on, if not already clear, it should be noted that Lecturio offers no live classes. Whether this will matter to you will turn on what type of format you prefer to learn under. If you do prefer live, in-person class work, we would suggest checking out Pass Program – they offer a highly rated live class.
Beyond the video lessons, Lecturio is all about exam-like practice questions. With a test bank of over 3,400 practice questions for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (2,200+ Step 1 only), they offer an abundance of practice material and are second only to SmashUSMLE in question volume. Their practice problems are extremely realistic of what you will see on exam day. The content and style of questions is a dead ringer for the real thing. Lecturio uses a patient-centered, clinical scenario approach in their questions, just like the USMLE.
I even liked how Lecturio matched the interface of the real USMLE computer-based exam. This is a small, but important touch. When you consistently practice on software that replicates the real exam for weeks on end, it really helps to get you comfortable.
These practice questions are generally accessed through customized quizzes. Lecturio’s platform allows you to build personalized question sets, filterable by tutor or test mode, question subject, number of questions, and more. This is a really nice resource, which you can use to target your weaker areas as needed.
Accompanying each practice question is a ridiculously-detailed problem explanation. And I use the word “ridiculous” in a positive sense. These text solutions dive into great detail to thoroughly explain the rationale behind the question and why each answer choice is correct or incorrect. In addition, embedded in just about every explanation is an awesome illustration which helps you to visualize the underlying biological process, organ system, or whatever subject the question may be testing. I found these illustrations to be immensely useful.
To this point, everything in my evaluation of Lecturio has been quite positive. But I do have a couple of gripes with this prep course. The first revolves around their performance metrics. A key part of studying for any exam is to track how well you are progressing by assessing your performance. Lecturio allows you to view your overall progress in the course (in terms of completion %) and general accuracy in answering practice questions, but that’s about it. There are no detailed analytics or powerful insights. This was kind of a disappointment for me, as I wanted to drill down and see my performance in certain areas.
My other point of contention surrounds the study schedules. Lecturio gives you a few preset study schedules to choose from depending on your study timeline, and each claim to give you step-by-step direction on what to study. And while they are interactive and to provide guidance on how to proceed through the material, it just doesn’t feel as cohesive and streamlined as other USMLE study plans I have seen. The study schedule just feels like an afterthought – sort of an add-on after the fact as a means of organizing the mass amount of prep material for students. I guess I would just like to see a more robust and prominent study schedule with interactive features like other courses have.
These minor complaints aside, this is an otherwise stellar USMLE prep package. The video lessons are extremely high quality, with excellent production value, knowledgeable instructors who are great communicators, and a short, engaging format. And the thousands of practice questions Lecturio offers closely resemble true USMLE exam questions. Overall, I really liked the Lecturio coursework.
Lecturio Prep Books
Lecturio takes the unique, but very cool approach of aligning their course with the infamous First Aid textbook. Rather than writing their own full-scale comprehensive USMLE prep book that would just compete with First Aid, they lean into this existing resource. I think this is a great move. Almost everyone uses First Aid anyway, and the prep book is just one small component of the entire prep package.
So Lecturio embraces the First Aid book, keying their video lectures and practice questions to this text. Each video references the corresponding section of the First Aid book, and the practice questions reference specific pages as well.
In addition, the cross-refencing goes both ways. Through Lecturio’s “Bookmatcher” app, you can either enter the page number of the First Aid book or take quick photo, and Lecturio will link you to corresponding video lessons and practice work. This is a really nice feature. I used it frequently and found it to work extremely well.
Beyond the First Aid book, Lecturio does provide a number of short e-books for their students. These books cover USMLE study techniques, question type walkthroughs and more. I liked these short digital books, but didn’t spend too much time in them.
Digital Platform and Interface
Lecturio’s digital platform earns high marks in my book. It is simple, intuitive and very clean. Your study resources are neatly laid out along the left-hand side of the screen. These include you study planner, video library, question bank, spaced repetition quiz, performance metrics, and more. Everything is well organized and I was able to easily find everything I needed.
The look and feel are also quite nice. The platform has a modern, professional feel, and the responsiveness is excellent. I never had issues with load times, accessing resources or the like. And perhaps most importantly, the testing interface just about mirrors the real USMLE testing program. This is a huge benefit to students.
Specifically related to USMLE prep, Lecturio does not offer much in the way of supplemental resources that have not already been discussed above. They offer a medical school survival guide, a ‘question of the day’ feature and a couple other odds and ends, but nothing really worth raving about.
Be that as it may, do keep in mind that when you sign up for one of Lecturio’s plans, you get access to all of their study materials – including USMLE Steps 1 and 2, COMLEX Levels 1 and 2, and MBBS (MBChB). While prep materials from these other exams won’t really matter to most students, they could come in handy at some point. Many of the video lectures are content specific and not necessarily test specific, so even if a video isn’t keyed to the USMLE Step 1, it may still offer some valuable scientific knowledge.
Unfortunately, Lecturio does not offer any tutoring services. You do get email support with Lecturio, and can ask instructors a question directly under the forum for each video, but there is no direct, 1:1 tutoring. To ask a question related to the USMLE exam or a specific substantive matter, you can shoot Lecturio’s support line a quick email. They will generally get back to you pretty quickly.
Also, the forum discussions under many of the videos were very lively, and instructors seemed to respond to student’s questions very quickly. I noticed that many questions were answered by the teacher within just a day or so of being posted, and even other students would jump in. This isn’t a substitute for tutoring, but is nonetheless helpful.
Lecturio Practice Exams
In addition to their test bank of practice questions, you also get access to 3 full-length, USMLE Step 1 practice exams with Lecturio. These practice exams look and feel just like the practice question sets you can customize, but built out to be the full length of an exam. This is fine though, as the question content is high-quality and matches the real exam (as does the testing interface).
Access Periods to Lecturio’s Online Content
How long you have access to Lecturio’s online content is directly tied to which package you purchase. As mentioned, Lecturio offers 3-Month, 1-Year, 2-Year or 4-Year packages. Which package you purchase determines your access duration. It’s really that simple.
Is there a Mobile App?
Yes. Lecturio takes great pride in offering a mobile app with excellent functionality, and this is one of their main selling points. This is important, because for some aspiring doctors, having access to a solid mobile app is a must when seeking out the best USMLE prep course. The Lecturio mobile app is a key component of their learning platform, allowing students to study on-go and offline. The app gives users access to their video lessons, practice problems, text explanations, “Bookmatcher” feature, and more. Essentially, they pack just about the entire course into this little app, which is quite impressive.
I loved this app for studying when away from home. The functionality is fantastic and it felt just like using the full version on desktop. There was none of the typical mobile app clunkiness, slow speeds, or anything like that. The same video lectures loaded right up and were easy to watch on my iPhone. And obviously others agree – at the time of writing this, the app has a 4.8 star review with 2,100+ ratings in the Apple app store. So if you are super busy or the type of student who likes to study while sitting on the couch or in bed, this could be a major advantage.
Is There a Pass Guarantee?
No, and this is a major disappointment. Most every USMLE prep company these days provides a Step 1 pass guarantee, but Lecturio doesn’t. They guarantee the “quality of their product” – which I agree is very, very good – but that’s not the same as offering cold hard cash back in the event you can’t pass. This is one of the few negatives around this program.
General Refund Policy
Despite not offering a pass guarantee, Lecturio does offer a generous 10-day, money back guarantee if you do not like their product. If you purchase their course and change your mind, no matter the reason, they’ll give you a refund within 10 days with no questions asked. Now this is a solid policy that others do not offer. A number of other prep providers consider all sales final, so this is a nice (though short) promise.
Verdict: Lecturio USMLE Review Course
All things considered, I was very impressed with the Lecturio USMLE prep package. Although their pricing and course structure is a little odd (offering access to materials for every major medical exam), the prep materials are absolutely first-rate. The video lectures, which feature some leading medical professors, doctors and USMLE experts, are short in duration, but rich in content. These quick hit videos pack in the content, with excellent production value to boot. Across thousands of these concise video lessons, you get everything you need to learn for the USMLE.
Additionally, Lecturio’s practice questions are superb. Not only do they match the content, structure and feel of real USMLE exam questions, but they also have an interface that directly mirrors the official testing software. And each problem has an accompanying text explanation and illustration that breaks down the question and answer choices in great detail. I really can’t say enough good things about the video lectures and practice work. Despite this, this course is not without its flaws. I really wish they offered a pass guarantee like most other prep providers, and would beef up their performance metrics and course study plan. That said, you can’t deny that this is a top-flight USMLE prep option, which should work for most learning styles, especially visual learners. All in all, 5 stars from our team.
How much does the Lecturio USMLE prep course cost?
The Lecturio USMLE prep packages generally cost somewhere between $105 and $720, depending on how long you need access to their online prep content. Though we often see this course on sale for less.
Does Lecturio have its own prep books?
Lecturio does not offer its own USMLE prep books, but instead keys its prep materials to the First Aid textbook. All videos and practice questions have references to the corresponding section and page of the First Aid prep book.
Is Lecturio USMLE prep worth it?
In our team’s opinion, yes. Lecturio offers one of the most robust prep packages of video lessons, practice questions, and other study resources in the USMLE prep space – and all at a very competitive price.