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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 some rave reviews from students because of their awesome video lectures. 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.
As this is a pretty lengthy review that covers a number of topics, above is a helpful table of contents with jump-to links for your convenience. Hopefully by the end, you’ll have a clear picture of whether Lecturio is worth it for USMLE prep.
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, or 2 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, and the 2-Year course at $20/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 three packages cost roughly $105, $300, and $480, respectively.
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 pretty affordable, and would be competitive when standing next to other courses.
However, if you are working with a tight budget, our team strongly recommends the USMLE courses from Med School Bootcamp and Achievable over Lecturio. All else being equal, among value prep providers, we much prefer these two, especially Med School Bootcamp.
Our Thoughts On The Lecturio Lessons & Coursework
Considering all of their prep materials as a whole, I would say that Lecturio provides an OK body of coursework. It clearly still trails behind USMLE prep giant Kaplan in terms of quality, but altogether, it is a decent package of study materials.
It is clear this course focuses on two things: practice questions and quick-hit video lectures. There are obviously other features to 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 6,500+ lessons. That is a ton of video content, and is the clear highlight of Lecturio’s platform.
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.
On that point, 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, though seems very truncated to me personally.
In either case, no matter how you get to these video-based lessons, they are very good. 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 very talented teachers 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 just general questions, and are easier than actual boards-style questions. They 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.
However, one thing that did annoy me is Lecturio’s “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.
For me, though I’m sure it’s helpful from a learning science perspective, this function was irritating. 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.
And 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.
However, this is unfortunately where the good news basically stops with Lecturio. Though they have a question bank of over 5,000 practice questions for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (similar to SmashUSMLE in terms of question volume), their practice material did not impress.
Their practice problems are not very realistic of what you will see on exam day. Lecturio uses a patient-centered, clinical scenario approach in their questions, just like the USMLE, but they just weren’t a close match for the real thing.
I did like how Lecturio matched the interface of the real USMLE computer-based exam to help get you comfortable for exam day, but that’s about it for positives.
Plus, accompanying each practice question is a ridiculously-detailed problem explanation. And I am not using the word “ridiculous” in a positive sense. These text solutions dive into way too much detail to explain the rationale behind each question. Each explanation was just excruciatingly tedious.
Lecturio did offer some illustrations in their explanations that I found to be useful, but that’s it.
Beyond the practice work, there is also the performance metrics to discuss. 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.
And one 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.
Altogether, I would say that the Lecturio USMLE prep package is just OK. The video lessons are extremely high quality, with excellent production value, knowledgeable instructors who are great communicators, and a short, engaging format, but that’s really it. For me, it was hard to find other positives.
Now, 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 very solid prep course with highly-rated live class.
Lecturio Prep Books
Lecturio takes the unique approach of aligning their course with the 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.
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-referencing 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.
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 within a day or two.
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, and 2-Year packages. Which package you purchase determines your access duration. It’s really that simple.
Is There A Mobile App?
Yes. Lecturio has a mobile app with pretty good 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.
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,” 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 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 give the Lecturio USMLE prep package a fairly average grade. They do some things well, but other things not so great.
The video lectures, which feature some leading medical professors, doctors and USMLE experts, are short in duration and rich in content. I really liked these videos and thought they were the highlight of the course.
They 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.
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. Plus, most importantly, their practice material is just OK.
All in all, I like Lecturio, but we do rate the USMLE prep courses from Kaplan, PASS Program, and Med School Bootcamp much higher. Our team recommends the courses from those three companies ahead of Lecturio.
How much does the Lecturio USMLE prep course cost?
The Lecturio USMLE prep packages generally cost somewhere between $105 and $480, 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, not really. Lecturio offers a solid prep package consisting of video lessons, practice questions, and other study resources, but we do rate the USMLE prep courses from Kaplan, PASS Program, and Med School Bootcamp much higher.