Thank you for reading the blog and my pleasure.
Yes, what you have heard is true, almost no one i know uses the books that we are told at the time of admission, everything that is tested is from the notes and if you need some further clarification or detail BRS books are used. But most of the studying is done just from the lectures notes that are provided by the teachers in each class.
Yes, there are actually many books that you can buy before coming down to the island for the purpose of clarification of notes and to study better for the USMLE, the books that students should buy before coming are listed HERE , and if you can get the BRS books before then read them before coming down the island, will really give you a head start.
We use percentage system down here in order to the on the dean's list you need to be the top 2 or 3 students in the class.
Good luck for January,