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View Poll Results: What sequence to follow in taking USMLE Steps for IMGs?
Step 1 then CS then CK 72
Step 1 then CK then CS 118
CK then Step 1 then CS 14
CK then CS then Step 1 17
CS then CK then Step 1 2
CS then Step 1 then CK 12
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  #1  
Old 01-11-2010
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Default IMGs: The most appropriate sequence of taking USMLE Steps?

For graduates and IMGs it might be the case that which step should they do first? Is is Step 1 or Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS?

So in thread let's talk about what you think is the most appropriate sequence of taking the USMLE steps.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2010
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There's a common mistake among old IMGs; they think doing CK first is better but that's absolutely not true.
A significant portion of CK preparation is dependant on step 1 and many questions are related to pathophysiology.
So the best sequence is step 1 - CK - then lastly CS
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2010
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I think it depends on whether you are student or old grad
old grad can opt to start with Ck
student should follow the usual sequence of step1, CK, then CS
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2010
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Default Do not even think about it!

I did CK first, I was thinking the same way as old grads, because at school I was not good at all with basic science, and my scores got substancialy higher during the clinical rounds, I thought if I didn't get a high score in CK it will settle the USMLE thing because I won't get higher score in step1.

But unfortunately it doesn't work that way in the USMLE. First of all the information in step1 is very much linked to clinical practice, so you will not find it that difficult to cope with. And the most important thing is that you get a lot of questions in CK that you can't answer if you didn't go through step1. Though those who took step1 first may not notice them, I was struck by those questions during the exam and they kinda freaked me out a bit, my first response was "what is he talking about?", and I thought they are just too sophisticated. I was impressed so much by them that I still remembered them during reviewing step1, and everytime I went through a peice of info for answering those questions I went (aaaah, so that's what they were talking about . I think the reason people think that CK is easier than step1 (I strongly disagree) is because they studied step1 before CK.

So old IMG or not, I advise to take step1 first. It's an honest advice, Don't say nobody warned you
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2010
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Default

drseddik
you are right
I did Ck first and now am facing the same problem you faced
thanks for talking honestly to the people here
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2010
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Warning!

I just don't understand why IMGs are keen to take CS before CK!
The logic sequence is 1, CK, CS and this is how it's meant to be by the NBME and USMLE officials.
CS requires you to be aware of the various differentials of a given clinical symptom.
Even if you are a grad and you have vast clinical experience, don't you think that doing the CS right after the CK will make your job far easier!
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2010
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Idea! Step1 then CS then CK

The best sequence is Step1 then CS then CK for IMGs. You know why? because CS results takes sometimes three months until it comes out so it's better you do the CS early like in April or May then you do CK in July or August so that by September you have both results and you apply for the match.
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2010
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Default CS first

I am an IMG, and I still student

I believe that that normal sequence 1, CK, CS is the best one

But for me, I will start with CS, cuz I am afraid from visa denial.. So if i get a denial, I will cancel all the USMLE pathway

Moreover, being a student gives me the opportunity to take electives in US.. So I will try to hit a couple of months as electives then take the CS




Best of luck to all
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2010
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USMLE announcement: Reduction in number of Step 1 items presented without a clinical vignette

Do you still suggest the following order to take the exams, even the questions of step1 are now more clinical?
step1, CK,CS

Thanks

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  #10  
Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimche0244 View Post
USMLE announcement: Reduction in number of Step 1 items presented without a clinical vignette

Do you still suggest the following order to take the exams, even the questions of step1 are now more clinical?
step1, CK,CS

Thanks

Yes, it's still recommended. Reading for your Step 1 builds the foundation upon which you can take Step 2 CK.
For example, you will have difficult in answering an MI case in the CK exam if you have not really understood and grasped the anatomy/physiology/pathology/pharmacology ...etc of this disease.
Taking CK before Step 1 is not a 100% mistake or a huge risk or something but it's just better and ideal to tackle step 1 before CK.
The switch to clinical vignettes in Step 1 items has been there for more than 5 years but the advice is still the same "Better to take Step 1 before CK"
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2010
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Hi everyone
Ok we heard about this big debate. so, the big question is?
Did anybody take CK first and got high score?
please answer me
thank you
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambition4 View Post
Hi everyone
Ok we heard about this big debate. so, the big question is?
Did anybody take CK first and got high score?
please answer me
thank you
Yes, there are many students that I myself know very well who have taken the CK exam first and got high scores in both the steps. But perhaps they would have scored even higher if they would have taken Step 1 first
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2011
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Post CK first may be better use of time

I'm a British medical student, who decided to go for USMLEs late on in medical school. Here, very little is taught on things like genetics and biochem, and often in other subjects, the detail is not quite the same, especially for minutiae. I'm going for CK first, as I'm currently in the middle of finals here, making CK revision sync very well. The things tested on Step 1 would not come up in finals, whereas there is little difference in material for step 2.
Following on from that, I anticipate that step 1 will cover many topics that are included in British post-grad exams, and so the revision will complement the exams at a later date.
I'm planning on taking CK in the next few months and will let you know how I did :sorry:. I'm currently working through USMLEworld, and getting OK scores.

In summary: for some IMGs who have graduated or come late to the party, doing the exams out of order may complement other work they're doing better.
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2011
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Stop A Huge discussion indeed but lets reason with it..

When i came to make that decision two things made the decision much easier. One, we've been doing clinical rotation for 3 years so its definitely easier to review your clinical information and do the step 2 instead of going to the basics, which we've ignored and forgot most in those 3 years Right?. and two, Step 1 weighs way more into your application than step 2 sooooo if you happen unfortunately make a mistake on a step preparation or test day and THEN learn from it, its MUCH better for the latter to be step 2 So you could ACE step1 and improve your chances. Agree?
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drothman2010 View Post
When i came to make that decision two things made the decision much easier. One, we've been doing clinical rotation for 3 years so its Def easier to review your clinical information and do the step 2 instead of going to the basics, which we've ignored and forgot most in those 3 years Right?. and two, Step 1 weighs way more into your application than step 2 sooooo if you happen misfortunately make a mistake on a step preparation or test day and THEN learn from it, its MUCH better for the latter to be step 2 So you could ACE step1 and improve your chances. Agree?
I couldn't have put it better myself!
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2011
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Arrow CK or CS first????

Hi all,

I want to know in your opinion, is it better to first CS or CK??? And please do explain why???

Also, please do share with me what you did (take CS or CK first) and what were pros and cons for your choice.

Thanks
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  #17  
Old 04-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noone_123i View Post
Hi all,

I want to know in your opinion, is it better to first CS or CK??? And please do explain why???

Also, please do share with me what you did (take CS or CK first) and what were pros and cons for your choice.

Thanks
For medical students, it's probably best to leave the CS until after the CK. This is because it's difficult to master clinical skills before mastering clinical knowledge. For example, you won't be able to ask the patients appropriately when you suspect pneumonia (you need to have background about the causes, presentation, symptoms, signs, complications, ...etc).
For medical graduates, it does not matter which is first CS or CK. You can see in the poll above, that more people took the CS First, this is essentially to buy time, because the CS results take longer time to release than the CK results.
For example, you want to apply in September. It's better to do CS in June and CK in August (this way both results will be ready in September) than the other way round (CK in June and CS in August) as in that way you might not have the CS results ready in time.
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Old 06-17-2011
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Default a very important question

it realy depends on you!!! i mean there is no rule in that!! in my city all students do the step 2 then step 1 and lastly CS... for me i went to the US before doing the step 2 and decided that i will do the CS, it was very risky as i did not prepare well but i passed it!! then after coming back i did the step 2 and again 99/259 thank God!! and now i am preparing for step 1 from FA and i hope for the best, so there is no obvious rule!!!
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  #19  
Old 09-12-2011
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Please tell me some one, Is it better to take step 1 before clinical rotation starting or after or in 3rd year.
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  #20  
Old 09-06-2012
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I don't even know why there is a discussion for this
all steps should be taken in the order step 1, step 2 ck, then step 2 cs
thats how amgs take it
it shouldnt be different for imgs
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  #21  
Old 05-21-2013
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Default To each his own

I feel that it comes down to your own comfort level. A friend of mine took CS first, another took CK first
It all comes down to your own personal choice and the ECFMG also mentions it in their booklet that any step can be taken in any order
So at the end of the day It depends on what you want to do and not what every body else is doing (though common sense dictates that it is safe to follow the majority)
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Old 10-01-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noone_123i View Post
Hi all,

I want to know in your opinion, is it better to first CS or CK??? And please do explain why???

Also, please do share with me what you did (take CS or CK first) and what were pros and cons for your choice.

Thanks
I think it is ideal, to take first the CK and then the CS, you are going to review many things needed for the CS in Yeh CK and you will feel more confident. But in real life the way I did it is, first CS, and then CK, for practical reasons, of the time to take to schedule a CS. (Other way I would've have to wait another year for the match )

I hope it was helpful, GL
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2013
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Default Both Step 1 and Step 2 complement each other

I think they complement each other, whether taking step 1 or step 2, first both ways you'll find the other is of much benefit. Taking step 2 first makes you aware of the clinical presentations making the clinical scenarios in step 1 a piece of cake. Taking step 1 first might ease your quest in tackling drugs esp. with the brilliance of raymond's pharmacology.
At the end of the day, it is all down your individual background knowledge you earned throughout your years in medicine. So never be discouraged to take whatever step you want first if you felt confident about it.
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  #24  
Old 01-19-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drothman2010 View Post
When i came to make that decision two things made the decision much easier. One, we've been doing clinical rotation for 3 years so its definitely easier to review your clinical information and do the step 2 instead of going to the basics, which we've ignored and forgot most in those 3 years Right?. and two, Step 1 weighs way more into your application than step 2 sooooo if you happen unfortunately make a mistake on a step preparation or test day and THEN learn from it, its MUCH better for the latter to be step 2 So you could ACE step1 and improve your chances. Agree?

i totally agree with you Drothman, that is the exact reason why i prefer to start with step2 CK. and to add the third reason (for me at least), CK is easier to prepare for, so i guess when am all done with it, it will be a good push for me to go through the pain of preparing for step 1
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  #25  
Old 09-18-2014
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The most appropriate sequence of taking USMLE, first you need to be eligible. After that you need take Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS in any series.
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