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USMLE Step 2 CK Forum USMLE Step 2 CK Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 2 CK exam


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  #1  
Old 10-22-2014
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Default My step 2 CK experience

After being an avid follower of step 2 ck forums and having taken advice from previous test takers, i decided its my turn to share my bit

Background: IMG , 5 yrs post clerkship. Practicing currently fulltime.
Study period: 3 months
Study time: 5 hours a day


Preparation

After scouting through previous exam takers experience, I formulated my study plan based on how much time i could give to studying. I was giving Step 2 CK before Step 1, which many didnt recommend.
After finishing my Step 2CK now, I feel its not vital to give Step 1 before Step 2...But then again I dont know whether i could have got better scores otherwise


Resources

MTB-2 - Medicine mainly. Brushed through other subjects

MTB-3- All subjects

USMLE World- Everyone recommends it, and yes I felt it was vital too- to understand how to approach questions. After one complete round, I did a second round of wrong questions and subjects I felt i was weak at. Problem with the second round was I knew what answers to mark just by looking at the question, so didnt think it helped solving questions, but I did go through the explanations and tables again which was helpful. While reading answers i highlighted some important points, which i wished remained highlighted when reading it the second time. Sadly however the highlighted areas disappeared and it was reading it all over again completely (I dont know if there was some setting on Uworld which could save these highlights, I did miss that)


USMLE Secrets: Biostats section was good

Kaplan: I scouted through OB/GY and Pediatrics as i felt MTB was an inadequate resource for these subjects

Since everyone was saying that there are a lot of Step 1 concepts in Step 2 CK exam, I was a bit anxious and I went through First Aid for Step 1 just to refresh my memory, so that i didn't miss out on simple questions

Assessment Scores

UWSA - Scored 265 (1 week before exam)

Fred- 91 % (1.5 week before)


Exam day experience

I had read about stressful exam day experiences from previous posts. My game plan was to have a nice quite sleep and being fresh for the exams- after all its a long 9 hours exam and u need to pull out from your brain all the information you are bombarding it since the last few months.
Slept 9 hours like a baby.
I had mentally visualised how i was going face the exams (like how athletes see themselves running the race before the race) and that did reduce the anxiety

Picked up chocolates, cookies, sandwiches, almonds, cashews, water and a caffeinated energy drink

In the first block, I was a bit anxious, seeing a whole lot of different questions than the ones I was used to. I also had 3 questions of Drug ads in the first set itself and that just made it a forgettable block

After that each block had a wide range of questions, didnt have any drug ads after that, but continued having biostatistics questions (10-12 in total over 8 blocks). Wasnt really happy solving them as i am bad in it, probably got most of them wrong

Now the main questions that everyones asking , has Step 2 ck exam become a lot tougher? Are UWorld, MTB sufficient?

What i felt was the options on the actual exam were very vague, and not as definite as we have on UWorld were we can rule out between options and reach a conclusion. There is absolutely no time to think, just read, mark on your first impulse and move ahead. If you feel a strong second impulse, mark the question for review (after marking your first impusle) and try if you can review later. In all sets i barely finished 3 minutes before closing for a second round, so time is a big issue

Are the questions similar to UWorld?
I ll say the formatting of majority of questions and concepts tested are relatively the same, just the options are very vague and Uworld should look into it.
Then again I did see some similar vague questions in Uworld bank which i found had explanations which were not convincing enough as they were very vague. So solving such a question bank with vague options and unconvincing answers would actually hamper your confidence about facing the exam

Are UWorld and MTB enough?

There were many questions (15- 20%) that covered topics that werent covered in Uworld or MTB. It would require some dedicated studying of subject specific books to get through these questions, which was simply not an option for me as I was short on time. Then again based on my experience just reading UWorld and MTB should get you a decent score despite the changes in the question pattern. If you want the higher scores you will have to do more dedicated subjectwise studying

Though MTB covers most topics with 1st line treatment for each condition, i had questions from topics which were briefly mentioned as a passing reference in Kaplan (not even covered it MTB) and they asked first line treatment for such conditions
Nothing much you can do about such questions except more dedicated subjectwise studying which i feel is not practical if you have less study time

I came across a few questions where buzzwords were actually trying to misguide you. You start reading a question,u get the first buzzword and u r like they are talking about this conditon, then u get another buzzword and u r diverted again to another condition- I feel its brilliant how they think and setup these questions--watch out for them

They were a few opinion based questions interspered. I hoped those were the non scored research questions and let it fly )

For long questions, I read and highlighted the first line of the question and then highlighted the last line of the question. That helped me get a perspective on what i was looking for in the midquestion storyline
Doesnt work for short questions though

I had my caffeinated energy drink after the 6th block to avoid the risk of diuresis breaks and to get the push to finish the marathon i started 7 hours ago

After the exam, I was just not sure whether I would pass or fail, Its how vague you feel about it. Forgot all about the exam and concentrated on work.

Result emotions
In the end I was not very happy with my final score, considering i had got better UWSA scores, But i am pleasantly satisfied


Final Score- 250


Best of luck for all future aspirants :-)
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2014
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Congratulations dear and thank you for such a detailed experience.
I just wanna ask whether you found the vagueness of questions and answers in the same fashion as are those structured in FRED software...?? how did you do the Drug ads?? You read them full and were able to answer it or hit it blank.?
Moreover, how did you find ECGs and and imaging?? And which NBME you found more closer to exam...??

Congrtz again..
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2014
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Thank you :-)

The questions in the actual exam were different from the FRED questions which have relatively straight options. Didnt have much time for Drug ads, kept it for the end and barely could read it completely, just about marked it. Lucky to have it in only one block

The ECGs and imaging were relatively simple. I do recommend "The only ekg book you'll ever need" for people who are bad at ECGs. It made it much simpler. I didnt do any NBME so cant comment on it.
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2014
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How many reads u gave to mdb 2 3 before uwsa??
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2014
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Congratulations! May i ask how was your preparation after you did UWSA ie. 1 week before the test? Coz i too got a high score on UWSA and i dont want to feel overconfident or anythg and i have just a few more days till my exam day. Thank you!
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2014
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I finished atleast 2 readings of MTB 2 and 3 before UWSA and one after


Ya after the UWSA, i think i became a bit overconfident and didnt read much in the last week (actually read the least in the last week). But after giving the exam i dont think i could have done any better by revising the same stuff. It probably needs a bit more detailed subjectwise approach.
But my advice is to keep going hard in the last week as reading the usual books again and again might help you remember some vague detail more clearly in the exam. Best of luck for your exam :-)
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2014
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thank you! a great advice indeed. i shall work hard till the endddddd
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2014
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Thanks for your post. made me feel alot better. I am about to take my UWSA. I have done UW 1.5 times (did the incorrect ones again) MTBs X 2. Everyone's been scaring the hell out of me as all the exam experience posts been telling that UW+MTBs are not enough. I really want to take the exam soon. I plan to revise UW one more time after my UWSA. Just want a decent assesment score to keep me going!!
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2014
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Hi!! Congrats on a great score! I'm also an img studying for step 2 ck!! I've still a couple of months ahead, but my actual problem is, while doing kaplan qbank I'm really out of time!! I'm short of at least 10 min. I'm really concerned, do you have any tips on how to get the tests faster, without compromising the quality!!
Thanks ahead!!
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2014
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i just started my prep.. done with first 3 chapters of mtb.. reading mtb 3 along with..keeping mtb 2 main acc to what i read on forums... but so far,mtb 3 is so better than 2,in terms of being striaght forward and more topics than mtb 2... i m tired of noting down everythng into mtb 2... will it change in next chapters? everyone says im is better in mtb 2... if someone can throw some light on it,,i will b really thankful
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2014
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congratulations on your score...good luck
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