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  #1  
Old 02-11-2012
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Hungary Hungarian Med Student Step 2 CK Experience

Hello!

I'm a Hungarian med student. Took my step 1 in September and I just did my second round of USMLE fun yesterday with the step 2 CK!

Overall impression - honestly, it's not that bad. Some people say the stems are all horribly long and that the drug ads are all terrible but overall the test was similar to the Kaplan and Uworld question banks in terms of question length, in terms of difficulty, I'd say it was also pretty similar, I felt like there were very very few completely questions out there.

My prep: I did step 1 in September, had 14 weeks of study for that, so I felt like it was pretty fresh, then I had all clinical courses this past semester at school and all of last year so I did have some preparation in terms of clinical knowledge. BUT - this is US clinical knowledge and not Hungarian. Prep for this was a little longer because I had less time during the school semester - it came out to 3 and 3/4 months.

I did the new Kaplan CK lecture notes and I watched ALL the videos for it.
Conrad Fischer is great. I had to have a lot of patience with him, because his lectures are long and my attention span is not, but he really helped make all of internal med, neuro, radio, and derm really clear. I loved the surgery guy, he has such a good sense of humor and I really liked how he presented all the surgery cases. I also really enjoyed Dr. Sakala for obgyn - even though obstetrics and gynecology was scary for me because it was a new subject, just started this semester, i thought he gave really thorough explanations, the notes were well written, and you could feel how much he loved what he does, and it was inspiring. I loved the kaplan videos - and the best thing is to be able to study with all these amazing lecturers on your schedule. I did this part in 10 weeks - i had to go to school and as we all know, sometimes school itself gets in the way of learning.

For the second part of exam prep, I also used Conrad Fischer's MTB ck book, i thought it was a great condensation of the stuff he lectured about in the videos, in a really clear format and I liked the questions in it and the pictures. I read that book twice cover to cover. The other review book I used was Step Up 2, I liked the charts and tables in it. I read it once all the way through, and marked the things in it that I thought were not as well covered in MTB 2 and the things I was weaker in, and covered that in the days before the test.

I also used Conrad Fischer's flashcards - I divided the deck into four, so most nights before sleeping i did them too, and the day before the exam i did the deck twice.

Qbanks: I did Kaplan CK Qbank first, half by subject, half mixed and random.
When I first started it, my dog would probably have received similar scores. The hardest thing is not that I didn't know what to do, but prioritizing. The tough part is knowing why certain things need to be done first, what serious/deadly/bad stuff needs to be excluded, differential diagnosis, and all those algorithms for what to do. you gotta practice! I started out that question bank with around 40%, by the end i was in the mid to upper 60s, but i finished it with 63%. my sucky averages in the beginning brought it down, but it was really motivating to study.

After finishing Kaplan, I did Uworld. Generally the pace was 3-4 blocks a day, reviewing it and doing a section in either mtb or step up2, and going over the tests. I started out that bank with 68, by the time i finished i was at 74.

then, i went back and reviewed every question in uworld over one week, while reading mtb on the sections i was weaker on. wrote out everything important into a notebook because it has more room than review books.

test day - less scary than step 1, because at least i knew the test center and how all the check in and everything works. small things like that can help ease anxiety.

i took breaks after the first block, then did two blocks, break, two blocks, break, two blocks, break, and then the last block. I had time after each block - at least 15 minutes, so i had time to go back and think about the ones I marked. Actually, what i did was if i wasn't sure of the answer right away, i just marked it and skipped it, and then came back and thought about it. sometimes answering easier questions you know kind of warms up your brain and then you can think about the harder questions better.

soooo......wear comfy clothes on test day, layer (so you can adjust to whatever temperature on the test site) DONT wear cargo pants or something with tons of pockets, because they ask you to show your empty pockets every time you come back from break, do you really want to spend break time showing that you do in fact have NOTHING in all those pockets

bring food that won't cause GI distress. hydrate, eat (but you won't really feel like eating a ton anyway) and be nice to all the other people at the test center, they are all nervous too.

during test prep, take care of yourself - sleep, eat quality food (we really should know this by the time we're step 2 candidates!!) get some exercise, be nice to the people in your life.

Remember not to blow it out of perspective, this is another test you've got to pass on the way to make your life what you want it to be. It's a test - it doesn't determine your value as a human being!!!

study well! and i'll let y'all know how i did, scores are out in 3 to 4 weeks.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2012
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great man. thanks for sharing ur experience.,,. wish u to get high scores. my exam in 3 days.. how abt obgyn qstns. they tested in uw/ kaplan concepts , or new?? how abt biostats other then drug adds..??
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Old 02-11-2012
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Biostats were the same kinds of things as in step 1. not a bad idea to go back to your step 1 biostats notes and review the formulas, and know how to make that 2 by 2 table.

Drug ads: really similar to uworld. hazard ratios are good to know. its a drug ad but testing biostats concepts.

obgyn: kaplan/uworld concepts are enough. also the preventive medicine is good to know. i think kaplan lecture notes were good, plus practicing on the qbanks is enough!

good luck on your exam
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Old 02-11-2012
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Thankyou for sharing your experience. Goodluck.
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Old 02-12-2012
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hi thanx for sharing ur experience. looks like a well thot out plan
im abt to start my ck prerp.still gathring books n charting out a plan..
can u plz tell me..
1, how much time did u spend on kaplan qbank? how many blocks/day? did u do it online? 1 month subscription is enough?? did u review ur wrong questions in kaplan qbank?

2, how much time did u spend on UW? again u said u revwd the whole qbank again in a week. u shud be superhuman to do that! lol.

3. wat was ur avg study hrz evryday? from beginning of prep to end?

i have around 4 months to giv the exm. n i want to makesure im able to do evrything thoroly!
i hope u can help
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Old 02-12-2012
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@shyangel18 -

i did kaplan's qbank in 3 months, in the begninning i did a block every few days or so, in the last three weeks i did three blocks a day, going over wrong questions.

uworld - 4 blocks a day, took me about 13 days to get through it. then reviewed around 6-10 old tests in a day, wrote out stuff that i wasnt super secure about.

both qbanks i did online, i think its more worth it than offline.

the first 2.5 months, i had 3-6 hours a day during the week, and the full two days over the weekend. mylast 6 weeks i did 10 hours a day about.

4 months is a good amount of prep time i think. good luck!
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  #7  
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thanx a lot for ur input!
one more question, the conrad fischer flashcards u r talking abt, are those the physical findings one, or the most likely diagnosis one?
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Old 02-13-2012
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What are the most important (real deal/most do) question banks that must be done for both step 1 and step 2 ck?
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Old 02-13-2012
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congrats on being done with this exam and thanks for sharing your prepn and exam experiences.
plz write a review about kaplan and UW qbanks, which one is the best.
did you find any benefits doing kaplan qbank before UW, because most people recommend only UW qbank. plz share.
good luck for your scores.
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Old 02-14-2012
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thanks for sharing your experience! you did great,congrats

i will be starting with step 2 ck preparation.

plan on doing MTB + Kaplan books+ UW.is this sufficient?

am just done with step 1 so still in planning stage

if you have MTB link can you PM me link. it will be very helpful.
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Old 02-14-2012
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@shyangel 18 - they were the most likely diagnosis cards.

@drzamzam - definitely uworld and kaplan, uw. if you can only do one, for both ck and step 1!

@mlenailer - i did kaplan first, because uworld is more similar to the real deal, so it makes sense to do the one that's closer to the exam last. Plus, the point of the qbanks is to learn from your mistakes, and the more quality unique questions you have, the more opportunities to make those mistakes on practice questions, fix them, and try to (hopefully) not make those errors on test day. plus the more questions, the more endurance you develop!

@doxorubicin - your plan looks great. kaplan lecture notes are pretty much complete, and having a shorter review book is good for your final review phase. if you have time for two qbanks, go for it, but if not, then just uworld is enough. i actually bought a copy of mtb online, because i like to have a hard copy to annotate, so im sorry but i don't have any links to share.

hope this helps! good luck in your studies!
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