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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 02-17-2016
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Default My Step 2 CK experience, hope to cheer your guys up!

Hi guys,

I got the result yesterday. Thank god! It was 256. I benefited a lot from this forum while preparing for Step 1 and Step 2 CK. I hope my experience can be helpful to you.

Preparation
I watched Kaplan Video twice. (I didn't read the books because they are too thick!)
Then I did Kaplan Qbank with an average of 61% (the mean for that Qbank was 58%).
I was a bit disappointed so I read the explanations of Kaplan Qbank carefully twice (literally words to words). I learned a lot from that.
I started doing U World Qbank 2 months before the exam. I only did it once (random, timed), my average was 78%. Again, I read the explanations carefully once, wiki or uptodate the stuffs I am not familiar with, and reviewed my markings three times.
My Fred 150 was about 88% (one month before the exam)
I only tried the NBME 4 questions offline (two weeks before). My score was probably 235-240 based on the answers in the forum.

I activated UWSA, but I was too nervous to do it.
I scanned through MTB 2 and MTB3 during the last week, which I was surprised to find there are stuffs that are not covered in U World Qbank or Kaplan Qbank. You don't need to read everything, I guess only those "questions and answers" in these books are useful for the exam.

My feeling is that U world is the most useful resource. U world + MTB 2 and MTB 3 will get you above 250 if you can master 90% of the knowledge. Do Kaplan Qbank if you are shooting for 260 or higher.

Exam experience
I have read tons of posts where people complained about how ridiculously difficult the exam was. So I was totally stressed out before the exam. However, the real thing turned out to be quite doable, at least for me. Yes, the stems may be a bit longer than U world, but not significantly. Besides, there are stems that are very short. So overall, you should not have time management issue due to "long stems". I guess the key is to be very disciplined. Don't dwell on questions that you are unsure about, pick whatever you instinct says and move on.

There will be questions (10-15% for me) that test knowledge that you have never prepared for. However, remember that the USMLE is not going to trick you. Don't over think, just choose the answer that sounds best to you.

Another important point is that almost everyone will make silly mistakes during that exam, believe me! I knew that I got at least 5 questions wrong in previous blocks before I finished the exam! Don't worry, just keep going! After the exam, several questions that I was unsure about haunted me for the next three weeks. I guess it is normal for people to concentrate on the questions they didn't do well and ignore the questions they kicked ass of. That's probably also why people felt a bit down after the exam. But just remember that you can still get 250+ even if you made several mistakes.

I took Step 1 four years back and got 246. I think it would be an advantage if you start prepare for the Step 2 CK right after Step 1 because there were at least 5 questions that tested mechanisms of disease using Step 1 knowledge which I was unsure about. However, you can still eliminate and guess based on the residual knowledge for Step 1 in your mind and what U World has taught you. So don't overemphasize the importance of Step 1, and I don't recommend you to review FA Step1 thoroughly because that would be low yield.

I hope my post can be helpful to you and cheer you up a bit!
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2016
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Nice! Congratulations.
Mind sharing how many months in total u spent and no of hours each day?
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durisetister View Post
Nice! Congratulations.
Mind sharing how many months in total u spent and no of hours each day?
Hello! I spent about 6 months watching the video with the caveat that I only do that over the weekend because I am doing my PhD work in the weekdays. So in total about 48 days with 5-6 hours a day on average. (You can watch the video at 2X or 3X the speed.) The importance of this step varies depends on how fresh your clinical knowledge is. I have been away from clinical for 4 years and forgotten 80% of what I learned in my clinical year. So I need to watch the video 2-3 times to have a fair understanding/memory of the materials.

Then I spent 2 months (everyday) with the Kaplan Qbank, average (4-5 hours a day). It is again, optional. I did it because I still felt my knowledge was shaky after watching the video. And it was after I did the Qbank for one round. That's why I go back and read the explanations carefully for 2 times.

Finally I spent 2 months with U World Qbank, average (4-5 hours a day) except the last week, which I prepared for the exam full time (10 hours a day). I actually found the last week very helpful because I managed to cram a lot of weird stuff into my short-term memory. So don't believe that you score is fixed at the last week. Work hard and it will pay off.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2016
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great score buddy. congratulations .
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2016
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Congratulations on your score . Can we skip reading Kaplans?? Also will Clinical mastery series help ?

My plan is to read MTB 2/3 and UW. Anything else you will suggest.

Thanks in advance
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2016
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Thanks for share
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by match 2015 View Post
Congratulations on your score . Can we skip reading Kaplans?? Also will Clinical mastery series help ?

My plan is to read MTB 2/3 and UW. Anything else you will suggest.

Thanks in advance
Hi there! I think the materials you plan to read are very high-yield and you should spend most of your time on those things. The other materials really depend on your knowledge base. Reading Kaplan helped me recap the stuff I learned in my clinical year, but if you understand/remember most of your clinical knowledge, you can do without Kaplan.

I think a good way to access/increase your knowledge base is to do some Qbanks. It can be any Qbank except the UW (I suggest doing it immediately before the exam). For me, I got 61% for Kaplan Qbank. Most of the questions I got wrong were factual questions, not reasoning ones and that suggest my knowledge base was shaky even after I watered the Kaplan videos. So I read the explanations in that Qbank twice before I started UW. And that helped. My UW score was 78% and I made much fewer mistakes on memorising type of questions.

Finally, make sure you master the knowledge in NBME (I only did 4 but I suppose the others are also worth doing) and Free 150 before the exam. Similar stuffs (the same knowledge point tested in a different way) will show up.

I haven't done clinical master series. But again, I think you do well not because you read more materials, but because you master the materials everyone uses slightly better than others because the score is based on your performance relative to other examiners who took the exam during the past three months.

Preparing for the exam is very tedious and tiring. But you will surely do well if you can critically digest the materials you read. Best of luck!
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2016
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would you say kaplan q bank was good? i have been reading alot of posts that say that it was pretty awful.. i want to do uw of course but i want to do a second q bank and iam having a hard time choosing one.
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ucheeee View Post
would you say kaplan q bank was good? i have been reading alot of posts that say that it was pretty awful.. i want to do uw of course but i want to do a second q bank and iam having a hard time choosing one.
Some say questions in Kaplan Qbank are odd, low-yield and repetitive. I think those comments distorts the picture. Yes, there are odd and low-yield questions, but not the majority and you can just ignore those things. Some questions are repetitive but the points tested again and again in the Kaplan Qbank tend to be high-yield points that you may also find in UW. And the repetition actually reinforced my memory.

Besides, the stem in Kaplan is longer than UW. If you are able to manage the time for K, UW and the real thing would not be an issue. Another plus for Kaplan was that the explanations are very clear.

A person who got 260 posted that Kaplan was similar to USMLE Rx in terms of quality and price. So I guess you can use either one.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okletsmoveout View Post
Some say questions in Kaplan Qbank are odd, low-yield and repetitive. I think those comments distorts the picture. Yes, there are odd and low-yield questions, but not the majority and you can just ignore those things. Some questions are repetitive but the points tested again and again in the Kaplan Qbank tend to be high-yield points that you may also find in UW. And the repetition actually reinforced my memory.

Besides, the stem in Kaplan is longer than UW. If you are able to manage the time for K, UW and the real thing would not be an issue. Another plus for Kaplan was that the explanations are very clear.

A person who got 260 posted that Kaplan was similar to USMLE Rx in terms of quality and price. So I guess you can use either one.
Thanksssss
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