8 week study plan advice adjustment? 43% average on usmle world ck. Are the Kaplan videos possible in that time and worth it? - USMLE Forums
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  #1  
Old 04-11-2016
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Default 8 week study plan advice adjustment? 43% average on usmle world ck. Are the Kaplan videos possible in that time and worth it?

Hi guys and gals, I need your help for a solid plan of advice on how to move on with my CK prep for the next 8 weeks. I took step 1 4 years ago with a 198 and have graduated school over 2.5 years ago. I registered for the Apr-May-June block and so the plan is to take it in the end of June.

I wasn't sure if I was going to do medicine again because of my low step 1 score and so I stopped doing anything related to it for quite some time now.

My interest came back the other month to finish what I started and I am going to try and clear these last 2 usmle exams and at least get ecfmg certified and then see from there.

I started usmle world last month in random tutor and am almost finished with a total score of 44% (~200 questions remaining). I took nbme 6 online and got a 174. I am really far away from even passing!

So far, I haven't used any other study resource books but I think I need something because I'm not sure if I can pick up from just usmle world ck questions by itself.

How is the kaplan classroom videos for ck? Is it possible to watch all of the kaplan ck videos? Are there any pros and cons to the ck videos? I know there's some other video courses there but I was looking for something comprehensive and complete if I was doing a course. Some of the review courses there expect you are fresh in school but I am completely out of the loop.

Should I try some books instead or spend that time doing other questions from somewhere else besides usmle world ck?

Also, I noticed while doing usmle world for ck, there was so much Step 1 that I completely forgot. Do you think I should buy usmle world for step 1 and do that side by side in subject mode with usmle world ck?


Sorry, just been away from this for so long and I don't think usmle world ck by itself is helping me reach a higher than pass score for ck.

Thanks for your help and understanding. I lost a lot of support from people around me over the years.
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Old 04-11-2016
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Hey there, hope you are doing? The Kaplan videos of step 2 ck would cover the clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment portions of most diseases. So it's quite good. As in relation to the step 1 related material, the step 2 ck Kaplan videos definitely won't cover the the basic science (i.e. pathophysiology) portion of a disease which is around 20% of the exam. To be honest if you only have 8 weeks, stick to MTB2 & MTB3 along with uworld explanations since the material is massive.
See videos are very good in making you understand quickly but at the same time there is no point if you do not memorize the diagnosis, investigation and management portions of most diseases. Videos consume up a lot of time, meanwhile UWorld is filled with a lot of information.
My advice is start your day by covering a section on MTB then cover it in UWorld, make your notes. Revise them before you go to bed, revise them next day morning when you wake up.
Finally if you have spare time at the end of the night check the videos of the relevant section you read on VLC (x1.5 - 2 speed, on the speed that you can comprehend and understand every word).
Best of luck and cheers
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2016
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Thanks for your opinions! One concern which you brought in was quantity vs quality and not spending timed emphasis over usmle world which in of itself I noticed being very time consuming. My performance scores were well below even 50% on my first round of usmle world and I think it had to do with a lot of breaks from the basics or just remembering disease and management presentations. There were many times, just where not knowing the disease diagnosis. I was hoping that the kaplan videos would cover that part but I guess you said they don't go over it much.

The kaplan videos are over 200 hours and factoring even a fast speed might run me into trouble of not finishing it. I'd rather feel comfortable doing something in its entirety rather than picking parts of something and so I'm open to suggestions.

I will try and see about the MTB books at the store. Would the Kaplan lecture notes be better than the MTB books for more basics? Or is that too long to do in 8 weeks? 1 round of usmle world almost took me a month to finish just on its own.
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No dont get me wrong, the videos cover the clinical presentations quite well in fact conrad makes it stick in your brain. I was referring to the pathophysiology, if you want that UWorld has you covered ( in addition to the clinical presentation). For instance let's say ARDS:
They present with tachypnea, tachycardia, bibasilar crackles thus it is aka non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema; meaning there is water accumulation in the alveoli, why does it happen? Because it is non-cardiogenic, it isnt due to the back pressure from heart failure (so the Pulmonary Capillary Wedge Pressure < 18). Then why does it happen? It is due to damage to the alveoli making its capillaries leak in water into the alveoli not allowing oxygen to enter.
These patients do not respond to oxygen, and they need PEEP with low tidal volume.Why positive end expiratory pressure? To keep the alveoli from collapsing during expiration (since the surfactant isnt working well anymore). Why use low tidal volume? To avoid the complication of PEEP which is iatrogenic pneumothorax by pushing air into the pleural space.
Believe it or not I've learnt all that from solving ONE question and reading its explanatiom in UWorld 4 years ago. I am not a smart person but UWorld covers most of the topics and it makes it stick. Step 2 suffers from something step 1 doesnt, it is that it doesnt have a complete resource like first aid. UWorld is the most complete you can get, but study it thoroughly and forget about getting questions wrong. It is about gaining knowledge and applying to clinical scenarios.
Kaplan lecture notes accompanied by the videos are a better option than MTB2 & 3, but your main problem is that you are constraining yourself to 8 weeks which is a bit tight tbh.
Sorry about the ARDS rambling, I just wanted to prove a point of how useful Uworld. Best of luck to you. If you need any help in anything pm me I'd be glad to help
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Old 04-12-2016
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Thanks for the ARDS lesson bonetoke! I never saw it the way you did. Did you refer to other things while studying and did you end up watching all the videos, MTB books and lecture notes?

I saw some explanations like you were talking about in usmle world ck but not too many where it expected you to know those. Maybe the problem was I did everything disorganzied and random.

I know for step 1 I did the wrong thing of using too many things and then not spending enough time on usmle world step 1. I regret that a lot and remember only completing 75% of the questions then.

So my fear is that the basics are still going to haunt me. I know there were pathophysiology specific questions in step 1 and would not mind subscribing again to do those but just worried if I am going too off course.

I had the crazy idea of signing up to all of usmle world step 1-2-3 and do it all by system and subject but I don't know what that will do.
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Old 04-12-2016
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Lol you are in panic mode my friend, dont waste your money on more than whats enough. I totally understand where you are coming from about using too much resources and not completing uworld. Okay let me tell you something, completing uworld isnt the magic nor is what resource you used. See most of the people (including me) who are start preparing for the boards go way too over'board' (haha i like the idea of board and overboard, anyways) with searching using every resource they can get their hands onto. The main thing about this exam is that you will enter the prometric center for 8 hours with your brain not your resources. So it isnt what resource you use, its how you use it. Dont scatter yourself thin, know what you need to know and focus on it. I believe there are two ready made uworld notes for step 2 ck done by an indian girl and a pakistani guy. They are complete, look for them over the internet download them. Start doing around 50 questions a day, look up the notes and kaplan notes; understand and most importantly Memorize; I promise you you will slay this monster. As for the pathophys of step 1 some of the explanations are straight out taken from step 2 ck. Dont underestimate uworld for step 2, it is a 2200 question bank and going thru it once properly will take u at least a month and a half
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Old 04-12-2016
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Thanks for helping me reduce some of my anxiety! I do appreciate the time you took in doing that and maybe it will help others in a similar situation in the future.

I went to the bookstore to check out the MTB series but didn't get them. It looks pretty empty with a lot of topics I saw from usmle world ck and I'm not sure if I can directly learn from these. Meaning, I don't think I would have been able to answer a lot of those questions after remembering some questions I got wrong.

Do you think the kaplan lecture notes add more depth? I don't think 8 weeks will allow me to get through the videos + notes but wonder if I can divide the total pages of the notes just to read on the side each week. I haven't previewed the lecture notes to really know what's in there yet but am in the process of getting some from ebay that can arrive in a few days to me.

I read from another post here that somebody mentioned they also used usmle world for step 3. Maybe that's a better option than doing usmle step 1 like I was mistakenly considering.
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Old 04-15-2016
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Any other suggestions to note that will be helpful? I am still wondering about the kaplan lecture notes and if it is better to go through instead of MTB.
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Old 04-21-2016
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i disagree with a lot of the above.... the kaplan videos do NOT cover the clinical presentations well (just the bare minimum), and even if you learnt everything in those lectures, it wouldnt help you much on the exam. i liked the surgery and ob/gyn lectures, but even those barely bring you to a passing level. nevermind mtb, that book wont help you whatsoever.

i think 8 weeks is too little to bring you up from a 44% uworld average to doing well on the test. especially if you're not sure where to start. did you do the uworld self-assessment exam? if so, did it identify any weak areas?
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Old 04-21-2016
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I tried the Kaplan lectures and I didn't find them to be any different than the MTB book. At times it felt that they were just reading stuff straight out from the book.

To be honest I think UW will help you WAAAAAY more than MTB and you should focus on that, but if you're a visual learner and seeing videos is the ONLY thing that helps try that but beware because, for me, MTB is a mere superficial look on things UW can potentially teach you.
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  #11  
Old 04-21-2016
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Happy to get some replies here! Thank you for caring to help

I finished the remainder of 200 usmle world questions 4 days ago with a final no change, 44% overall.

I took the paid self-assessment the day after and scored a 192.

Everything is on the left and low side with internal medicine in the low-middle. Almost like my overall usmle world 44% final score graphs. It also looked like my old USMLE Step 1 result sheet with everything in the left and nothing to the middle-high. Low performance across every item.

I'm not a very visual and audio learner but forced myself because it seemed like everyone was doing that for Step 1. For Step 1 I spent so many months watching DIT and Kaplan for Step 1, and was shocked on when I went in on the Step 1 exam day and saw how the questions were. Nothing from watching the videos helped me in actually answering questions on Step 1 and really regretted not ever finishing 100% of usmle world for Step 1. I only did about 75% of usmle world Step 1 then. That last week, all I was doing was reading First Aid which marginally helped and maybe, more than anything, just made me feel safe on seeing things in print.

I am still very open to changing anything from what you suggest. Do you think it might be a good idea to buy usmle world for step 1 or step 3 or do both while doing usmle world step 2?
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Old 04-21-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmerc View Post
Happy to get some replies here! Thank you for caring to help

I finished the remainder of 200 usmle world questions 4 days ago with a final no change, 44% overall.

I took the paid self-assessment the day after and scored a 192.

Everything is on the left and low side with internal medicine in the low-middle. Almost like my overall usmle world 44% final score graphs. It also looked like my old USMLE Step 1 result sheet with everything in the left and nothing to the middle-high. Low performance across every item.

I'm not a very visual and audio learner but forced myself because it seemed like everyone was doing that for Step 1. For Step 1 I spent so many months watching DIT and Kaplan for Step 1, and was shocked on when I went in on the Step 1 exam day and saw how the questions were. Nothing from watching the videos helped me in actually answering questions on Step 1 and really regretted not ever finishing 100% of usmle world for Step 1. I only did about 75% of usmle world Step 1 then. That last week, all I was doing was reading First Aid which marginally helped and maybe, more than anything, just made me feel safe on seeing things in print.

I am still very open to changing anything from what you suggest. Do you think it might be a good idea to buy usmle world for step 1 or step 3 or do both while doing usmle world step 2?
doing all the usmle world qbanks is definitely better than watching kaplan videos and reading mtb. but it would be a lot of work though, and probably a painful experience. also, i've never heard of anyone attempting that... so i dont know how successful it would be. but if i was in your position and decided to take the exam... i think i would do the same. the step 3 qbank is great for step 2ck, and the step 1 qbank would probably help too. and dont forget the subject review, which can get you some easy points.

whatever you decide, do not to push yourself too hard... its just an exam after all. good luck, and i hope it goes well.
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Old 04-21-2016
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Thanks for the help here!

I know it's just an exam but one of my last dangling lifeline to show some improvement over step 1. I know I will be cut from so many residencies just because of that.

Instead of usmle world step 1, would substituting Qmax USMLERX from First Aid for ck + usmle world step ck + usmle world step 3 + usmle world subject review be more relevant to stay on topics for CK?

I'm asking because I was searching this evening to see if anyone ever did it and found some forum topics saying we shouldn't be using step 1 material and stick with more clinical resources. Then, I read somewhere else that usmle world uses a lot of the same information for all of their usmle packages and may be easier to see it in different ways but in their writing style. This is crazy and painful to think about like you said but I would do it if that really is the best way.
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Old 04-22-2016
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that sounds very reasonable. i dont remember there being too many step 1 questions on step 2ck... and those qbanks might cover a good portion of them anyway.
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Old 04-23-2016
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Ok thank you very much.

I am been doing usmle world ck again but will include all the others now except for usmle world step 1.
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Old 05-15-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruno View Post
that sounds very reasonable. i dont remember there being too many step 1 questions on step 2ck... and those qbanks might cover a good portion of them anyway.
Kruno, I hope you are well!

I'm almost finished with doing usmle world ck again and doing the subject biostats review. My usmle world % only improved to 56% this time (from 44% before). I think there is some score inflation bias because I remembered a lot of the answers. I didn't buy USMLErX CK but went against the norm and purchased usmle world for step 1.

Buying usmle world step 1 a big mistake because it was very far off from how I was hoping to learn the basic diagnosis presentations for CK. There were a lot of charts and tables I noticed from the 132 questions from the usmle world step 1 I did but it was a nightmare to keep figuring out from the question or explanation, is this step 1 or 2ck info I need to know for 2ck. The step 1 explanation will talk about the diagnosis but you had to really ignore many other sentences and it was tough to pick the best parts and I was wasting more time in the day from that. I had to stop and went back to usmle world CK.

I'm still lacking in a variety of topics from interpreting what the diagnosis presentation is from the question stems.

About the usmle world Step 3 multiple choice questions, what are they really like? Somewhere I read this weekend, they said it will look like CK topics but there are fine differences in what is to be expected in management questions.

I don't know if that will help in being able to know what the disease diagnosis is from reading the question and learn those points through the explanation.

The other option is to buy USMLERX and do it by subject. The goal is to see more diseases presented in question format rather than from the books which I'm not using.

Something else I noticed was I think I should of done these questions by subject instead of random because it was not easy to remember other related diseases to compare and differ from over 500 questions back.
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Old 05-15-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmerc View Post
Kruno, I hope you are well!

I'm almost finished with doing usmle world ck again and doing the subject biostats review. My usmle world % only improved to 56% this time (from 44% before). I think there is some score inflation bias because I remembered a lot of the answers. I didn't buy USMLErX CK but went against the norm and purchased usmle world for step 1.

Buying usmle world step 1 a big mistake because it was very far off from how I was hoping to learn the basic diagnosis presentations for CK. There were a lot of charts and tables I noticed from the 132 questions from the usmle world step 1 I did but it was a nightmare to keep figuring out from the question or explanation, is this step 1 or 2ck info I need to know for 2ck. The step 1 explanation will talk about the diagnosis but you had to really ignore many other sentences and it was tough to pick the best parts and I was wasting more time in the day from that. I had to stop and went back to usmle world CK.

I'm still lacking in a variety of topics from interpreting what the diagnosis presentation is from the question stems.

About the usmle world Step 3 multiple choice questions, what are they really like? Somewhere I read this weekend, they said it will look like CK topics but there are fine differences in what is to be expected in management questions.

I don't know if that will help in being able to know what the disease diagnosis is from reading the question and learn those points through the explanation.

The other option is to buy USMLERX and do it by subject. The goal is to see more diseases presented in question format rather than from the books which I'm not using.

Something else I noticed was I think I should of done these questions by subject instead of random because it was not easy to remember other related diseases to compare and differ from over 500 questions back.

i wouldnt try to learn the manifestations of disease from uworld step 1... rather, that qbank could help you prepare for the basic science questions that can be asked in relation to disease. however, that may not be very time efficient.

for learning the presentations of diseases, uworld step 3 is definitely better than uworld step 1.... and it does so in a similar fashion to the step 2ck qbank. the uworld step 3 qbank does have more management questions, but it still has questions pertaining to investigations and diagnosis. overall, the two qbanks overlap quite a bit.


although i prefer uworld step 3 to usmlerx, you might be more comfortable with it usmelrx. the questions are easier, and its marketed for step 2ck.


doing questions in random is trickier and it helps you see where you're going wrong. you lose out on the direct comparison with another question, but i still think its a better option overall.
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Old 05-15-2016
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Kruno, thank you! You have all the answers! If I had unlimited time, I would have loved to use usmle world step 1. 1 full block of usmle world for ck takes me almost 4 hours to complete, sometimes 3.5hrs. Half the time I was reading other things on basic step 1, I couldn't get out of my mind, I should be doing step 2ck things.

My last silly question of insanity, but would something like doctors in training for step 2 be good to review the basic science facts on the manifestations of disease? On their website, they have 12-15-18-20-26 day full study schedule that seems like a structured plan that goes by systems with quizzes from earlier topics. Have you heard anyone who did that for those reasons for step 2ck?
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Old 05-15-2016
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i dont have any experience with doctors in training.... maybe someone else can help you there. when is your exam?

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Old 05-15-2016
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I am scheduled for July 8th, 2016! ~45-50 more days with any days lost factored plus 1 or 2 days of no study before.

I don't know about doctors in training though but it's the last crazy thing I could think of that we didn't talk about . I used parts of the course for Step 1 and it wasted a lot of time but I didn't use it entirely to know if it would have made a difference.

I keep reading that everything besides usmle world is a distraction and might get stuck in a same cycle of not focusing on questions. You all are saying the same things too. Writing here just helps me think out loud of getting a wake up call and slap in the face to stay on track.
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Old 05-15-2016
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yea, i agree... most of those courses are more of a distraction than they are helpful. with the amount of time you have left, its probably best to stick to qbanks.
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Old 05-25-2016
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Search Searching for uworld notes for step 2 ck

I can't find these uworld notes for step 2 ck can anyone please help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonetoke View Post
Lol you are in panic mode my friend, dont waste your money on more than whats enough. I totally understand where you are coming from about using too much resources and not completing uworld. Okay let me tell you something, completing uworld isnt the magic nor is what resource you used. See most of the people (including me) who are start preparing for the boards go way too over'board' (haha i like the idea of board and overboard, anyways) with searching using every resource they can get their hands onto. The main thing about this exam is that you will enter the prometric center for 8 hours with your brain not your resources. So it isnt what resource you use, its how you use it. Dont scatter yourself thin, know what you need to know and focus on it. I believe there are two ready made uworld notes for step 2 ck done by an indian girl and a pakistani guy. They are complete, look for them over the internet download them. Start doing around 50 questions a day, look up the notes and kaplan notes; understand and most importantly Memorize; I promise you you will slay this monster. As for the pathophys of step 1 some of the explanations are straight out taken from step 2 ck. Dont underestimate uworld for step 2, it is a 2200 question bank and going thru it once properly will take u at least a month and a half
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