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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013
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Smile Syncity (256) Experience

Hi Guys,

So I thought I'd do my bit and share my experience such that some of you may be able to benefit from it.

I'm a final year medical student at the moment, so taking this exam during my final year was a major undertaking and involves countless nights where I was up studying until 2-3 am in order to keep on top of both my course work and USMLE study.

- I started my study in September 2012 on returning to Final Year. I had completed a summer of electives in the US, during which I took Step 2 CS (found the exam pretty easy).

- I started my study with Master the Boards Step 2. I found this book very good and the material was memorable. After completing each section, I read the corresponding section in Secrets. This helped drill home some of the finer points.

- Realising that MTB wasn't sufficient for certain sections (Derm, Obs/ Gyn, Peds, Biostats), I used First Aid to cover these sections. While the Internal Medicine section in First Aid leaves a lot to be desired, I found these sections very good.

- I introduced UWorld early in my study. Scored around 80% my first time. I would add the caveat here that I did all blocks in Tutor and did them in sections (as opposed to random) in order to use it as a learning tool. I did not use UWorld to test myself - I saved this for UWSA and the NBMEs. I made very thorough notes from UWorld including both correct and incorrect answers in order to nail down the concepts.

- I used Kaplan videos sparingly and only in sections that I wasn't completely confident with. Supplemented some sections with Toronto Notes, but relied on the review books and UWorld for 95% of my study.

- After completing UWorld, I reset the QBank and went back over the whole thing. I supplemented this with MTB, FA and Secrets but my study comprised of 90% UWorld for the last 2 months (November, December).

- I found Kaplan QBank useless. I did maybe 70% of this and found that neither the question style nor the information was in any way reflective of the actual exam. If you're between doing a second QBank and doing UWorld a second time - go with UWorld.

- I took NBME 4 6 weeks before my exam (251), UWSA 5 weeks before my exam (260), NBME 2 3 weeks before my exam (235), NBME 3 3 weeks before my exam (240) and NBME 1 2 weeks before my exam (256). Scored 91% on the free USMLE.org questions 10 days before my exam.

- The exam was difficult and I felt like crap coming out. Thought I'd score somewhere in the 220s. The stems were long and the blocks were exhausting. I was thoroughly shattered after the exam.

Anyway, got my score of 256 just over 3 weeks later, so I'm absolutely thrilled. If you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2013
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Congrats.....I'm thrilled for you too..lol.
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2013
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So you did not use KLNs at all? Also, how did you go about annotating Uworld into MTB? Or did you take separate notes?
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Old 01-23-2013
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Congratulations........
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecadet View Post
So you did not use KLNs at all? Also, how did you go about annotating Uworld into MTB? Or did you take separate notes?
Thanks a lot guys!

I took separate notes. My notes were far too extensive to write into MTB. Furthermore, I think annotating results in a very messy book. If you wanted to write down maybe 1-2 lines of a concept beside the relevant section in the book, this would make sense - writing down the entire answer doesn't!

I didn't use the Kaplan books, but I will add that I'm a Final Year medical student so have only very recently covered the material. As a result, I didn't feel Kaplan was necessary for me. The sections I used were very good, so I would highly recommend the material if you are a few years removed from Med School.

EDIT: I did the great majority of the Obs Gyn videos from Kaplan - I found them absolutely brilliant! I think UWorld is all you need for Surgery. The Psych section in Kaplan is too extensive, unfocused and poor - stick with the review books and UWorld. I did the occasional IM video but found Conrad spent too long explaining basic concepts and I got pretty restless while doing them (I'm a very active studier, lol).
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2013
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Congratulations!! What a fabulous performance. One question, did you use MTB Step 3 for any subject in your prep?
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Old 01-23-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepIn View Post
Congratulations!! What a fabulous performance. One question, did you use MTB Step 3 for any subject in your prep?
Thanks.

I didn't - I think I'll purchase it now for my Step 3 prep. As I mentioned, I used FA for the sections MTB 2 was deficient in. I'm sure MTB 3 works equally as well.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2013
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Well done bro, knew you would kill it!!!
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Old 01-23-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefeatTheBeast View Post
Well done bro, knew you would kill it!!!
Thanks man!
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2013
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great work!!!
Congratulations !!!
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013
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congrats man..


Gave my exam yesterday.....felt horrible after i got done with my exam...exam was more like Uworld and UWSA.....NBME's are no way near to the real exam.....not gotta anxiously wait for the results.....
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Old 01-23-2013
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Congrats! Can you please post the list of topics that are missing in MTB2 and need to be covered from other books?
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Old 01-23-2013
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Congrats on awesome score
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2013
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Super score! Congratulations
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Old 01-24-2013
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Congratulations excellent score
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2013
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Great job man Congratulations! Best of luck anomali!
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomali View Post
congrats man..


Gave my exam yesterday.....felt horrible after i got done with my exam...exam was more like Uworld and UWSA.....NBME's are no way near to the real exam.....not gotta anxiously wait for the results.....
You will do awesome, trust me everyone I know left the exam thinking they did horrible and they all have done well!!! Just be happy u r done, celebrate being done and enjoy the fact that you are done with a huge milestone!!!
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Old 01-24-2013
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You will do awesome, trust me everyone I know left the exam thinking they did horrible and they all have done well!!! Just be happy u r done, celebrate being done and enjoy the fact that you are done with a huge milestone!!!

thanks for those encouraging words man...need them badly....yeah at least i crossed that bridge.....
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Old 01-26-2013
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Originally Posted by Usmle Maniac View Post
Congrats! Can you please post the list of topics that are missing in MTB2 and need to be covered from other books?
Derm: is definitely deficient. UWorld and FA covered me well for this.

Gyne: Virtually nonexistent in MTB, but is well covered in FA.

Biostats: Again, none whatsoever in MTB.

Surgery and EM: FA is where it's at.

Psych: MTB is sufficient, but FA has the edge.
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2013
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congrats for your score. If you have to co-relate your actual exam with any UWSA or NBME. With what you actually co-relate?
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Old 01-26-2013
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congrats man..


Gave my exam yesterday.....felt horrible after i got done with my exam...exam was more like Uworld and UWSA.....NBME's are no way near to the real exam.....not gotta anxiously wait for the results.....
Don't worry dude, You will get great score like step 1. Just enjoy the moment and ya leave us tips to prepare for exam efficiently.
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncity View Post
Derm: is definitely deficient. UWorld and FA covered me well for this.

Gyne: Virtually nonexistent in MTB, but is well covered in FA.

Biostats: Again, none whatsoever in MTB.

Surgery and EM: FA is where it's at.

Psych: MTB is sufficient, but FA has the edge.
congratulations on your score.......
so according to you----> mtb + uworld + first aid is enough for ck ,right..?

but many say f.a isnt necessary..so is it mandatory to do f.a..?

thanks
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Old 01-27-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venky2600 View Post
congratulations on your score.......
so according to you----> mtb + uworld + first aid is enough for ck ,right..?

but many say f.a isnt necessary..so is it mandatory to do f.a..?

thanks
It depends - some use MTB 3 to cover the sections that MTB 2 is deficient in. Others just use Kaplan. Considering I didn't use Kaplan books, I thought it was necessary to supplement MTB 2 with an additional source.

Again, its very much dependent on your individual situation.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncity View Post
Hi Guys,

So I thought I'd do my bit and share my experience such that some of you may be able to benefit from it.

I'm a final year medical student at the moment, so taking this exam during my final year was a major undertaking and involves countless nights where I was up studying until 2-3 am in order to keep on top of both my course work and USMLE study.

- I started my study in September 2012 on returning to Final Year. I had completed a summer of electives in the US, during which I took Step 2 CS (found the exam pretty easy).

- I started my study with Master the Boards Step 2. I found this book very good and the material was memorable. After completing each section, I read the corresponding section in Secrets. This helped drill home some of the finer points.

- Realising that MTB wasn't sufficient for certain sections (Derm, Obs/ Gyn, Peds, Biostats), I used First Aid to cover these sections. While the Internal Medicine section in First Aid leaves a lot to be desired, I found these sections very good.

- I introduced UWorld early in my study. Scored around 80% my first time. I would add the caveat here that I did all blocks in Tutor and did them in sections (as opposed to random) in order to use it as a learning tool. I did not use UWorld to test myself - I saved this for UWSA and the NBMEs. I made very thorough notes from UWorld including both correct and incorrect answers in order to nail down the concepts.

- I used Kaplan videos sparingly and only in sections that I wasn't completely confident with. Supplemented some sections with Toronto Notes, but relied on the review books and UWorld for 95% of my study.

- After completing UWorld, I reset the QBank and went back over the whole thing. I supplemented this with MTB, FA and Secrets but my study comprised of 90% UWorld for the last 2 months (November, December).

- I found Kaplan QBank useless. I did maybe 70% of this and found that neither the question style nor the information was in any way reflective of the actual exam. If you're between doing a second QBank and doing UWorld a second time - go with UWorld.

- I took NBME 4 6 weeks before my exam (251), UWSA 5 weeks before my exam (260), NBME 2 3 weeks before my exam (235), NBME 3 3 weeks before my exam (240) and NBME 1 2 weeks before my exam (256). Scored 91% on the free USMLE.org questions 10 days before my exam.

- The exam was difficult and I felt like crap coming out. Thought I'd score somewhere in the 220s. The stems were long and the blocks were exhausting. I was thoroughly shattered after the exam.

Anyway, got my score of 256 just over 3 weeks later, so I'm absolutely thrilled. If you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer.
I need to get hold ofMTB book and the Kaplan videos step2...can you help me.
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSusan View Post
I need to get hold ofMTB book and the Kaplan videos step2...can you help me.
Of course. Here you go:

www.amazon.com
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  #26  
Old 01-31-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncity View Post
Of course. Here you go:

www.amazon.com
Hey whats your take on USMLE secrets? do you recommend it?
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  #27  
Old 03-08-2013
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good strategy and amazing score!! congratss...

I scored 200 on step 1 and scored 240 on step 2 ck.....had to work my butt off..but got wut i wanted...Do you think this will help me to get in to internal medicine prgram or neurology program with some research in my resume ?

I appreciate ur help..
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  #28  
Old 03-08-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush1986 View Post
good strategy and amazing score!! congratss...

I scored 200 on step 1 and scored 240 on step 2 ck.....had to work my butt off..but got wut i wanted...Do you think this will help me to get in to internal medicine prgram or neurology program with some research in my resume ?

I appreciate ur help..
Congratulations - good score.

It definitely helps. There's a misperception that USMLE scores are the be-all and end-all when it comes to matching, which is completely false. Scores can rule you in or rule you out, but it's your entire application that matters in the end.
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  #29  
Old 03-08-2013
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Great job!! Congratulations!! Awesome score!
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  #30  
Old 03-10-2013
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Congratulations
How many times have gone through mtb/fa?
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Old 03-11-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermedic View Post
Congratulations
How many times have gone through mtb/fa?
Approximately 3. Again, I think UWorld is key for this exam.
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