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  #1  
Old 05-12-2014
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Default USMLE Step 2 CK experience 12th May 2014

Hello everyone here is a bit of my experience from taking the exam and studying and prepping for it:

I started studying mid January 2014, and I, of course, started reading the Master The Boards 2, but I also had a bit of chance to look at other books and here is what I thought about them.

Kaplan Surgery: I read this book as a quick review to my already taken Surgery rotation and it didn't seem very hard, I was underlining information to copy on my MTB2 book, but I ended up not copying much. I think I don't even remember most of the information I studied from here, and I thought MTB2 was more direct.

Kaplan Internal Medicine: I also had a quick look at this book but this time I added lots of new information that I didn't have to my MTB2 and I think those helped very much. I also cut some excerpts and pasted them on the MTB2 book so I wouldn't have to go back to Kaplan's again. Overall, Kaplan's Internal Medicine is a really deep and perfect review for Internal and in my opinion it really helps during studying and preparing.

Kaplan Pediatrics: I had the chance to also read most of this, and it's just as deep and good as Internal, however I later on decided not to finish it and depend on the MTB2 3 for Pediatrics.

Kaplan Psychiatry: I think this helped me a lot during studying for the Psychiatry especially that I had some weakness in Psychiatry, and studying this helped so much strengthen my abilities. I recommend reading it.

Master The Boards 2: This is the bible of the USMLE Step 2 for me. The indispensable knowledge and information I gained from this book were very exam-directed and it is a MUST for every student studying for the Step 2. I was adding notes more and more over the book as I was studying and so everytime I read it through I had a bit more information. I read/reviewed this book about 10 times.

Master The Boards 3: A lot of the people recommended studying MTB3 for "anything other than Internal Medicine", and that's what I started doing. However, after reading twice through those, I thought that Surgery, Pediatrics and Obstetrics were a bit 'too deep' for Step 2, and I thought MTB2 was enough. However, Gynecology chapter is a MUST. MTB2 barely has any Gynecology and I think MTB3 is a perfect resource for that.

First Aid for USMLE Step 2: I wish this was the book (the bible) to study for the USMLE Step 2. This is so beautifully put together, has lots of information, lots of knowledge, put so well and simple. I read through it once and I absolutely loved reading this book, however it's the poor reviews that didn't encourage me to go on and study well from it. I'm not sure if it can be as "THE book" to study for the Step 2, but I would've loved it if it was the case. But MTB2 probably proves to be better and more exam-directed.


Question Banks:
Kaplan Qbank: As usual, Kaplan question bank never ceases to be the "more difficult" and deep review for most of the subjects. I had some problems solving some questions and faced lots of questions in which I learned new information (not found in any of the books mentioned above).

USMLE World Qbank: This is THE qbank to study from. It is not an assessment, but a studying tool. About 2222 questions that will gain you so much information to add on the MTB2 (as I did, at least) and they are very, very, high-yield. Highly recommended.


The day before the exam, and the exam:
I took the day prior to the exam as a "rest" day and I did not study during that. I booked a hotel at the city of the exam and made sure to go to sleep at 9pm. I did have some trouble sleeping, but afterall I managed to sleep well.
The exam itself started at 8am, and there were 9 blocks (but 8 blocks that have the questions). Some blocks had less questions than others (41 to 44) and the difficulty varies, I thought.
The overall experience of the exam is that it is a very "experience-based" type of knowledge they ask about, it did not seem similar like any of the question banks, nor assessments I did (regarding the information, not the outlook of the questions or theme). I kept having the feeling that I studied all what I've mentioned above without gaining the "true" knowledge for this exam. I thought it was a bit difficult at some points, and a bit "are kidding me?"-difficulty at others. I did read, and have been asked, about information that I never read about or heard about before. It's very tiring, too.
But I'm glad it's over! I will share my score when I get it, hopefully on 4th June 2014!


Finally these are my scores for the qbanks and assessments I did:

Kaplan qbank: 70%
UWorld qbank: 76%
NBME 3 (offline, 1 month before): 246
NBME 6 (online, 2 weeks before): 248
NBME 4 (offline, 1 week before): 249
UWSA (4 days before): 253
Free 150 questions (2 days before): 90.5%

USMLE Step 2 CK: ??? (4th June 2014)
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rani001 (05-12-2014), Volkmann (05-13-2014)



  #2  
Old 05-12-2014
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Very helpful post. Thanks a lot. Do you think MTB and uworld qbank alone are sufficient. Kaplan's so long and I was hoping to skip it. What's your step 1 score if you don't mind me asking. Thanks again. :-)
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qaddodi View Post
Hello everyone here is a bit of my experience from taking the exam and studying and prepping for it:

I started studying mid January 2014, and I, of course, started reading the Master The Boards 2, but I also had a bit of chance to look at other books and here is what I thought about them.

Kaplan Surgery: I read this book as a quick review to my already taken Surgery rotation and it didn't seem very hard, I was underlining information to copy on my MTB2 book, but I ended up not copying much. I think I don't even remember most of the information I studied from here, and I thought MTB2 was more direct.

Kaplan Internal Medicine: I also had a quick look at this book but this time I added lots of new information that I didn't have to my MTB2 and I think those helped very much. I also cut some excerpts and pasted them on the MTB2 book so I wouldn't have to go back to Kaplan's again. Overall, Kaplan's Internal Medicine is a really deep and perfect review for Internal and in my opinion it really helps during studying and preparing.

Kaplan Pediatrics: I had the chance to also read most of this, and it's just as deep and good as Internal, however I later on decided not to finish it and depend on the MTB2 3 for Pediatrics.

Kaplan Psychiatry: I think this helped me a lot during studying for the Psychiatry especially that I had some weakness in Psychiatry, and studying this helped so much strengthen my abilities. I recommend reading it.

Master The Boards 2: This is the bible of the USMLE Step 2 for me. The indispensable knowledge and information I gained from this book were very exam-directed and it is a MUST for every student studying for the Step 2. I was adding notes more and more over the book as I was studying and so everytime I read it through I had a bit more information. I read/reviewed this book about 10 times.

Master The Boards 3: A lot of the people recommended studying MTB3 for "anything other than Internal Medicine", and that's what I started doing. However, after reading twice through those, I thought that Surgery, Pediatrics and Obstetrics were a bit 'too deep' for Step 2, and I thought MTB2 was enough. However, Gynecology chapter is a MUST. MTB2 barely has any Gynecology and I think MTB3 is a perfect resource for that.

First Aid for USMLE Step 2: I wish this was the book (the bible) to study for the USMLE Step 2. This is so beautifully put together, has lots of information, lots of knowledge, put so well and simple. I read through it once and I absolutely loved reading this book, however it's the poor reviews that didn't encourage me to go on and study well from it. I'm not sure if it can be as "THE book" to study for the Step 2, but I would've loved it if it was the case. But MTB2 probably proves to be better and more exam-directed.


Question Banks:
Kaplan Qbank: As usual, Kaplan question bank never ceases to be the "more difficult" and deep review for most of the subjects. I had some problems solving some questions and faced lots of questions in which I learned new information (not found in any of the books mentioned above).

USMLE World Qbank: This is THE qbank to study from. It is not an assessment, but a studying tool. About 2222 questions that will gain you so much information to add on the MTB2 (as I did, at least) and they are very, very, high-yield. Highly recommended.


The day before the exam, and the exam:
I took the day prior to the exam as a "rest" day and I did not study during that. I booked a hotel at the city of the exam and made sure to go to sleep at 9pm. I did have some trouble sleeping, but afterall I managed to sleep well.
The exam itself started at 8am, and there were 9 blocks (but 8 blocks that have the questions). Some blocks had less questions than others (41 to 44) and the difficulty varies, I thought.
The overall experience of the exam is that it is a very "experience-based" type of knowledge they ask about, it did not seem similar like any of the question banks, nor assessments I did (regarding the information, not the outlook of the questions or theme). I kept having the feeling that I studied all what I've mentioned above without gaining the "true" knowledge for this exam. I thought it was a bit difficult at some points, and a bit "are kidding me?"-difficulty at others. I did read, and have been asked, about information that I never read about or heard about before. It's very tiring, too.
But I'm glad it's over! I will share my score when I get it, hopefully on 4th June 2014!


Finally these are my scores for the qbanks and assessments I did:

Kaplan qbank: 70%
UWorld qbank: 76%
NBME 3 (offline, 1 month before): 246
NBME 6 (online, 2 weeks before): 248
NBME 4 (offline, 1 week before): 249
UWSA (4 days before): 253
Free 150 questions (2 days before): 90.5%

USMLE Step 2 CK: ??? (4th June 2014)
Seriously dude I had no clue for many qs......feeling ****...just cant bear the pain of waiting for 3 weeks
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volkmann View Post
Very helpful post. Thanks a lot. Do you think MTB and uworld qbank alone are sufficient. Kaplan's so long and I was hoping to skip it. What's your step 1 score if you don't mind me asking. Thanks again. :-)
Well, I got 244 in my Step 1, but I think I'm more prepped for Step 2 than that.
And MTB + UWorld (if you repeat them well enough) are definitely sufficient for this exam. (Plus all the 'general knowledge' you acquired through med school).
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Old 05-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitish kumar View Post
Seriously dude I had no clue for many qs......feeling ****...just cant bear the pain of waiting for 3 weeks
You did the exam as well?
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qaddodi View Post
Well, I got 244 in my Step 1, but I think I'm more prepped for Step 2 than that.
And MTB + UWorld (if you repeat them well enough) are definitely sufficient for this exam. (Plus all the 'general knowledge' you acquired through med school).
Thanks for the info. Did you get loads of CTs/imaging/histo slides?? I hated those in step 1 and scored pretty poorly in them.
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Originally Posted by Volkmann View Post
Thanks for the info. Did you get loads of CTs/imaging/histo slides?? I hated those in step 1 and scored pretty poorly in them.
In Step 1, yes. But in Step 2, not even a single "slide" of histo. And got about 10 images and a barely 10 CTs. Got lots of "biostatistics" questions, though. 2 drug ads and 3 research articles (each with 3 questions).
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qaddodi View Post
In Step 1, yes. But in Step 2, not even a single "slide" of histo. And got about 10 images and a barely 10 CTs. Got lots of "biostatistics" questions, though. 2 drug ads and 3 research articles (each with 3 questions).
That's a relief. Would you say behavioral, psych, biostat etc we studied for step one together with MTB and uworld is enough for step 2?? Or must you study Kaplan and Conrad Fisher's cases as well??
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volkmann View Post
That's a relief. Would you say behavioral, psych, biostat etc we studied for step one together with MTB and uworld is enough for step 2?? Or must you study Kaplan and Conrad Fisher's cases as well??
I honestly can't recommend studying all Kaplans, and I haven't studied Conrad Fischer's cases. But in my humble opinion, MBT 2 + MTB 3 (gynecology) + UWorld (+ assuming you had some clinical experience at the hospital of course) are more than enough. I suppose they are good to get 250-260 range. However if you're aiming for 260+ then I suppose every piece of extra information will start to count because it's the 5-10% very difficult questions that most students can't solve that will get you that mark.
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qaddodi View Post
You did the exam as well?
Yes dude...12th may....I m feeling terrible
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitish kumar View Post
Yes dude...12th may....I m feeling terrible
And I must say you will gonna blast.You sound a lot confident and I am just calculating my no.of mistakes
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qaddodi View Post
I honestly can't recommend studying all Kaplans, and I haven't studied Conrad Fischer's cases. But in my humble opinion, MBT 2 + MTB 3 (gynecology) + UWorld (+ assuming you had some clinical experience at the hospital of course) are more than enough. I suppose they are good to get 250-260 range. However if you're aiming for 260+ then I suppose every piece of extra information will start to count because it's the 5-10% very difficult questions that most students can't solve that will get you that mark.
Anything over my step 1 will be fine for me. Anyway, good luck and I hope you ace it. Do keep us informed and update this thread with your score. Tc.
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Old 05-13-2014
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Thanks for posting and congrats on knocking another exam down.
You and lots of people are saying there are so many biostats qs which I absolutely hate and is my weakest area.
Can you tell me what kind of qs in biostats you got? Were they all the type where you have to apply a formula too?
The only ones I seem to be able to do are sen, spec, ppv, npv.
It would be a great help if you could elaborate a little on the biostats.
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