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  #1  
Old 06-25-2014
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Show Teeth CK 252 – My Experience

Hi guys. I just got my score and would like to thank everyone on this forum for this. I wanted to share my experience so it may help you.

We all know the fact that while we study from more or less the same resources, our scores vary a lot. I figured there are a number of reasons for this – doing well in medical school (which I did not do), studying with a plan (and sticking to it), and of course - high IQ and luck. All I had out of these was a plan.

This is primarily addressed to average medical students (like me) who want to score high on boards (I was in the bottom thirds of my class).

Time taken: 3.5 months
Resources Used (And my reviews on them)


MTBCK - I know people have their opinions about this book, but I think its best book out there which comes close to the exam pattern. It lacks in information in many areas, but preserves the format of the questions asked on CK. Like it or not, you are going to read this. So make sure you read it well. (There are no “most accurate test” questions on the exam, so don’t bang your head around that. Just focus on the algorithms - “the next best step”)

MTB3 – Although it says Step 3, I don’t think anyone preparing for Step 3 reads this. IM is pretty much the same as MTBCK, so skip it. The other subjects are very well written.

Step 2 Secrets – This is an excellent little review book. While it has much more information than mtbck, it lacks its format of being “exam oriented”. It’s definitely worth one read at the end to review stuff.

UWorld – As everyone says, and I do too – UWORLD IS THEY KEY! You really need to do uworld right. Do not treat it as a tool to test your knowledge, rather treat is as a 2000 PAGE BOOK with updated info and questions!

Comprehensive Cases by Conrad Fischer – This is a collection of 20 cases which will definitely be asked on the exam. The way Fischer teaches just sticks to you head. Watch these after doing everything (preferably last week) – when you feel like puking when you see MTB again!

UWSA – This Self-Assessment form is the closest you can get to the real score. In my case, it was right on target. Mind you – the questions on this form are old (some as old as 2010, the actual exam as much longer questions).

NBME 4 offline – Old questions, not as long as on the actual exam. No drug ads, no abstract. Not worth the money in my opinion.

Preparation
I started off with MTBCK. I first thought of it as First Aid, but it’s a much quicker read. Hardly took 15 days for first time read. Then I did MTB3, all except IM.

Started uworld after reading both these books. I first did it subject wise, annotating all info from uworld into MTB, and also made a little notebook. I recommend annotating into mtbck, so when you revise it would be easier.

First pass uworld took about a month. I averaged 67%.
There are two things you should do while doing uworld first time – First make a list of topics to read from FA Step 1. Second – MARK ALL QUESTIONS! Why? Read below.

After first pass uworld, I did a quick revision of mtbck and uworld notes that I made. Then I did all incorrect questions again in random blocks of 44. It’s really important to do incorrect questions separately to check if you’ve really understood the stuff. This took another 15 days. Make sure the questions remain marked.

I gave uwsa after this – scored 252 (which was exactly my final score). I thought the questions were old and short, while people told me that questions on the actual exam are much longer.

In order to practice doing questions quickly, I extended my uworld subscription and did a UWORLD-ATHON! That is – 8 blocks a day of 44 questions each! Make sure number of MARKED questions = TOTAL questions. Now make blocks out of marked questions and start the marathon. This will ensure the questions do not repeat themselves and you do all questions again.

The UWORLD-ATHON will help you manage your time as well as flush out your mistakes (likely you will still get 2-3 questions incorrect of 44). Will take 5-6 days.

Second last week – Reviewed FA topics, mtbck and mtb 3 quickly. Did Free150 practice questions from USMLE website – scored 85%. Did NBME 4 offline (Got 82% correct)

Last week - Did not feel like touching the books again. So I watched Comprehensive Cases by Conrad Fischer. This guy is amazing! The 20 cases which he discusses are definitely asked on the exam, and it actually increases your confidence to face them.

Last Day – Played Battlefield 4. Probably the best FPS I’ve played!

EXAM DAY
Worst fact first – CK is a terribly long exam. Although it’s just one hour more than Step 1, it feels like eternity in the exam room. The questions are long - longer than uworld, uwsa or nbme. There were total 344 questions on my exam.

However, difficulty wise - I think it’s easier than Step 1. Basically the rule of thumb in CK is – They are asking you something you already know. Though in a very long, twisted way. I guess if they gave ten minutes extra to each block - everyone would be over 250! Manage your time and you are pretty much set to get a good score.

There would be 10-12 questions based on drug ads and abstracts. Do them at the end! They will eat up your time otherwise.

For those interested in numbers – here they are:
• UWorld First time average – 67%
• UWSA (2weeks out) – 252
• NBME 4 offline – 82% correct
• Free150 (1 week out) – 85%
• ACTUAL SCORE – 252

All the very best !!

Vibhor
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2014
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congrats man for such a great score. how much did u score in step 1 and wen is ur cs?
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2014
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congrsts!! thanks for posting.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay singh View Post
congrats man for such a great score. how much did u score in step 1 and wen is ur cs?
Thanks... I got 244 on Step 1..
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Old 06-26-2014
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Congraaatz 4 z great score , thanx 4 sharing ur experience
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  #6  
Old 06-26-2014
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Thank you and congratulations!
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2014
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Congrats!
I'm taking it in 3 weeks. Mainly focusing on UW now. Done it like 4 times already. Could you give me some recommendation?
And what did you use for Dermatology?
Thanks man, and good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by devilzheir View Post
Hi guys. I just got my score and would like to thank everyone on this forum for this. I wanted to share my experience so it may help you.

We all know the fact that while we study from more or less the same resources, our scores vary a lot. I figured there are a number of reasons for this – doing well in medical school (which I did not do), studying with a plan (and sticking to it), and of course - high IQ and luck. All I had out of these was a plan.

This is primarily addressed to average medical students (like me) who want to score high on boards (I was in the bottom thirds of my class).

Time taken: 3.5 months
Resources Used (And my reviews on them)


MTBCK - I know people have their opinions about this book, but I think its best book out there which comes close to the exam pattern. It lacks in information in many areas, but preserves the format of the questions asked on CK. Like it or not, you are going to read this. So make sure you read it well. (There are no “most accurate test” questions on the exam, so don’t bang your head around that. Just focus on the algorithms - “the next best step”)

MTB3 – Although it says Step 3, I don’t think anyone preparing for Step 3 reads this. IM is pretty much the same as MTBCK, so skip it. The other subjects are very well written.

Step 2 Secrets – This is an excellent little review book. While it has much more information than mtbck, it lacks its format of being “exam oriented”. It’s definitely worth one read at the end to review stuff.

UWorld – As everyone says, and I do too – UWORLD IS THEY KEY! You really need to do uworld right. Do not treat it as a tool to test your knowledge, rather treat is as a 2000 PAGE BOOK with updated info and questions!

Comprehensive Cases by Conrad Fischer – This is a collection of 20 cases which will definitely be asked on the exam. The way Fischer teaches just sticks to you head. Watch these after doing everything (preferably last week) – when you feel like puking when you see MTB again!

UWSA – This Self-Assessment form is the closest you can get to the real score. In my case, it was right on target. Mind you – the questions on this form are old (some as old as 2010, the actual exam as much longer questions).

NBME 4 offline – Old questions, not as long as on the actual exam. No drug ads, no abstract. Not worth the money in my opinion.

Preparation
I started off with MTBCK. I first thought of it as First Aid, but it’s a much quicker read. Hardly took 15 days for first time read. Then I did MTB3, all except IM.

Started uworld after reading both these books. I first did it subject wise, annotating all info from uworld into MTB, and also made a little notebook. I recommend annotating into mtbck, so when you revise it would be easier.

First pass uworld took about a month. I averaged 67%.
There are two things you should do while doing uworld first time – First make a list of topics to read from FA Step 1. Second – MARK ALL QUESTIONS! Why? Read below.

After first pass uworld, I did a quick revision of mtbck and uworld notes that I made. Then I did all incorrect questions again in random blocks of 44. It’s really important to do incorrect questions separately to check if you’ve really understood the stuff. This took another 15 days. Make sure the questions remain marked.

I gave uwsa after this – scored 252 (which was exactly my final score). I thought the questions were old and short, while people told me that questions on the actual exam are much longer.

In order to practice doing questions quickly, I extended my uworld subscription and did a UWORLD-ATHON! That is – 8 blocks a day of 44 questions each! Make sure number of MARKED questions = TOTAL questions. Now make blocks out of marked questions and start the marathon. This will ensure the questions do not repeat themselves and you do all questions again.

The UWORLD-ATHON will help you manage your time as well as flush out your mistakes (likely you will still get 2-3 questions incorrect of 44). Will take 5-6 days.

Second last week – Reviewed FA topics, mtbck and mtb 3 quickly. Did Free150 practice questions from USMLE website – scored 85%. Did NBME 4 offline (Got 82% correct)

Last week - Did not feel like touching the books again. So I watched Comprehensive Cases by Conrad Fischer. This guy is amazing! The 20 cases which he discusses are definitely asked on the exam, and it actually increases your confidence to face them.

Last Day – Played Battlefield 4. Probably the best FPS I’ve played!

EXAM DAY
Worst fact first – CK is a terribly long exam. Although it’s just one hour more than Step 1, it feels like eternity in the exam room. The questions are long - longer than uworld, uwsa or nbme. There were total 344 questions on my exam.

However, difficulty wise - I think it’s easier than Step 1. Basically the rule of thumb in CK is – They are asking you something you already know. Though in a very long, twisted way. I guess if they gave ten minutes extra to each block - everyone would be over 250! Manage your time and you are pretty much set to get a good score.

There would be 10-12 questions based on drug ads and abstracts. Do them at the end! They will eat up your time otherwise.

For those interested in numbers – here they are:
• UWorld First time average – 67%
• UWSA (2weeks out) – 252
• NBME 4 offline – 82% correct
• Free150 (1 week out) – 85%
• ACTUAL SCORE – 252

All the very best !!

Vibhor
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2014
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Thanks for sharing your experience and congrats on such a great score.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimir View Post
Congrats!
I'm taking it in 3 weeks. Mainly focusing on UW now. Done it like 4 times already. Could you give me some recommendation?
And what did you use for Dermatology?
Thanks man, and good luck!
You could review derma from FA step 1. I didn't get much on my exam.

I would suggest you review mtb, uworld notes and topics from FA step 1 (biostats, genetics, etc). Do nbme offlines/online. Watch CCases in last week and you're all set!
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2014
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Arrow Forgot To Mention

Hey guys.. Sorry I forgot to mention two things:

- If you're weak in ethics - Read 100 Cases by Conrad Fischer. It's like a novel and takes only one day.

- There's this little app called QUIZLET. It's a note making app and people have made their own usmle/uworld notes. You can try this as a review tool if you haven't made your own uworld notes.
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  #11  
Old 06-28-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilzheir View Post
Hey guys.. Sorry I forgot to mention two things:

- If you're weak in ethics - Read 100 Cases by Conrad Fischer. It's like a novel and takes only one day.

- There's this little app called QUIZLET. It's a note making app and people have made their own usmle/uworld notes. You can try this as a review tool if you haven't made your own uworld notes.
Thanks! I'll read those case. :-) By the way, do you suggest uworld plus MTB2 IM only then MTB 3 for subjects other than IM?
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladydoctor View Post
Thanks! I'll read those case. :-) By the way, do you suggest uworld plus MTB2 IM only then MTB 3 for subjects other than IM?
I read MTBCK and MTB3 full - Would suggest read all of MTBCK (annotate it with uworld)... MTB3 all except IM..
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2014
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any videos ??
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  #14  
Old 06-29-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msa88 View Post
any videos ??
I didn't watch any videos other that Comp Cases..
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  #15  
Old 07-14-2014
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Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by devilzheir View Post
I didn't watch any videos other that Comp Cases..
thanks for your post!! VERY VERY helpful!
i have a question.. would you say that reading KLN is a waste of time? just stick to MTB 2 and 3?
please give us your suggestion, thanks.
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  #16  
Old 07-14-2014
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did you go for mtb lecture or only read mtb book ?
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  #17  
Old 07-14-2014
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Default useless

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyman View Post
did you go for mtb lecture or only read mtb book ?
mtb high yield videos are useless.. just read the book..
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  #18  
Old 07-14-2014
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Default mtb+uworld

Quote:
Originally Posted by drpisho View Post
thanks for your post!! VERY VERY helpful!
i have a question.. would you say that reading KLN is a waste of time? just stick to MTB 2 and 3?
please give us your suggestion, thanks.
stick to mtb and uworld.. Don't waste your time on Kaplan..
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  #19  
Old 07-15-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilzheir View Post
stick to mtb and uworld.. Don't waste your time on Kaplan..
thanks again!!! i will use only MTB2 - 3 and uworld.
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  #20  
Old 07-16-2014
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Congrats and thank you for your experience.

Could I ask if you may add the time you saved on the orientation section (15 min) to your break period (45min) ?

Thanks.

Last edited by qinggaoi; 07-16-2014 at 05:08 PM.
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  #21  
Old 07-17-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qinggaoi View Post
Congrats and thank you for your experience.

Could I ask if you may add the time you saved on the orientation section (15 min) to your break period (45min) ?

Thanks.
yeah.. use the FRED practice questions for tutorial...
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  #22  
Old 07-17-2014
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best sequence of subjects
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  #23  
Old 07-18-2014
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Congrats for such a awesome score!! Can you please share the link from where i can download comphrensive cases by conrad fischer?
Many thanks in advance.
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  #24  
Old 07-19-2014
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by IM22 View Post
Congrats for such a awesome score!! Can you please share the link from where i can download comphrensive cases by conrad fischer?
Many thanks in advance.
Cant post the link here..

You can always buy it from Kaplan
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  #25  
Old 08-04-2014
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Congratulations on your awesome score ! Your hard work paid off !!

Very helpful post.Thanks for the tip about Comprehensive cases. How many hours are the videos in total ? Were you able to see them entirely in a week ?

Good Luck for everything.
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  #26  
Old 08-05-2014
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Anybody studying from Kaplan?
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  #27  
Old 08-05-2014
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Default 20 cases

there are 20 cases.. about 30 hours total.. I'd say about 3-4 days at the end should be enough...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron2006 View Post
Congratulations on your awesome score ! Your hard work paid off !!

Very helpful post.Thanks for the tip about Comprehensive cases. How many hours are the videos in total ? Were you able to see them entirely in a week ?

Good Luck for everything.
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  #28  
Old 08-05-2014
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I see your preparing for step 3, whats your study plan for it ?
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  #29  
Old 08-05-2014
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No man I have my CS in Sept.. I'll probably give Step 3 in Feb..

Quote:
Originally Posted by yazz View Post
I see your preparing for step 3, whats your study plan for it ?
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  #30  
Old 08-05-2014
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thanks a lot for such a helpful thread.
just one small question. What are the topics that should be reviewed from FA step1 besides genetics,ethics and biostats
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  #31  
Old 08-05-2014
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Besides these, just skim through glycogen diseases and psych quickly..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Showstopper View Post
thanks a lot for such a helpful thread.
just one small question. What are the topics that should be reviewed from FA step1 besides genetics,ethics and biostats
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  #32  
Old 08-08-2014
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great score...brings me some hope..I wanted to ask you in your UW a thin u were doing 8 blocks/day, were u able to revise them at the end of the day? I mean reading just the objectives...did u have have sufficient time and energy left? Eager for your reply.
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  #33  
Old 08-09-2014
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Just review the incorrect ones quickly and move on.. 8 Blocks/day is tiring, and so is CK!

Quote:
Originally Posted by xialvi View Post
great score...brings me some hope..I wanted to ask you in your UW a thin u were doing 8 blocks/day, were u able to revise them at the end of the day? I mean reading just the objectives...did u have have sufficient time and energy left? Eager for your reply.
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  #34  
Old 08-09-2014
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thanks a lot
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