No idea how I passed STEP 2 CS; there's hope for all. Here's my story. - USMLE Forums
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  #1  
Old 03-02-2016
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Show Teeth No idea how I passed STEP 2 CS; there's hope for all. Here's my story.

Hi guys,

I'd like to thank God first and foremost. Alhamdilla I passed. I really really needed this win to keep up my spirits.
This is my first post and I'm happy that it's with a positive connotation.

So here's my CS story and how I passed.

I'm a US med student and I was scheduled to take CS in early November.

In early October my life literally flipped up-side-down. My mom developed a cough and was soon diagnosed with squamous cell lung carcinoma. This alone is devastating. As an only child, without my dad around. It was pretty much my mom and I against this beast. I was horrendously messed up and basically dropped out to take care of my mom. Btw, thank you family and friends for abandoning us.
After rescheduling CS and CK twice, I finally said enough is enough and took a shot in the dark and took CS January, 2016.

My plan:

I studied 10-12 days. I had first aid CS and a whole bunch of notes from previous posts from this website and others - those helped A LOT.

I didn't finish all of first aid. I didn't read the mini-cases. I didn't practice for hours. All I did was gather a bunch of mnemonics for each system.
MSK, PSY, NEURO, CV, PULM, OB/GYN, PEDS, GU and GI.

I memorized the living hell out of my mnemonics then asked 2 of my remaining friends to help out for a couple day to simulate a SP. I did about 4 cases a day for...maybe 4 or 5 days. But...I didn't practice my note.

I practiced with a timer set at 14 mins - Intro, HX, PE, counseling and closure with 1 min to spare if I needed it.

My note I did on my own. Again, I set a timer for 9 mins and God that wasn't enough. I actually timed myself to see how long it took me to finish it while rushing and it was something like 14mins. I had to get faster, and more accurate. Eventually I got it down to 10-11mins with a lot of abbreviations.
I did a few more notes and finally said, that's enough; either I'll get it or not.

The exam was a 100% hit or miss with me.

The actual exam itself:

I took it in Chicago.

Case 1: The first case of was freaking weird ass PSY and MSK mixed and I didn't finish on time - the guy wouldn't stfu. That means no closure (no dx impression, no counseling, no what to do next). Next case same thing.

Case 2: Got half way through my neuro after CV, PULM and HEENT, then ran out of time. For my note, same thing. I struggled to finish. I did not.

Case 3: Peds MSK but kid was 16 and had permission from mom to be examed alone. I treated it as an adult case. I finished on time with counseling and everything. Note I finished too.

Cases 4-12 were just a blur. They were the typical cases CV, Alzheimers, MI, Cough, painful urination and GI. Case 10 was weird OB/Gyn and GI mixed.


Ok. So, here's the deal guys. I didn't close on about 5 cases: No diagnostic impression, no what studies to order, no counseling. I didn't finish my note on about 5 cases including one note I ran out of time and forgot to put diagnostic studies (I'm retarded I know). after case 6, IN THE MIDDLE OF MY NOTE, I switched from lower case to CAPITALIZED LETTERS. At that point I didn't give a F***.

I either perfectly counseled or kinda/sorta counseled about 7-8 cases and didn't on some. I dropped the draping on the floor for one case and actually cursed (****) in another as I heard the buzzer. I messed up on the differentials on 3 cases and even put metrorrhagia on one (wtf was I thinking?)
Spelling...pshhh, I made so many mistakes haha

I made so many mistakes, I was certain I failed. It was the thing I was most absolutely certain about in my life. I passed and got my results today.

----------------------------------------
What I did do correctly:

-Had an amazing intro and closure (when I actually did it)
-Very strong HPI, PMH and PE (when I was able to finish it entirely)
-Had lots and lots of empathy
-Kept asking "is there anything else you like to discuss? Am I missing anything? Do you fully understand and are on board with our plan?
-Always sanitized hands and draped.
-Always EVERY CASE did CV, lungs and HEENT.
-Filled out Diagnosis and studies first (for most of them lol see above)

----------------------------------------------

How I think I saved myself:

The note was basically my biggest downfall I felt. So, in the middle of my exam I noticed I was wasting too much time on systems that were not apart of the chief complaint.
Say the case was GI, eventually on my note I didn't even care about the rest. I wrote out Diagnosis and studies first, the HPI with chief complaint system first and then the rest if I had time.

Basically my entire ENTIRE note was abbreviations. I used many that were not listed on the usmle website and just went for it.

----------------------------------------------------

Granted I didn't get higher performance in any other than English, but I didn't get anything under boarder line except for 1 start below that shaded region. Overall I did enough to pass.

I wanted to share my experience because if I can pass even going through all my personal stuff outside school by barely studying. Guys anyone, including you, can do it.

Please private message me if you need any further help or want a copy of my notes or the resources I used.

Best of luck to all!

P.S, please pray (or send happy thoughts) for my mothers recovery - that's all I ask for. Thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2016
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Congratulations for your test! Your mom must be at reason very proud of you! Sending prayers for her recovery.
Thank you for this post, as that just what I needed to read today. Just out from the exam and feeling I kind of screwed up so many things.
Good luck for the rest of your journey!
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2016
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I guess I should say this was my 1st attempt as well.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2016
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Congratulations and good luck for rest of the journey.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2016
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I AM UNABLE TO PM YOU ,AS MY POST COUNT IS LOW. CAN U PLEASE GUIDE ME IF THERE IS A PARTICULAR TEST CENTER WHERE WE SHOULD SCHEDULE OUR EXAM BEING AN IMG? AND IT WOULD BE REALLY NICE OF YOU IF YOU COULD SEND ME A COPY OF YOUR NOTES, I WILL BE REALLY THANKFUL.
MY EMAIL ID IS jasminemutti92@gmail.com
MY prayers are with your mom and good wishes for your future journey.
Thankyou for the post too ,very helpful.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2016
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Thanks everyone. I can't reply to private messages due to low count but I will send you all my notes if you post your email or if you can Private message me your email.

Thanks all for your kind thoughts and prayers for my mom.

Best of luck to all!
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruh'man View Post
Hi guys,

I'd like to thank God first and foremost. Alhamdilla I passed. I really really needed this win to keep up my spirits.
This is my first post and I'm happy that it's with a positive connotation.

So here's my CS story and how I passed.

I'm a US med student and I was scheduled to take CS in early November.

In early October my life literally flipped up-side-down. My mom developed a cough and was soon diagnosed with squamous cell lung carcinoma. This alone is devastating. As an only child, without my dad around. It was pretty much my mom and I against this beast. I was horrendously messed up and basically dropped out to take care of my mom. Btw, thank you family and friends for abandoning us.
After rescheduling CS and CK twice, I finally said enough is enough and took a shot in the dark and took CS January, 2016.

My plan:

I studied 10-12 days. I had first aid CS and a whole bunch of notes from previous posts from this website and others - those helped A LOT.

I didn't finish all of first aid. I didn't read the mini-cases. I didn't practice for hours. All I did was gather a bunch of mnemonics for each system.
MSK, PSY, NEURO, CV, PULM, OB/GYN, PEDS, GU and GI.

I memorized the living hell out of my mnemonics then asked 2 of my remaining friends to help out for a couple day to simulate a SP. I did about 4 cases a day for...maybe 4 or 5 days. But...I didn't practice my note.

I practiced with a timer set at 14 mins - Intro, HX, PE, counseling and closure with 1 min to spare if I needed it.

My note I did on my own. Again, I set a timer for 9 mins and God that wasn't enough. I actually timed myself to see how long it took me to finish it while rushing and it was something like 14mins. I had to get faster, and more accurate. Eventually I got it down to 10-11mins with a lot of abbreviations.
I did a few more notes and finally said, that's enough; either I'll get it or not.

The exam was a 100% hit or miss with me.

The actual exam itself:

I took it in Chicago.

Case 1: The first case of was freaking weird ass PSY and MSK mixed and I didn't finish on time - the guy wouldn't stfu. That means no closure (no dx impression, no counseling, no what to do next). Next case same thing.

Case 2: Got half way through my neuro after CV, PULM and HEENT, then ran out of time. For my note, same thing. I struggled to finish. I did not.

Case 3: Peds MSK but kid was 16 and had permission from mom to be examed alone. I treated it as an adult case. I finished on time with counseling and everything. Note I finished too.

Cases 4-12 were just a blur. They were the typical cases CV, Alzheimers, MI, Cough, painful urination and GI. Case 10 was weird OB/Gyn and GI mixed.


Ok. So, here's the deal guys. I didn't close on about 5 cases: No diagnostic impression, no what studies to order, no counseling. I didn't finish my note on about 5 cases including one note I ran out of time and forgot to put diagnostic studies (I'm retarded I know). after case 6, IN THE MIDDLE OF MY NOTE, I switched from lower case to CAPITALIZED LETTERS. At that point I didn't give a F***.

I either perfectly counseled or kinda/sorta counseled about 7-8 cases and didn't on some. I dropped the draping on the floor for one case and actually cursed (****) in another as I heard the buzzer. I messed up on the differentials on 3 cases and even put metrorrhagia on one (wtf was I thinking?)
Spelling...pshhh, I made so many mistakes haha

I made so many mistakes, I was certain I failed. It was the thing I was most absolutely certain about in my life. I passed and got my results today.

----------------------------------------
What I did do correctly:

-Had an amazing intro and closure (when I actually did it)
-Very strong HPI, PMH and PE (when I was able to finish it entirely)
-Had lots and lots of empathy
-Kept asking "is there anything else you like to discuss? Am I missing anything? Do you fully understand and are on board with our plan?
-Always sanitized hands and draped.
-Always EVERY CASE did CV, lungs and HEENT.
-Filled out Diagnosis and studies first (for most of them lol see above)

----------------------------------------------

How I think I saved myself:

The note was basically my biggest downfall I felt. So, in the middle of my exam I noticed I was wasting too much time on systems that were not apart of the chief complaint.
Say the case was GI, eventually on my note I didn't even care about the rest. I wrote out Diagnosis and studies first, the HPI with chief complaint system first and then the rest if I had time.

Basically my entire ENTIRE note was abbreviations. I used many that were not listed on the usmle website and just went for it.

----------------------------------------------------

Granted I didn't get higher performance in any other than English, but I didn't get anything under boarder line except for 1 start below that shaded region. Overall I did enough to pass.

I wanted to share my experience because if I can pass even going through all my personal stuff outside school by barely studying. Guys anyone, including you, can do it.

Please private message me if you need any further help or want a copy of my notes or the resources I used.

Best of luck to all!

P.S, please pray (or send happy thoughts) for my mothers recovery - that's all I ask for. Thanks guys.

First of all CONGRAAAATS!!! and most of all: many prayers to your mom and so sorry you have had such a rough time i do hope this is the beginning of a new turn for the better for you!

second of all: so glad to hear your story.. I'll be taking my CS in chicago in T-13h (omgomgomgomgomgogmogmgogmgom) and am pretty much freaking out. I'm so afraid of blanking and missing things, or completely fudging up... neuro cases are my downfall cus it seems i can never finish the neuro exam in time fml. I guess we'll see tomorrow. I think i'm pretty empathetic? I think i counsel ok.. my note is good (if i disregard my crappy ddx and workup)... just hope I pass. Anyways, very happy for you!
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarabear View Post
First of all CONGRAAAATS!!! and most of all: many prayers to your mom and so sorry you have had such a rough time i do hope this is the beginning of a new turn for the better for you!

second of all: so glad to hear your story.. I'll be taking my CS in chicago in T-13h (omgomgomgomgomgogmogmgogmgom) and am pretty much freaking out. I'm so afraid of blanking and missing things, or completely fudging up... neuro cases are my downfall cus it seems i can never finish the neuro exam in time fml. I guess we'll see tomorrow. I think i'm pretty empathetic? I think i counsel ok.. my note is good (if i disregard my crappy ddx and workup)... just hope I pass. Anyways, very happy for you!
Thanks so much. Remember,most of the cases you've already seen before and it's basically the same dx and studies. So try not to freak out and you'll do great.

Remember, I passed with all my screw ups lol. I don't need to say you can pass.

Good luck tomorrow!!!!
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAS777 View Post
I AM UNABLE TO PM YOU ,AS MY POST COUNT IS LOW. CAN U PLEASE GUIDE ME IF THERE IS A PARTICULAR TEST CENTER WHERE WE SHOULD SCHEDULE OUR EXAM BEING AN IMG? AND IT WOULD BE REALLY NICE OF YOU IF YOU COULD SEND ME A COPY OF YOUR NOTES, I WILL BE REALLY THANKFUL.
MY EMAIL ID IS jasminemutti92@gmail.com
MY prayers are with your mom and good wishes for your future journey.
Thankyou for the post too ,very helpful.
I sent you my notes. Best of luck.

Please try to help others when you can and not turn your back.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruh'man View Post
Thanks so much. Remember,most of the cases you've already seen before and it's basically the same dx and studies. So try not to freak out and you'll do great.

Remember, I passed with all my screw ups lol. I don't need to say you can pass.

Good luck tomorrow!!!!
thanks hun! i sure could use some luck. I'm sure i'm gonna screw up (who doesn't?) which is like the worst feeling haha... do you have any tips? I hope you don't mind me asking ya!
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarabear View Post
thanks hun! i sure could use some luck. I'm sure i'm gonna screw up (who doesn't?) which is like the worst feeling haha... do you have any tips? I hope you don't mind me asking ya!
Absolutely don't mind. As for tips I can give ya a lot, but I don't want to tell you something you already know. Can you give me some areas where you think you need advice on?
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2016
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Originally Posted by Bruh'man View Post
Absolutely don't mind. As for tips I can give ya a lot, but I don't want to tell you something you already know. Can you give me some areas where you think you need advice on?
well, i suppose, what do you recommend doing the night before/the morning of the exam hahaha I've been reviewing mnemonics, going through my PE and making sure i know all the relevant signs/tests, typing/timing my note (tbh i haven't practiced it all that much until now), eating a ton of chocolate (absolute paramount), making sure i have my ROS template down... i plan on making another skim through FA, writing a few more timed notes, skimming minicases DDx and workup

thoughts? also thank youuu!
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarabear View Post
well, i suppose, what do you recommend doing the night before/the morning of the exam hahaha I've been reviewing mnemonics, going through my PE and making sure i know all the relevant signs/tests, typing/timing my note (tbh i haven't practiced it all that much until now), eating a ton of chocolate (absolute paramount), making sure i have my ROS template down... i plan on making another skim through FA, writing a few more timed notes, skimming minicases DDx and workup

thoughts? also thank youuu!
seems like you a have a great plan already. I'd say the most important thing above all is to get enough sleep. SLEEP WELL and dont sacrifice sleep to study a little bit more because honestly you're not going to gain that much but risk being exhausted early on.

I'd say practice that patient note a few time before the test just to get your fingers warmed up and that's about it. at this point theres not much to do to gain but A LOT TO DO to PREVENT you messing up (aka sleep, hunger, etc).

sounds like you'll be fine honestly. Let us know you passed. we all know you will.
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruh'man View Post
seems like you a have a great plan already. I'd say the most important thing above all is to get enough sleep. SLEEP WELL and dont sacrifice sleep to study a little bit more because honestly you're not going to gain that much but risk being exhausted early on.

I'd say practice that patient note a few time before the test just to get your fingers warmed up and that's about it. at this point theres not much to do to gain but A LOT TO DO to PREVENT you messing up (aka sleep, hunger, etc).

sounds like you'll be fine honestly. Let us know you passed. we all know you will.
Hahaha thanks for being my online xanax! I'll surely let everyone know if i passed.... report is supposedly going to come out the first week of April. we'll see! I'm just so scared of neuro for some reason. i'll try to review those cases a couple times and try to sleep somehow. Do you think it's extremely important to get all those crazy tests in the workup? most of the time i put maybe 3 or 4 (unless it's like CP/MI/angina then my workup is like watching the Rockettes -- one after another)

Thanks for the support! Do let us know how CK goes (i need to harass you for those tips too, you know!)
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2016
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Congratulations!! I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and I hope she makes a full recovery. I can only imagine how hard it must've been for you to study with something like that on your mind. Huge respect for succeeding!!!!!
__________________
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2016
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update: that didn't go as well as expected haha lets hope i did something good enough in my past life (yeah i'm that desperate at this point lmao )
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  #17  
Old 03-09-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarabear View Post
update: that didn't go as well as expected haha lets hope i did something good enough in my past life (yeah i'm that desperate at this point lmao )
Hey Sara, I'm sure you did well. I most likely felt way worse - you got this.

Last edited by Bruh'man; 03-22-2016 at 08:30 PM.
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  #18  
Old 03-10-2016
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Hi there! I found your post very inspiring and praying for your Mom's health. Also congratulations on passing! Would you be able to send me your notes, would really appreciate it. My email is: tnachica@gmail.com. Thanks and wish you success!
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  #19  
Old 03-10-2016
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Default Hello Bruh'man and congrats man ,

It's a great achievement indeed and i wish u the best in the rest of the journey ,my prayers and wishes for your mom ,this is my EMAIL address it would be so nice of you if you forward your notes: DR.AMR.ALJAREH@GMAIL.COM
thanx alot
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  #20  
Old 03-10-2016
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Hey. Sorry for your CK! These tests are so unpredictable sometimes. Maybe it was a time management issue? I felt time management was really tough on CK. You are still good to apply for the match this year. Get back to study and ace this thing. If your UWSA was 232, you should be fine next time, but I would recommend you take some nbme to be on the safe side...
Thanks again for giving hope to all of us who felt so doomed after CS!
Best of luck!
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  #21  
Old 03-10-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruh'man View Post
Hey Sara, I'm sure you did well. I most likely felt way worse - you got this.

My CK story didn't go as planned. I took it 2 weeks after CS after getting 232 on the UWORLD assessment.
****ing got a 206 and failed by 3 points...

wtf? how does someone drop 30 ****ing points?!?!?

Bitch was hard though
Oh my gosh i'm so sorry that sucks!!! i couldn't imagine the pressure of taking CS and CK right after one another (i'm studying for CK right now and can hardly concentrate as the intruding afterthoughts of CS keep filling my head).
Please please please don't let this get you down -- you got a 232 on the UWSA! it means you know your stuff!! You've got a lot of fight in ya.
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  #22  
Old 03-10-2016
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Hello and congrats,

I will pray for your mother recovery for sure. Moms are the most precious gift from God.

Thank you for sharing your experience in CS. That gave me more courage to do the test in late April.

I have done most of Canadian medical exams and started reviewing FA but I am not sure if I get ready till then.

I appreciate your help and if possible chatting on Skype to ask my questions.
My Skype id is: Taraneh A
Thanks you,
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  #23  
Old 03-12-2016
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Congtrats man!
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  #24  
Old 09-28-2016
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Default cs

Hi good day,
Thank you for your step 2 cs experience. I hope your mom is doing well, sorry to read about that.

I am currently preparing for step 2 cs and also step 1. I am and IMG hoping to apply for match next year and currently doing my rotations in chicgao.

If you still have your study material, notes, mneuonics or anything else that you used and you're willing to share, it will be greatly appreciated!
thank you
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  #25  
Old 09-30-2016
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God is good
Good for you what a encouraging story no matter what exam you are working on
Keep moving upward
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