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USMLE Step 2 CS Forum USMLE Step 2 CS Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 2 CS exam


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  #1  
Old 03-02-2016
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Default Passed CS!!!

Hey guys,

I just passed my CS on my second attempt and I thought it best to share a couple of tips and my observations that I found to have helped me both times.

First of all, practice, practice, practice!!
In my first attempt, I took a professional course, practiced for a month rigorously and then upto 2 weeks before exam, i had a lull. All my prep could not compensate for my dulled preparation in those 2 weeks. So try to practice timed interviews, atleast 3 of them back to back, to simulate the actual exam!

Later in the prep, you should also avoid using a stop clock and just have the regular youtube timer in the background. This is to make sure that you do not get used to having a digital timer in front of you. Exam rooms in the actual exam will have a plain old dial clock and you do not want to waste time calculating the time left in the encounter when you should be focusing on the patient!

Try to develop your own instincts, your own internal clock if you will, that tells you its time to start the physical exam. Trust that instinct since it will most likely be true if practiced thoroughly.

Second, there is a popular thread here, "Mistakes I made...". Do not assume you can make so many errors in your exam and pass. You are allowed very few mistakes and they vary in severity. So, try to avoid mistakes through practice.

Third, First aid CS is enough but go through minicases atleast twice. Try to write down the generic symptom with its differentials and tests on a piece of paper again and again. That alone will help you to remember all the tests.

For those who have not done their CK, I recommend merck manual symptom database for laymen; http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/symptoms
Not all of them are neccessary but many are important! Because the patients you are seeing are mocking a regular patient's perspective, it is helpful to think of diagnosis from a layman perspective...

Fourth, when you enter a patient room, most courses will tell you to have 3 differentials ready. I recommend at least 6 just to help you avoid the stress of thinking up more during the actual encounter. The written practice comes in handy here.

Most exam preparations should not take more than 3-4 weeks of preparation.
Try to get some time off before the exam for 1-2 days minimum. This is an extremely important exam and you do not want to be too relaxed either. Maximize your input by either practicing your hand written notes or typing speed or 90 minute 3 encounter sessions.

I spent about one month during my successful attempt where I was doing a busy rotation simultaneously. I took about 2 days off before the actual exam where i was practicing for about 3-4 hours/d.

On the exam day, try to act professionally but remain calm. One of the most important tips I received is that of bladder control. If you have a steel bladder, kudos! But many of us may want to regulate our fluid intake lest we wanna have the urge to go in front of a patient.

Specifically, consider that if you go to town on the lunch they provide, you may end up sleepy or lethargic as the blood flows to your stomach instead of your brain during the 30 minute break. Try to drink some water with a little bit of salt mixed in to help drive the blood back into your brain!

Good luck with your exams!
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The above post was thanked by:
HighDefinition (03-03-2016), mehdirah (03-08-2016), nervous system (03-15-2016), qaleq (03-21-2016), username01 (03-04-2016), wa87el (03-15-2016)




  #2  
Old 03-08-2016
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congrats! thanks for sharing
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2016
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Hi first of all many congrats on passing ur cs, m in the same boat,my cs 2nd attempt will be on 6th april at philly,i failed my ICE part before,i need some tips if u can help me.thanks
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2016
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congratulation
thank u for sharing ur experinece
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2016
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Default congratulations

thats great congratulations
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2016
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Congrats! Way to go, keep on going.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2016
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thanks for sharing
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