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  #1  
Old 09-19-2015
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Default Another Step 3 experience

Took Step 3 back in Aug., 2 days in a row. Have been freaking out and losing sleep literally since leaving the testing center. The test felt terrible, and this is the least prepared I have ever felt before a USMLE exam. So to help deal with my neurosis and uncertainty I figured I would share my experience and see if anyone felt similarly.




Prep: 2 months, but serious studying for only about 1mo. Used UW MCQ's and CCS, some MTB3, some FA Step3 (especially CCS cases in the back), and DIT Step 3 videos.

UW Avg: 63% overall with 70's for the last 2 weeks, completed 75% of the bank all timed random.

UWSA: 215 10 days out. I was shocked. I felt that I knew more than that, and my other steps have been high (230's and 250's) so this was really jarring. But I was completely burnt out on studying so I decided to just take the stupid test as scheduled instead of delaying. Did 4 random blocks of UW 3 days out with a score correlate of 240 which made me feel somewhat better.

CCS: Did a few cases here and there over 2 months, really didn't start practicing much until 4 days out, only got through half of them. Did the 6 free online NBME cases the night before day 2, and one of them showed up on my actual CCS word for word, so I highly recommend doing this. Read through most of the CCS cases in the back of FA.

Biggest mistake in my study prep: I didn't study Epi/stats until the morning of my exam. Spent 3hrs going through tables and watched the DIT stats video twice (pretty helpful).



Day 1 actual exam: Hello stats! There were seriously 5-7 epi questions in each block, and one drug ad question in each block. So glad I crammed epi the morning of, I would have been screwed without it. Still probably screwed because I waited till the last minute to go over it. The non stats questions had huge stems, and I had issues with time management in every block. Had to guess on a few questions in a couple blocks. This felt very similar to how I felt coming out of Step 2, just really unsure of how I performed.

Day 2: The blocks of 33 questions weren't too bad, but were not representative of UW at all. They were very much primary care, in-patient management questions, management of very basic disease questions (like how to manage a patient trying to lose weight, what are the long term complications for a kid with JRA, what anticoag to use in a post ortho procedure pt). Everyone talks about how this day is so much easier, I still didn't feel particularly great about my performance on the questions, but thankfully there were no stats or drug ads. I always felt like there were 2 correct answers on most questions, but at least time management wasn't an issue this day.

Then came CCS. Holy crap, my CCS felt TERRIBLE. If I fail, CCS will be why. I had a whole bunch of weird cases not covered in UW (like management of a patient with newly diagnosed APKD), and only a handful of my cases ended early (like 4/13). Everything else took the full time, and it seems like for people who did well on CCS, all cases ended early (so I have of course extrapolated that I did poorly because mine went for the full time). I had a particularly bad peds CCS case of FUO where I ordered every test and treatment I could think of on this kid but they just didn't get better (or worse), and I could not for the life of me figure out what the diagnosis was (at least I gave acetaminophen and the fever went down). LP/UA/images/culutres showed NOTHING. FML. I left day 2 numb to life, and have just been terrified of the day I have to check my score.

So lessons to be learned from my mistakes: don't put off studying for biostats or CCS.

I'll check back in when I get my results. I would for real be thrilled with a 190 at this point.

Last edited by Island.Addy; 09-19-2015 at 10:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2015
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Good Luck!


Still studying for it..hopefully I will be ready in November
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2015
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My scheduling permit disappeared off the candidate website and FSMB lists my application as expired so I guess that means I'm getting my score tomorrow
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2015
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good luck! im sure u did fine. keep us updated!!!
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2015
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Well, I freaked out for no reason. Score is 243, and shockingly my CCS performance was high performance with a star. So to anyone else in the future who experiences CCS not ending early, its not necessarily bad. Also, I got a 215 on UWSA and a 243 on the real thing. A low UWSA isn't necessarily the end of the world. Good luck everyone!
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2015
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Congratulations !!

What did you feel helped the most in your prep?

Would you have added anything different to your prep?


Thanks
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2015
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Honestly the best thing I think I did was use the DIT videos. A lot of the really basic stuff covered in those videos came up on the test. Simple stuff you don't think about like can an HIV patient breast feed or how do you treat a hospital worker who had BCG who now has a 10mm induration on a work screening test. I also really liked DIT's stats review. It was quick and straight to the point, and I ended up doing well in stats despite only studying for stats the day of the test (and stats is usually my worst section).

Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2015
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You finished all of DIT Videos for step 3 ?
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2015
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Hey! I just gave my exam and man it seems like we had the same test! I had exactly the same feeling word for word that u described. And i also freaked out on those APKD and FUO cases. I really hope i end up getting the same score as u though. I also prepped for 1 month and felt this was the exam i was the least prepared for. Hoping to pass..
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2015
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Of these exam experience memoirs from everyone in general, not many comment on feeling about the sequential sets. Like how do you recall how you think you did on these, specifially the first q or one that you think the answer is given to you etc.unable to recall very well?..like virtually all correct? Half? 60 to 66 percent? Anyway good job and hang in there for actual result
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2016
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Congratulations,

good luck brain15

guys did you take it on 2 consecutive days?

any thoughts/recommendations on that?
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brain15 View Post
Hey! I just gave my exam and man it seems like we had the same test! I had exactly the same feeling word for word that u described. And i also freaked out on those APKD and FUO cases. I really hope i end up getting the same score as u though. I also prepped for 1 month and felt this was the exam i was the least prepared for. Hoping to pass..
Hi Brain 15,

I am in the same boat as you. I took my exam on 26th and 28th. Now, praying to pass.
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ICUinWonderland View Post
Congratulations,

good luck brain15

guys did you take it on 2 consecutive days?

any thoughts/recommendations on that?
hey. I had a one day break between the 2 exams. I could not find any other dates end of December so had no choice. If I had a choice i would take a couple more days off before day 2 to just go over the CCS cases a couple of times and just relax a bit. This exam was the most exhausting out of all the USMLE's. Halfway through day 2 i wanted to run away from the exam centre because i was exhausted! God bless the placebo effect or whatever of Red Bull. :P I just hope I pass
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phyo123 View Post
Hi Brain 15,

I am in the same boat as you. I took my exam on 26th and 28th. Now, praying to pass.
Hey. How was the exam for you? And I took my exam on the same dates! We will get the result not on this wednesday but the next one right? Is it true that the result is released at midnight EST?
Good Luck!
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brain15 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by phyo123 View Post
Hi Brain 15,

I am in the same boat as you. I took my exam on 26th and 28th. Now, praying to pass.
Hey. How was the exam for you? And I took my exam on the same dates! We will get the result not on this wednesday but the next one right? Is it true that the result is released at midnight EST?
Good Luck!
Hey

My Day 1 : a lot of biostats
I had to choose all the drug ads randomly in 6 out of 7 blocks. And, some basic science qs though they were not tough.

Day 2: the qs are a bit easier. Time was ok.
But what I fear from day 2 is CCS.
I managed late in a case.
My diagnosis was uncertain in 2 cases.
I think I managed a little wrong in 3 cases.

How about you?
How did you do in your uworld and NBME 4?

Good luck to you too!
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  #16  
Old 01-10-2016
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[QUOTE=phyo123;985050]
Quote:
Originally Posted by brain15 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by phyo123 View Post
Hi Brain 15,

I am in the same boat as you. I took my exam on 26th and 28th. Now, praying to pass.
Hey. How was the exam for you? And I took my exam on the same dates! We will get the result not on this wednesday but the next one right? Is it true that the result is released at midnight EST?
Good Luck!
Hey

My Day 1 : a lot of biostats
I had to choose all the drug ads randomly in 6 out of 7 blocks. And, some basic science qs though they were not tough.

Day 2: the qs are a bit easier. Time was ok.
But what I fear from day 2 is CCS.
I managed late in a case.
My diagnosis was uncertain in 2 cases.
I think I managed a little wrong in 3 cases.

How about you?
How did you do in your uworld and NBME 4?

I think we will get the results next Tuesday midnight.

Good luck to you too!
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2016
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[QUOTE=phyo123;985058]
Quote:
Originally Posted by phyo123 View Post

Hey

My Day 1 : a lot of biostats
I had to choose all the drug ads randomly in 6 out of 7 blocks. And, some basic science qs though they were not tough.

Day 2: the qs are a bit easier. Time was ok.
But what I fear from day 2 is CCS.
I managed late in a case.
My diagnosis was uncertain in 2 cases.
I think I managed a little wrong in 3 cases.

How about you?
How did you do in your uworld and NBME 4?

I think we will get the results next Tuesday midnight.

Good luck to you too!
Day 1:
Horrible first block. Ran out of time so had to randomly mark last 5 questions. There were a couple of more blocks that went bad! Biostats was a nightmare. Honestly those drug abstracts and ads were so annoying and hard. I feel like i hardly got any biostat questions right. :/ other than biostats too the questions were long and difficult.

Day 2:
MCQs much better. No time issues but still don't feel too good about them. CCS cases were like WTH.. i messed up one case for sure as the patient didn't get better and infact towards the end her pain actually got worse :/ i did manage to get the diagnosis for nearly all the cases. One case i didn't know the exact diagnosis but i treated the patient and he got well so i hope that would help. Overall i messed up 3 cases at least.

My UWSA was 229 and i didn't give any NBME. The exam was nowhere near like UWSA so i'm freaking out about even passing
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2016
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I'm feeling the same.
CCS was horrible for me. And those qs I had to choose randomly.... Ughh

Hope the result turns out to be a miracle as in step 2, for both of us!

o[QUOTE=brain15;985066]
Quote:
Originally Posted by phyo123 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by phyo123 View Post

Hey

My Day 1 : a lot of biostats
I had to choose all the drug ads randomly in 6 out of 7 blocks. And, some basic science qs though they were not tough.

Day 2: the qs are a bit easier. Time was ok.
But what I fear from day 2 is CCS.
I managed late in a case.
My diagnosis was uncertain in 2 cases.
I think I managed a little wrong in 3 cases.

How about you?
How did you do in your uworld and NBME 4?

I think we will get the results next Tuesday midnight.

Good luck to you too!
Day 1:
Horrible first block. Ran out of time so had to randomly mark last 5 questions. There were a couple of more blocks that went bad! Biostats was a nightmare. Honestly those drug abstracts and ads were so annoying and hard. I feel like i hardly got any biostat questions right. :/ other than biostats too the questions were long and difficult.

Day 2:
MCQs much better. No time issues but still don't feel too good about them. CCS cases were like WTH.. i messed up one case for sure as the patient didn't get better and infact towards the end her pain actually got worse :/ i did manage to get the diagnosis for nearly all the cases. One case i didn't know the exact diagnosis but i treated the patient and he got well so i hope that would help. Overall i messed up 3 cases at least.

My UWSA was 229 and i didn't give any NBME. The exam was nowhere near like UWSA so i'm freaking out about even passing
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