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Old 04-20-2014
USMLE Forums Newbie
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 5
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Default step3 experience

My information: active PGY1. Both step1, step2 >230, but were taken loooooooog time ago.

Preparation material: UWorldx1.5 times, MTB3 briefly, Google, wiki
Study Time: PGY1, 2 week vacation time (~8hours/day except one weekend) +2- 3 week (3-5 hours/day on no-call day, one week NF, had hard time study), mostly by myself, had several Skype discussion with friends for CCS.
Pre test score range: UW 50-70% Sim 227, NBME3 offline 73% (the day before the test)

The first day is much harder than the 2nd day, I got many statistic
questions, almost 3-5 every blocks, and the question are not straightforward, you have to really know the concept to get it right, unfortunately, Statistics is one of my weakness. I have abstract or drug ID in each block Also, there are quite some dermatology questions, usually with a simple nonspecific history, then one picture, almost impossible to figure out from the question directly , so better to google the pictures when you encounter the dermatology questions. There are some questions testing very basic concept, like Step1, it gives you a case, you diagnose the disease, but itís asking you what the pathophysiology is, so take a look step1 FA if you have time, especially all the genetic inherent disease.

Time management: Questions are in general medium size, but there are some quite long ones, I have to scroll down to see all. The time is very very tight, I usually able to have 10-15min left from the UW and NBME, but in the real test, I still have 2 questions not done when the 5 minutes warning popped out in 3 blocks, which made me nervous. Another lesson from me is that donít marked too many questions and hope to take 2nd look. Only mark the questions that you really want, you probably wonít have enough time to review if you mark too many.

Day2, the questions are much shorter and easier, although the last block got little harder and longer than the first 3. I will say the length and
difficulty are similar to NBME3.

Ccs part is fun, enough time for most of the cases. I took a break after the
first 4 case, then I used up all my break time before returning back to the
seat, as I know I will have extra time there. Cases are pretty classic, 1
pediatric, 2 OB/GYN, no surgery, others are IM. One of 20min case ended in 6min!

Itís definitely easier for resident to do the test, as there are some ethic
questions I probably wouldnít know before residency. And itís doable to
finish the test in 2-4 weeks if you can squeeze 6-10hours/day.
UWorld is good material to study, but make sure you understand the concept inside and know the incorrect answers as well; I get couple easy questions wrong just because I didnít pay attention to that.

I will write another post about how to manage CCS.
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The above post was thanked by:
Cairo (05-02-2014), d_wiqed (04-20-2014), Dr.NickRiviera (04-27-2014), dr.Zh (04-21-2014), dralan (04-20-2014), drzamzam (03-20-2017), geo82 (05-02-2014), Mjam (04-22-2014), tangled (04-20-2014), Teona (04-21-2014)

Old 04-21-2014
dr.Zh's Avatar
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Thank you so much for taking time and sharing with us your experience!!

God bless!!
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Old 04-21-2014
USMLE Forums Newbie
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 2
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Thanks for sharing your exam experience .Very helpful post.
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