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What sequence to follow in taking USMLE Steps for IMGs?

  • Step 1 then CS then CK

    Votes: 50 24.2%
  • Step 1 then CK then CS

    Votes: 119 57.5%
  • CK then Step 1 then CS

    Votes: 13 6.3%
  • CK then CS then Step 1

    Votes: 16 7.7%
  • CS then CK then Step 1

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • CS then Step 1 then CK

    Votes: 12 5.8%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For graduates and IMGs it might be the case that which step should they do first? Is is Step 1 or Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS?

So in thread let's talk about what you think is the most appropriate sequence of taking the USMLE steps.
 

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There's a common mistake among old IMGs; they think doing CK first is better but that's absolutely not true.
A significant portion of CK preparation is dependant on step 1 and many questions are related to pathophysiology.
So the best sequence is step 1 - CK - then lastly CS
 

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Do not even think about it!

I did CK first, I was thinking the same way as old grads, because at school I was not good at all with basic science, and my scores got substancialy higher during the clinical rounds, I thought if I didn't get a high score in CK it will settle the USMLE thing because I won't get higher score in step1.

But unfortunately it doesn't work that way in the USMLE. First of all the information in step1 is very much linked to clinical practice, so you will not find it that difficult to cope with. And the most important thing is that you get a lot of questions in CK that you can't answer if you didn't go through step1. Though those who took step1 first may not notice them, I was struck by those questions during the exam and they kinda freaked me out a bit, my first response was ":eek:what is he talking about?", and I thought they are just too sophisticated. I was impressed so much by them that I still remembered them during reviewing step1, and everytime I went through a peice of info for answering those questions I went (aaaah, so that's what they were talking about :)). I think the reason people think that CK is easier than step1 (I strongly disagree) is because they studied step1 before CK.

So old IMG or not, I advise to take step1 first. It's an honest advice, Don't say nobody warned you ;)
 

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I just don't understand why IMGs are keen to take CS before CK!
The logic sequence is 1, CK, CS and this is how it's meant to be by the NBME and USMLE officials.
CS requires you to be aware of the various differentials of a given clinical symptom.
Even if you are a grad and you have vast clinical experience, don't you think that doing the CS right after the CK will make your job far easier!
 

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Step1 then CS then CK

The best sequence is Step1 then CS then CK for IMGs. You know why? because CS results takes sometimes three months until it comes out so it's better you do the CS early like in April or May then you do CK in July or August so that by September you have both results and you apply for the match. :rolleyes:
 

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CS first

I am an IMG, and I still student

I believe that that normal sequence 1, CK, CS is the best one

But for me, I will start with CS, cuz I am afraid from visa denial.. So if i get a denial, I will cancel all the USMLE pathway

Moreover, being a student gives me the opportunity to take electives in US.. So I will try to hit a couple of months as electives then take the CS

Best of luck to all :)
 

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USMLE announcement: Reduction in number of Step 1 items presented without a clinical vignette

Do you still suggest the following order to take the exams, even the questions of step1 are now more clinical?
step1, CK,CS

Thanks

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
USMLE announcement: Reduction in number of Step 1 items presented without a clinical vignette

Do you still suggest the following order to take the exams, even the questions of step1 are now more clinical?
step1, CK,CS

Thanks

Yes, it's still recommended. Reading for your Step 1 builds the foundation upon which you can take Step 2 CK.
For example, you will have difficult in answering an MI case in the CK exam if you have not really understood and grasped the anatomy/physiology/pathology/pharmacology ...etc of this disease.
Taking CK before Step 1 is not a 100% mistake or a huge risk or something but it's just better and ideal to tackle step 1 before CK.
The switch to clinical vignettes in Step 1 items has been there for more than 5 years but the advice is still the same "Better to take Step 1 before CK"
 

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Hi everyone
Ok we heard about this big debate. so, the big question is?
Did anybody take CK first and got high score?
please answer me
thank you
Yes, there are many students that I myself know very well who have taken the CK exam first and got high scores in both the steps. But perhaps they would have scored even higher if they would have taken Step 1 first :rolleyes:
 

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CK first may be better use of time

I'm a British medical student, who decided to go for USMLEs late on in medical school. Here, very little is taught on things like genetics and biochem, and often in other subjects, the detail is not quite the same, especially for minutiae. I'm going for CK first, as I'm currently in the middle of finals here, making CK revision sync very well. The things tested on Step 1 would not come up in finals, whereas there is little difference in material for step 2.
Following on from that, I anticipate that step 1 will cover many topics that are included in British post-grad exams, and so the revision will complement the exams at a later date.
I'm planning on taking CK in the next few months and will let you know how I did :sorry:. I'm currently working through USMLEworld, and getting OK scores.

In summary: for some IMGs who have graduated or come late to the party, doing the exams out of order may complement other work they're doing better.
 

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A Huge discussion indeed but lets reason with it..

When i came to make that decision two things made the decision much easier. One, we've been doing clinical rotation for 3 years so its definitely easier to review your clinical information and do the step 2 instead of going to the basics, which we've ignored and forgot most in those 3 years Right?. and two, Step 1 weighs way more into your application than step 2 sooooo if you happen unfortunately make a mistake on a step preparation or test day and THEN learn from it, its MUCH better for the latter to be step 2 So you could ACE step1 and improve your chances. Agree? :eek:
 

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When i came to make that decision two things made the decision much easier. One, we've been doing clinical rotation for 3 years so its Def easier to review your clinical information and do the step 2 instead of going to the basics, which we've ignored and forgot most in those 3 years Right?. and two, Step 1 weighs way more into your application than step 2 sooooo if you happen misfortunately make a mistake on a step preparation or test day and THEN learn from it, its MUCH better for the latter to be step 2 So you could ACE step1 and improve your chances. Agree? :eek:
I couldn't have put it better myself!:)
 

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CK or CS first????

Hi all,

I want to know in your opinion, is it better to first CS or CK??? And please do explain why???

Also, please do share with me what you did (take CS or CK first) and what were pros and cons for your choice.

Thanks:D
 

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Hi all,

I want to know in your opinion, is it better to first CS or CK??? And please do explain why???

Also, please do share with me what you did (take CS or CK first) and what were pros and cons for your choice.

Thanks:D
For medical students, it's probably best to leave the CS until after the CK. This is because it's difficult to master clinical skills before mastering clinical knowledge. For example, you won't be able to ask the patients appropriately when you suspect pneumonia (you need to have background about the causes, presentation, symptoms, signs, complications, ...etc).
For medical graduates, it does not matter which is first CS or CK. You can see in the poll above, that more people took the CS First, this is essentially to buy time, because the CS results take longer time to release than the CK results.
For example, you want to apply in September. It's better to do CS in June and CK in August (this way both results will be ready in September) than the other way round (CK in June and CS in August) as in that way you might not have the CS results ready in time.
 

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a very important question

it realy depends on you!!! i mean there is no rule in that!! in my city all students do the step 2 then step 1 and lastly CS... for me i went to the US before doing the step 2 and decided that i will do the CS, it was very risky as i did not prepare well but i passed it!! then after coming back i did the step 2 and again 99/259 thank God!! and now i am preparing for step 1 from FA and i hope for the best, so there is no obvious rule!!!
 

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I don't even know why there is a discussion for this
all steps should be taken in the order step 1, step 2 ck, then step 2 cs
thats how amgs take it
it shouldnt be different for imgs
 
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