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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
CK Tips - It is NOT always about the assessment scores!

Hey Everyone!

Okay, so this is not a post about how to study and what to study, though I'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have. This is going to be an inspirational post for people appearing for CK soon, but who are still anxious with their assessment scores. Additionally, some tips on how to boost your score in the final month. Just a warning- In no way should you become slack and ignore your assessment's value.

Background -

Prep Time: 4 months

Uworld Average: Late 60s - Early 70s (%)
NBME 6: Late 230's --- 5 weeks prior
NBME 7: Early 220's --- 3 weeks prior
UWSA: Late 230's --- 2 weeks prior
Free USMLE Practice Q's: 84%
NBME4: Mid 240's ---- 12 days prior

USMLE Step 2 CK Score: 249

My real score is kind of close to NBME 4 but what is surprising is that I gave NBME 4 nearly 16 hours after UWSA and there was a difference of around 10 points! I gave NBME after being sad with my last score but with renewed determination to score higher than UWSA. That's it.

1. NBME is more of a real deal than UWSA. NBME and USMLE are part of one organization. UWSA is a test from Uworld, not affliated to USMLE. So, do your NBMEs to get a feel of the concepts tested in the exam. (The fact that it is 60$ and they do not give the detailed answers is a bummer!) Also, I'm not denying the fact that for majority UWSA is a better predictor. So, do that to practice additional high quality questions with amazing explanations! But, Don't forget the NBME's.

2. Revise and re-revise the wrong questions from NBME a week before. Why am I saying that? Because it is all about the "concepts". Take out time and search for answers to the Q's you got wrong. Don't ignore them. Every single question is solvable. And concepts repeat in the real exam.

3. Keep your cool. I tried giving the assessments in the ideal conditions (continuous blocks with timed breaks) but I just could not score what I aimed for. So, I kept trying. Every single day is a day for you to improve. Remember that. DON'T GIVE UP. You can score much more than every single assessment. Believe in it.

4. Then, I realized apart from knowledge, test-taking skills matter too. KNOW WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. For Eg, Initially I highlighted important points while reading the Q's. It did not help. The questions are too long. I lost track of the whole scenario. So, I stopped highlighting and read the whole question like a story forming an image in my head. It worked..my score jumped!

5. TIME. Always an issue. Try finishing 5 minutes before in your practice tests. Don't freak out. Be relaxed and sensible. Time is always going to be an issue in Life, in general. This is just an exam. Do your best. Don't over-think. Don't change answers EVER. Don't let confusion come into your mind, if it does, mark one answer and don't come back till you finish your block. Don't worry about the previous blocks or the blocks to come. Be in the present and value each second. and lastly, STOP looking at the clock every 5 minutes.

Do those Drug Ads in the end. They are really simple but major time-eater. 5-7 min at least! Major brownie points. So, try to make time for it in the end by not wasting time on the remaining confusing q's.

6. Last few weeks, make this exam your priority. Forget everything else. Other issues in Life can wait. Just a matter of few days. Study with all your might and believe in yourself.

7. Give a mock for 8-9 hours before sitting for the real exam. Combine NBME, UWSA and USMLE Practice Q's. You'll know if your head or back hurts during this mock. Carry medicines if required. Also, you will be in a better position to plan your breaks according to your exhaustion levels.

8. I would suggest not giving a mock exam less than 10 days before your test day. Why? Because it unnecessarily stresses you(if you are that kind of a person!). Make a decision about appearing for your exam based on a mock test at least 3-4 weeks before. Stick with that decision then, no matter what happens!! Then work hard the remaining days to boost your score.

9. On the exam day- Dress comfortably, be confident and calm. You had the courage to take these exams and you are here to score what you deserve, not what you desire. Please accept your short comings and strengths. Not everyone scores 260/270s. Likewise, some people even struggle to make it to 200s. Value your worth. Make a sensible target and stay focused.

10. Keep yourself hydrated and eat energy-rich food/snacks. Also, food that makes you happy will raise your endorphin levels! I carried dark chocolates and they really cheered me up! :)

Bottom-line - Trust your preparation. Give the assessments to get a feel of the exam and search for ways to improve your test-taking skills. You will improve and can do so with each passing day. Good Luck people! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rosette14- Thank you for your wishes! You can definitely score more than your assessments, I wish you good luck.

Fibroblast- Thanks for your kind words! I actually need to thank you for your great posts and updates in this forum. I have been a silent observer here since long, but thought it was time I gave something back! :) Keep up the good work you are doing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Excellence- Thanks and good luck to you too! Uworld is a gem for Step 2 ck. Better than any book in the market. Primarily, because it is updated so frequently and has all recent recommendations.

I did it around 1.5-2 times. I would have done it more if I had time. Depends on your style of learning. The first time I did it Topic wise, so that I could understand it well and learn from it. Second time was for incorrects/marked Qs, which I did it random mode, because now I was testing my mind to be able to jump topics and manage time. Again, don't get obsessed with the scores, learn from it and you will see your score rise.
 

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Hi DNA10! Thank you for your reassuring words. I took the test 1 week ago and now I feel like a crap cause the exam was really hard. I had good scores in self assessments but feel like I've done lower in the real deal. Ran out of time in several blocks and now waiting for my score in depressed mood. Share your experience - did your expectations matched your score? Thanks)
 

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Hi DNA10! Thank you for your reassuring words. I took the test 1 week ago and now I feel like a crap cause the exam was really hard. I had good scores in self assessments but feel like I've done lower in the real deal. Ran out of time in several blocks and now waiting for my score in depressed mood. Share your experience - did your expectations matched your score? Thanks)
Roman, you will be fine!!! I'm sure)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dr.Roman - You are done with your exam!! So relax. You did your bit, be assured you will get what you deserve. Hard work never goes waste.

Yes, I felt crap after giving the test. I ran out of time in a couple of blocks. So, yes I *did panic* But, at the same time I was confident that I would comfortably pass. Though I had nightmares of scoring low at times, I believed in my potential and had faith in God.

Don't put too much thought in the results, it will come and it will be good. The waiting-for-results weeks can be stressful, but trust me it all ends well. :)

Plus, you can't really *do* anything about it now. :D
 

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Thanks much for the post. It put me in a better place. 10 days before I take CK.. Needless to say, my stress levels are on a all time high. I have been doubting my preps. Took my NBME 4 today, did quite all right...A few silly mistakes which frustrated me.
The only thing I haven't done are those drug ads. I can't find practice questions anywhere. Can u tell me where I can find them? Thanks! And congrats on ur score! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
meenaxi- Thank you for your kind words. Stay confident and optimistic, you will do great! Last day before the exam, just relax and focus, and you will be okay. It's a very doable exam.

Coming to your question, I only did drug ads from uworld. They were more than enough. Always read the question first and then go on to read the drug ads, that way you'll know what you are looking for and not waste time. Drug ads Qs are easy marks so don't get over whelmed by the size of the Q, but if you can't understand it, don't waste much time on it. I preferred to solve them at the end.

Good Luck! :)
 

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Yes, I solved the ones on UW. There were only 3-4. They are ridiculously long! :( Thanks for the tip!.. And yes, they are best solved at the end. That way I know how much time I have left.
If u don't mind me asking, what was your average score in UW? I want to know if there is any correlation between the scores there and the actual test scores.
Thanks much! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Meenaxi- Don't worry about your uworld scores! They are the last thing on this planet that you should be correlating with. What matters more is what you learn from them and are able to apply that knowledge in NEW questions in the actual exam.
That being said, its always better to be above mid-60s, that needs to be the starting point and then you improve with time.
I scored around late 60s to early 70s in the beginning and got some random late 70s and even few 80s.

Hope that helps and Good Luck! :)
 
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