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 How to Do Well on USMLE Step 2

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mary



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PostSubject: How to Do Well on USMLE Step 2   Fri May 27, 2011 5:44 am

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How to Do Well on USMLE Step 2

How to Do Well on USMLE Step 2: According to me

USMLE




I recently took Step 2 CK and did pretty well, about 20 points higher
than I did on Step 1 and I just wanted to share how I studied in case it
might help some one else. Please feel free to share your study
strategies if you've done well. If you haven't done as well as you'd
like, let us know, just like on the MCAT forum moderators and others
would be happy to help.

So, we've all heard that usually two
weeks of studying is enough for Step 2 and that some people just do
questions or barely read a book. My advice is don't buy this. You know
yourself better than any one. I'm the type of student how needs to do
tons and tons of questions and read the book at least once or twice to
be able to do well on standardized tests. Knowing yourself and study
style is the most important thing. Knowing this about myself, this is
what I did:

1. took a full month to study about 8-10 hours a day
solid (including weekends), wrote a schedule the first day with how many
days I was going to take to study various topics
2. used USMLE
WORLD, which is by far the best known q bank to use for Step 2, haven't
used Kaplan and have heard it's not as good, Kaplan is also more
expensive. Found out how many questions were in the Q bank, how many
days I had to study (with 5 days of review at the end) and calculated
how many questions I had to do in a day to finish the Q bank in that
alloted time
3. Took a practice NBME the first day or two and found out what my weak points were
4.
Started reading First aid and doing questions in those topics, mostly
reading, doing about 1 or 2 sets of questions per day and reviewing
every single question and answer including the ones I had gotten right
5. finished First aid at the end of the two weeks and ramped up doing questions
6. I did about 4 sets of questions a day with reviewing, both the questions and reviewing and taking notes in First aid
7.
towards the end of the third week, read Crush the boards, very easy to
read and has super essential info, I also started reading the quick
review at the end of first aid and reviewed the images at the end of the
book a few times
8. at the end of the third week and before I
started my review, I took another NBME and did well, so I knew I would
at least pass the test
9. devoted the last five days to reviewing
first aid and reviewing the questions I had flagged or gotten wrong in
the q bank (I flagged almost all the questions that said "extremely high
yield for USMLE" at the bottom of the question)
10. Took CK and then
two days later took CS. Haven't gotten the scores back from CS, but am
confident I did well, since it was super easy and we had had a much
harder practice exam (required for graduation) almost identical to CS at
my school as fourth years

In the end I did about 85-90% of the q
bank, I had two interviews during that month and ended up not studying
on those days as I had planned to do.

As far as questions go, I
did a mix of "timed" and "tutored", but was careful not to take all the
time in the world to do "tutored" questions. I mainly did a mix of all
topics, but for certain topics that I was weak in, I did a couple of
sets of that topic only.

USMLE





How well you need to do on CK depends on
the specialty you want to go into and how you did on Step 1. If you did
very well on Step 1 and are not going into a very competitive specialty
you don't necessarily have to take the test early in your fourth year.
But what you learned in third year is probably more fresh on your mind
at the beginning of fourth year, so that might make it easier to study. A
lot of people in my class have taken the test in the first half of the
year because of this and because they wanted to get it out of the way.
If you're going into a competitive specialty/program or need to
significantly improve upon your Step 1 score you need to take the test
early enough so that scores are available by the time you interview or
at least by the end of January when programs start wrapping up
interviews and thinking about their rank lists.

So, that's just some general advice, feel free to share your experience.


USMLE




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mary



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PostSubject: Re: How to Do Well on USMLE Step 2   Fri May 27, 2011 5:46 am

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all i can say is "good looking out sister!"


My
question is, so would it be considered waste of time to start actually
doing some studying right now? I have actually purchased NBME practice
for a pretest. This is just to have something to go by.

I intend
on reading each specialty in IM, then OBGYN and surgery. And as i
approach summer then i can start the intense questions and review. Does
this make sense?

again, thanks alot for the post.

congrats

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mary



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PostSubject: Re: How to Do Well on USMLE Step 2   Fri May 27, 2011 5:47 am

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I don't think it's a waste of time to study, just like Step 1 make sure
you don't peak too early and you do a lot of questions. Step 2 is very
medicine heavy, so make sure you know your IM really well. I had a lot
of OB/Gyn on mine, but that seemed to differ for different people (some
had more peds, etc... but every one had a lot of medicine). Also, know
the basics of statistics (sensitivity, specificity, etc...) there is not
ton of it on the exam, but what's there is straight forward and you can
score some easy points. First Aid is pretty detailed and I found it
extremely useful and read most of it at least twice, some parts more
often. Also you want to eventually score above 60% on USMLE World, if
you do that, you can almost be sure that you'll do well. hope this
helps.

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mary



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PostSubject: Re: How to Do Well on USMLE Step 2   Fri May 27, 2011 5:48 am

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by the way, I also passed CS, if you're a graduate of US medical school
you barely need any studying, especially if you've done well on your
third year clerkships. Either way reading First Aid for CS is very
sufficient. make sure you wash your hands, are courteous, calm, listen
to what the patient has to say and you should be fine. After I read the
info on the door I took about 10-20 seconds and formed a quick
differential in my head, that helped me come up with relevant questions
to ask the patient and do a focused physical exam. Don't forget to ask
about medication allergies

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