01-17-2008, 07:05 PM
Any reasonable ideas folks? I can't help much since there was only the NBME parts 1-3 back in my day and they were a bit different than the current Steps
I just found out that I failed the Step 2 CK for the third time and I am devastated. I tried studying from USMLE world, first aid for boards and Secrets, but that has not helped me in all three attempts. I have lost all confidence in my ability. I scored a 196 on step 1, but step 2 was only a 162. I even tried one of those prep courses this last time round. At this time really dont know what else to do. Please help.
01-24-2008, 08:20 AM
I might be speaking out of turn here since I haven't taken Step2 yet but here we go...
You've studied from a variety of different sources. Perhaps you should narrow down your study materials and learn them really well (eg, just stick with Kaplan and First Aid). How were you doing on practice exams? How have your clinical rotations gone? I was under the impression that clerkships were fairly good preparation for Step2 (not the end all, be all, of course...). After three tries at an exam, I think that a good introspective analysis is warranted. Why do you think you keep failing? Is there something holding you back? Maybe you know a lot of discrete details but are unable to see "the big picture." Are there medical or family problems that are distracting you? Is there a professor or advisor that can sit with you and help you figure out what's going on? I'm sure they're concerned for you. You've made it through 2+ years of medical school and passed Step1.
Sorry I can't give any more specific advice!
I was under the impression that clerkships were fairly good preparation for Step2 (not the end all, be all, of course...). After three tries at an exam, I think that a good introspective analysis is warranted. Why do you think you keep failing?
This is actually a very insightful answer. I have found that clerkships generally prepare you well with the "gut instinct" to answer questions (i.e. what would you do with a patient who presented with XYZ) because you tend to see many things on the wards but oftentimes the details can be lost by the time you get around to the exam itself (i.e. when is the youngest/oldest age in weeks where you can safely do amniocentesis).
That being said, you should seek advice from someone who has your interests in mind. Whether it be a faculty member who you worked with and got along with well, or perhaps a dean or administrator who works with students on a frequent basis.
It is important to get at the root of what is impacting your performance on CK because there are some states that will let you fail only a certain number of times before you are ineligible for a license. I learned this after researching a question for another poster in a different thread...i.e. Wisconsin lets you fail three times maximum for each step. They tell you specifically that beyond that, you should not apply for a license because it will be denied. I think the limits are state specific though so your mileage may vary.
Therefore, please seek help from someone either in your school, your hospital or personal life who can help you figure out what to do differently this next time around...
best of luck
03-16-2008, 06:02 AM
I guess I am just here to give you some confidence. The only step exam I have yet to take is step III and from the experience of myself and my classmates, all we can say is that these exams are a crock of you know what. They were designed to test competance, but are now being used as residency cut offs and really just test how well you can take an 8 hour exam under pressure. Just my opinion, but I think there's at least a little credability to it.
I would have advised a prep-course, but I see you have already done this? There are Kaplan lecture videos that you can watch with the book materials and copies of all this circulating on ebay. I hope I don't get in trouble for posting that, but I felt they were very helpful, as did a lot of my friends.
have you figured out what your weakness is? time? material? Qbank and USMLE world a lot of people like to use. I only liked these to get into question mode and thought the content was weak, but still an option. I also agree with the poster who said to focus on just a few sources and know them cold. Ie, memorize and understand first aid cold or something.
Another thing I also thought helped was when I would see a textbook patient on the wards and then I would remember the example when it appeared on the exam. Is there anyway you can take a clinical rotation where you see a lot of pathology? Perhaps do a general medicine AI since that's probably the most prepresentative area on the exam? Or do an AI in the place you scored the weakest if medicine is your thing? I did an ER rotation right before my exam and thought it helped. Especially with the "what is the next best step" questions.
Good luck to you. hope you kick the exam's a** the next go around.