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How/When to start studying for Level 2

Discussion in 'Step II' started by Scissor88, 07.08.12.

  1. Scissor88

    Scissor88 OMS-IV

    Joined:
    12.12.09
    Messages:
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    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member

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    I'm two weeks into third year and have finally come out of my "finished level 1 and I'm not doing the bare minimum" coma. I'm looking for advice for how and when to approach studying for level 2. I just bought UWORLD and plan to do that as I go through my rotations, but what review books should I be using if any. I liked FA for level 1, but have heard that it isn't as great for level 2. Also, any advice on how to study for COMATs and OSCEs would be appreciated. Thanks! :D
  2. Dr. Toaster

    Dr. Toaster There and back again Gold Donor

    Joined:
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    SDN 5+ Year Member
    1. Do well on your rotations and shelf exams. That is very useful and efficient board preparation.
    2. Don't gloss over OB and Peds, as it is more high yield for COMLEX than USMLE.
    3. Don't blow off rotation exams in favor of studying for Step II.

    I used Step Up to Step 2 instead of First Aid based on the recommendations on SDN. I think it was a good decision. It is a slim volume and easy to get through, pretty high yield and represented my test fairly well. During rotations, I only used review books to study. I can highly recommend Step Up to Medicine (a beast, but awesome), Blueprints OB, Blueprints Peds and Blueprints Psych. I never found a Surgery text I liked, but I used Surgical Recall.

    My overall advice: Use review books during the year to focus studying for the specialty specific end-of-rotation tests. Make notes. Use a Qbank if you want to, but remember that the COMLEX is not the same thing as the USMLE; make sure you use at least one of the COMLEX qbanks before your test day. Do well on rotations. Get good letters. Give yourself between 3 and 8 weeks for board prep, depending on your preferences. Blow through your review books again, Step Up to Step 2 (or similar) and Combank or Comquest. Take a COMSAE. Hope that all of your exam questions are written in complete sentences.

    I also highly recommend taking notes as you work through any qbank. I did that with all 2000ish Combank questions and ended up with a huge document of high yield points and charts. VERY useful for the last few days of my board prep before the exam.
  3. Scissor88

    Scissor88 OMS-IV

    Joined:
    12.12.09
    Messages:
    19
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Thanks!!!

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