RunwayModel

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I have seen this same post for Step 1, but what about Step 2? I know it is not as clear cut and First Aid is not as good for Step 2 as Step 1. Anyone have recommendations for books for each of the clerkships as well as question books and study schedules? I did have the Kaplan books but I don't know whether the lecture notes work well for Step 2. Any help is appreciated.
 

yaah

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Lovella said:
I have seen this same post for Step 1, but what about Step 2? I know it is not as clear cut and First Aid is not as good for Step 2 as Step 1. Anyone have recommendations for books for each of the clerkships as well as question books and study schedules? I did have the Kaplan books but I don't know whether the lecture notes work well for Step 2. Any help is appreciated.
Yeah, I thought First Aid wasn't that helpful for Step II. A lot of the difficulty in Step II is just learning the types of questions that are asked, and what things are more important. A lot of the information contained in the Step II first aid book is fairly obvious.

I did very well on step II and basically I used question books, and that was about it. Didn't study a ton, just went through the question books. The NMS book I felt was the best one, and the Appleton and Lange was also good, although a bit shorter. Subject-specific books that are often used for 3rd year clerkships are good as well, although these larger question books cover most of what you need to know. When using question books, go through the written answer explanation - understand why each incorrect answer is actually incorrect, as sometimes this is the toughest part.
 
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BassDominator

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I found Boards and Wards really helpful. I used that along with Qbank. If I had more time, I would have also used the Appleton and Lange clerkship review books.
 

RunwayModel

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Anymore suggestions guys? What books are best for USMLE Step 2 Prep/Shelf Exam (I assume 1 book can fit both)? Is there any difference between USMLE Step 2 Secrets and Crush the Boards? Here are the subjects I would like to find good books for USMLE Step 2:

OB-Gyn = Blueprints OB
Surgery = ?
Internal Medicine = ?
Pediatrics = ?
Psychiatry = Blueprints Psych
Family Medicine = ?
Emergency Medicine = ?
any othe clerkships I'm missing?

Question books
NMS Step 2
A&L Step 2 Practice tests
Qbank


Is Kaplan good for Step 2? I was thinking of doing videos or something.
Geez, I'm so confused. I think by the time I finish finding books I'll be pooped.
Thanks again :laugh:
 

erinmed2k4

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For step II I used the following:

Boards and Wards: this book is essential. If you hate outlines; however, this might not be your cup of tea.

Crush Step II: I like the prose form (instead of outlines) but it is not very comprehensive and lacks a bit in depth---especially in peds. It is good, but I think you need to use it as an adjunct to another text like Boards and Wards.

First Aid for Step II: this book gets poor ratings, but I didn't think it was bad. It is comprehensive and by using the above two texts in addition, i think you can cover almost all the topics step II tests.

Qbank StepII: I think the questions were pretty accurate/fair in general. I purchased but never used the NMS question book. I like to stick to the computer based question format (so I can get into a groove of clicking the mouse keys :p ).

I also used the sample 150 questions from the USMLE web site (definitely download these). I personally thought they were pretty easy (easier than Q bank and the actual test).

I used the blueprints series for my shelf exams but didn't return to them for step II as I don't think they were high yield enough.

I would say <from personal experience> that the biggest predictor of your score on Step II is your collective scores on the shelf exams for each subject (if you had the luxury of taking them). If you found that you rocked each shelf then chances are you will have no prob doing the same on step II.

Hope this helps!!! :luck:
 

Pelivar

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Sounds like you are getting a little too crazy about step 2. If you have done well on the tests for your clerkships you will do well. I studied Boards and Wards and crush for 2 weeks and did about half of the NMS question book and got a 149 (132 step 1). I would only focus on the subjects you are weak in (like OB/GYN for me) and use the general review books for the other subjects. It is mostly bread and butter stuff, not too much of the crazy weird questions from step 1. Good luck.

-P
 

Vincristine

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Pelivar.....passing for step 1 is about 180, so I'm a bit confused about your score.....
 
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Blade28

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Pelivar.....passing for step 1 is about 180, so I'm a bit confused about your score.....
Maybe Pelivar's referring to the score from NMS question book?

I'm planning on using Boards and Wards and Crush Step 2 for study purposes. I've also started using QBank, and have been reading Blueprints for each rotation. :)
 

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Thoughts on step 2:

The good news is, based on an informal poll of my classmates, most people who actually studied for it usually have equalled or improved upon their Step 1 score.

The people who take it right after the end of third year likely do better than those who wait until later.

Three good study resources are, in no particular order, Crush Step 2, NMS step 2, and Qbank. Also, check out "Advanced Life Support for the USMLE Step 2". The latter is a nice, small book that I read cover-to-cover on the first day of studying and again right before the test.

NMS and QBank are both very good. However, I felt the NMS questions were better and more rigorous practice for the real thing. To make a baseball analogy, both the NMS and QBank are like taking batting practice with weights on your bat. The NMS just represents a bit heavier weight. FWIW.

Good luck with your studying.
 

mary

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I'm a little late, but for future reference I think Crush Step 2, Boards and Wards, and Qbank are the only things you need to do well on Step 2 as long as you haven't been asleep for the previous years. Really, don't spend money on anything more or less- unless you add the NMS question book, which is also pretty helpful. If you are doing well on Qbank, you shouldn't have a problem (unless you are just really lucky and the luck runs out on test day- I was getting around 70% correct).
 

LovelyRita

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Hola....

I've heard that it's a good idea to take step 2 "early" vs "later". How late is "later"? My last 2 rotations of 3rd year are going to be surgery. Will this make it hard to study? Should I take it "earlier"?

:confused:
thx! :D
 

Scooby Moo

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DrMaryC said:
I've heard that it's a good idea to take step 2 "early" vs "later". How late is "later"? My last 2 rotations of 3rd year are going to be surgery. Will this make it hard to study? Should I take it "earlier"?
I've heard of people in previous classes here taking Step 2 as late as April...barely getting their scores in time for graduation.

I guess it depends on what kind of residency programs you're looking at and whether or not a high/low Step 2 score will help, hurt, or make no difference at all as far as getting an interview.

About surgery rotations making it harder to study, IMHO surgery and medicine seem to be pretty big components on Step 2...so coming out of one of these two areas fresh could even be an advantage as far as preparation.
 

LovelyRita

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Well then, that sounds good--I have 2 mos of IM and then 2 mos of surgery then 3rd year is done (~June '05). So, if I take Step 2 then, would be early enough to apply for residencies? I'm assuming so, since I've heard it's good to interview fall of 4th year.
Thanks for posting! :)
 

12R34Y

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Every student (almost) that i've talked to at our school used step 2 secrets and boards and wards for both shelf exams and usmle step 2 and did awesome.

that's what i'm going to be using.

later
 

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I posted a study schedule in reply to a post by asianpride entitled "best books for Step2". Take a look. It is lean and mean,
 

BatmanMD

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For the 3rd years, I would try to take medicine last or as close to last as possible. Now I know its too late to change anything, just meant to let those know who have med later in the 3rd year, thats probably the best for step 2. The downside is that the med rotation really helps w/ 3rd year if you have it early.

Like everything else, gotta choose which is more important. Wait til 3rd year is done and take a month off, or an even better idea is to take a "light" rotation that you have NO interest in (PMR, Rads, talk to upper class about ones close to you) and study during that month.

I'm taking the thing this Thurs, and followed this and feel about as comfortable as you can. I let everyone know how it turns out after the test and I get my score.

as far as books, there are multiple threads for this, but they all say the same as the previous posters. Take their advice (secrets, crush, NMS, B&W).

Enjoy 3rd year, its MUCH better than lectures! :D
 

LovelyRita

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Oh Batman....you're the greatest! :)

Seriously, thanks! I really appreciate it! I have 2 mos of IM then a month of surgery then an "elective" month. I was thinking of taking another surgery. Maybe I'll schedule step 2 before I start my surgeries.

:thumbup:
 

jmattwilson

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