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Advice for COMLEX level 2 CE

Discussion in 'Step II' started by COMBANK, May 7, 2008.

  1. COMBANK

    COMBANK Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

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    Attending Physician
    First of all, congrats to all of you for making it this far in your medical career. The COMLEX level 2 CE is just another hurtle you have to jump over. No worries...you'll get through it. DO NOT take the exam lightly though. As many of you know, I am the chief author of COMBANK and have been a member of SDN for a long time. These threads have given me tons of great advice over the years and have served as a great resource throughout my pre-medical and medical careers. So, I thought I'd give back a little and offer some tips, both as someone who recently completed the exam, and as someone who's talked to many osteopathic students over the past couple of years, some of whom were successful on the exam, and some of whom were not. So hear goes....

    COMLEX level 2 CE is very different from level 1...much larger of a difference than you'll see from level 2 to level 3. All of the questions are very clinical, however, on level 2 the emphasis lies more on diagnosis and less on treatment. The opposite is true for level 3.

    In my opinion, you need a good month or two to gear up depending how demanding your rotation is during exam time. The two biggest reasons people give me for not passing are: 1) they didn't take the exam serious enough and 2) they didn't do enouth practice questions. I know...I know...there are always a few studs who claim they only studied for three days and blew the test out of the water. Kudos to the guys but unfortunately, most of us won't be that lucky. It's similar to lifting weights...it takes some time to build true muscle mass. I would also recommend using a very systematic approach where you begin with your weakest subjects and end with your strongest. No matter what though...always, always, always end with OB/GYN and OMM. These two subjects sometimes comprise as much as 40-50% of the entire exam. Take 2-3 days per system until you've covered them all and take questions specific to that system after it's complete so you can see your progress. Also, within each system, focus on the major topics. For example, when you're reviewing Cardiology, you should spend a significant portion of your time on following areas: Interpretation of EKGs, dysrhythmias, pericarditis...etc.

    Important: Take the last three days before your exam and commit your self to only studying the highest-yield topics that are ALWAYS tested on COMLEX level 2! Think of it as if you are removing strategic pieces from a pyramid...if you move the right ones, the pyramid will fall. If you waste your time removing the wrong ones, you'll be out of breath in no time and the pyramid will still be standing strong. Maximize your effort! COMBANK is set up this way too...we target those always-tested areas to help you pick up as many additional points as possible.

    Keep in mind though...you are going to see questions that are too general and worded poorly. This is classic COMLEX style and it can get very frustrating. Ask anyone who's taken the exam and they will confer. Don't approach this test as a specialist no matter what field you plan on entering. You take this exam as if you are a family physician.

    Here are a few of those "always-tested" areas that you should know cold by exam day: Identification and treatment of AV blocks, obstructive sleep apnea, pneumonia bugs and clinical/x-ray findings, ppd testing (who is positive versus who is negative), side effects of antihypertensive meds, indications for specific antihypertensive meds, hyperthyroidism (particularly Graves disease), OMM levels, sacral diagnosis, posterior radial head, counterstrain position for psoas spasm, Chapman's points (most commonly for kidney and appendix), Addison's disease, Lyme disease rash, bullous skin diseases, gout treatment, vaccine schedules, Hep B testing, placental abruption, and signs of pulmonary embolism just to name a few.

    If you found this helpful and want to view more exam advice, I also posted some on our website at www.combankmed.com.

    Best of luck and please let me know if I can help you in any way. You can contact me directly through the site if you have any questions. I'm YOUR advocate and will do everything in my power to personally help you through this exam.

    Best of luck,
    Joshua Courtney, DO
    COMBANK Medical Inc.
     
    hfdoc likes this.

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