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Do students generally begin step and comlex studying before the school’s designated board study window?

What is the average amount of time allotted for board studying?
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Do students generally begin step and comlex studying before the school’s designated board study window?

What is the average amount of time allotted for board studying?
1. Yes. Do not wait until after M2 to begin studying for boards.

2. Typically winter of M2 is when most people start.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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So study part time during second semester and then go hard during the designated window? And is 6 weeks the normal amount of time given by schools
Yeah pretty much. 6 weeks is plenty. I would say 4 is enough. After 4 weeks I burned out pretty hard.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Most schools give 6 weeks. The normal way to prep for step1 is out the window for a current premed. Your boards will be pass/fail so much less pressure. Comlex will have a score, but no one cares.

what I did which worked well:

first semester: hold on for dear life. “Oh god what have I done? This isn’t possible! No human should have to do this!” Seriously I just did my best to survive.

second semester: started zanki (now Anking, maybe called something else next year.). Just did the relevant cards as my school got to a new system. And kept up with them afterwards.

end of third semester: Zanki has taken over most of my life and I really already have no hobbies or happiness in my life. Oh well, time to start uworld.


fourth semester: keep Zanki and uworld going and watch boards and beyond for an hour everyday. Your entire life comes down to step 1 soon.

dedicated: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

step 1: I’m too burnt out to care. Just make the pain stop.

wait on your score and convince yourself you failed for 6 weeks
 
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cookiegrub

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I personally didn't start studying until dedicated but really started the december prior because starting earlier made me see my inefficiencies. It taught me that basically all the prep courses would be a waste of time and I must not fall into their trap come dedicated. I think if you psych yourself out earlier than the actual dedicated, you kind of fear monger yourself into being serious when dedicated starts because it really isn't a lot of time if you think about it. Our schools are not designed to necessarily prepare for boards so you have to do your due diligence to start thinking like the exam writers. If you are aiming for >240, absolutely start early 2nd year, especially if you suck in standardized tests. But I guess that won't be necessary since you guys are removing numerics for step 1.
 
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first semester: hold on for dear life. “Oh god what have I done? This isn’t possible! No human should have to do this!” Seriously I just did my best to survive.
man this part is so true lol
 
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I personally didn't start studying until dedicated but really started the december prior because starting earlier made me see my inefficiencies. It taught me that basically all the prep courses would be a waste of time and I must not fall into their trap come dedicated. I think if you psych yourself out earlier than the actual dedicated, you kind of fear monger yourself into being serious when dedicated starts because it really isn't a lot of time if you think about it. Our schools are not designed to necessarily prepare for boards so you have to do your due diligence to start thinking like the exam writers. If you are aiming for >240, absolutely start early 2nd year, especially if you suck in standardized tests. But I guess that won't be necessary since you guys are removing numerics for step 1.
Well I’m thinking since step 1 is changing to p/f there will be a lot more emphasis on step 2. So if I suck at standardized
Tests (got 514 on mcat but started at bottom 10% and
Studied for like a yr, took ten practice tests, did uworld twice, anki religously, read thru Kaplan 3 times) when should I start step 2 prep?
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Well I’m thinking since step 1 is changing to p/f there will be a lot more emphasis on step 2. So if I suck at standardized
Tests (got 514 on mcat but started at bottom 10% and
Studied for like a yr, took ten practice tests, did uworld twice, anki religously, read thru Kaplan 3 times) when should I start step 2 prep?
The best prep you can do for Step 2 is to know Step 1 material cold.
 
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Most schools give 6 weeks. The normal way to prep for step1 is out the window for a current premed. Your boards will be pass/fail so much less pressure. Comlex will have a score, but no one cares.

what I did which worked well:

first semester: hold on for dear life. “Oh god what have I done? This isn’t possible! No human should have to do this!” Seriously I just did my best to survive.

second semester: started zanki (now Anking, maybe called something else next year.). Just did the relevant cards as my school got to a new system. And kept up with them afterwards.

end of third semester: Zanki has taken over most of my life and I really already have no hobbies or happiness in my life. Oh well, time to start uworld.


fourth semester: keep Zanki and uworld going and watch boards and beyond for an hour everyday. Your entire life comes down to step 1 soon.

dedicated: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

step 1: I’m too burnt out to care. Just make the pain stop.

wait on your score and convince yourself you failed for 6 weeks
would you say comlex scores dont matter even if you want to specialize in something competitive?
 

Ho0v-man

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would you say comlex scores dont matter even if you want to specialize in something competitive?
The only scenario they might matter is a surgical sub or derm at a historically AOA program. I’d focus on getting pubs and other CV filler. The majority of acgme programs have no clue how to interpret comlex.
 
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Most schools give 6 weeks. The normal way to prep for step1 is out the window for a current premed. Your boards will be pass/fail so much less pressure. Comlex will have a score, but no one cares.

what I did which worked well:

first semester: hold on for dear life. “Oh god what have I done? This isn’t possible! No human should have to do this!” Seriously I just did my best to survive.

second semester: started zanki (now Anking, maybe called something else next year.). Just did the relevant cards as my school got to a new system. And kept up with them afterwards.

end of third semester: Zanki has taken over most of my life and I really already have no hobbies or happiness in my life. Oh well, time to start uworld.


fourth semester: keep Zanki and uworld going and watch boards and beyond for an hour everyday. Your entire life comes down to step 1 soon.

dedicated: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

step 1: I’m too burnt out to care. Just make the pain stop.

wait on your score and convince yourself you failed for 6 weeks
This is a pretty solid, accurate description of the first two years of medical school in today's environment.
 
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cookiegrub

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Well I’m thinking since step 1 is changing to p/f there will be a lot more emphasis on step 2. So if I suck at standardized
Tests (got 514 on mcat but started at bottom 10% and
Studied for like a yr, took ten practice tests, did uworld twice, anki religously, read thru Kaplan 3 times) when should I start step 2 prep?
No step 2 is a different formatted test. Your entire year in 3rd year is spent focusing on the material. Also medical school is conquering one step at a time. Itll be too stressful with coursework to study for both. You'll be vetted into it.
 
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No step 2 is a different formatted test. Your entire year in 3rd year is spent focusing on the material. Also medical school is conquering one step at a time. Itll be too stressful with coursework to study for both. You'll be vetted into it.
I think I didnt properly convey my question, my bad. I meant that as a DO student I think ill take step 2 instead of step 1, given that step 1 is changing to pass/fail. So when is a good time to start studying for step 2?
 

Ho0v-man

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I think I didnt properly convey my question, my bad. I meant that as a DO student I think ill take step 2 instead of step 1, given that step 1 is changing to pass/fail. So when is a good time to start studying for step 2?
If you don’t take step 1, you’ll likely still get screened out. Not taking it implies you can’t pass it.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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I think I didnt properly convey my question, my bad. I meant that as a DO student I think ill take step 2 instead of step 1, given that step 1 is changing to pass/fail. So when is a good time to start studying for step 2?
It will be even more imperative to take Step 1. It will be so easy to screen out anyone who doesn’t have a P.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Got it. So study to pass step 1. And then when do students typically begin studying for step 2?
Traditionally Step 2 is studied more longitudinally throughout 3rd year, and then like a 2-4 week intensive review period right before it.

You do not want to just pass Step 1, you want to know the material cold. It is by far the most important thing you can do to crush Step 2.
 
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Neopolymath

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Knowing step 1 material is good for wards and good for step 2. Don't believe people who say it's not important or not relevant. It might not all relevant clinically but pimp questions, shelf exams, and step 2 are much easier with strong step 1 background to carry you.

Do not fall into the trap of not taking it as seriously because it is P/F. Sure there will be some corners to cut like BS biochem diseases a little bit but otherwise it will still pay off.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Got it. So study to pass step 1. And then when do students typically begin studying for step 2?
Just to echo the solid advice above, absolutely be ready to crush step 1. My very first question on step 2 was straight up a step 1 question. Third year shelf and step 2 studying is MUCH easier coming from a strong step 1 knowledge base. I was personally able to sort of coast on that knowledge and just study a little throughout 3rd year and score pretty well.

My friends who barely passed step 1 busted *** all year to achieve a below average-average score. They had too much ground to make up.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the above posters have similar stories. Don’t sleep on this.
 
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Just to echo the solid advice above, absolutely be ready to crush step 1. My very first question on step 2 was straight up a step 1 question. Third year shelf and step 2 studying is MUCH easier coming from a strong step 1 knowledge base. I was personally able to sort of coast on that knowledge and just study a little throughout 3rd year and score pretty well.

My friends who barely passed step 1 busted *** all year to achieve a below average-average score. They had too much ground to make up.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the above posters have similar stories. Don’t sleep on this.
wow super helpful. so you think even though step 1 is p/f it's important to act like it's not and get that solid step 1 foundation?
 
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Ho0v-man

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wow super helpful. so you think even though step 1 is p/f it's important to act like it's not and get that solid step 1 foundation?
Yeah. You just can feel free to ignore embryology, cell bio (src/fak MAPkinase whatever), hardy-Weinberg crap, and nitty gritty biochem. But the silver lining is this stuff took forever to master and all of it together was <10 questions that were likely thrown out because so many people already blow it off lol.

Everything else is very relevant going forward.
 
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hallowmann

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Most schools give 6 weeks. The normal way to prep for step1 is out the window for a current premed. Your boards will be pass/fail so much less pressure. Comlex will have a score, but no one cares.

what I did which worked well:

first semester: hold on for dear life. “Oh god what have I done? This isn’t possible! No human should have to do this!” Seriously I just did my best to survive.

second semester: started zanki (now Anking, maybe called something else next year.). Just did the relevant cards as my school got to a new system. And kept up with them afterwards.

end of third semester: Zanki has taken over most of my life and I really already have no hobbies or happiness in my life. Oh well, time to start uworld.


fourth semester: keep Zanki and uworld going and watch boards and beyond for an hour everyday. Your entire life comes down to step 1 soon.

dedicated: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

step 1: I’m too burnt out to care. Just make the pain stop.

wait on your score and convince yourself you failed for 6 weeks
Shockingly accurate, although I didn't really used spaced repetition much. I could never sustain it, too easily distracted, but just used the others sources like crazy. In my day, it was the Brosencephalon decks in Anki that a lot of people were using, then at some point people switched to Zanki.

Ok will do. Besides mastering step 1 material, when do people start studying for step 2?
1. You master the step 1 material
2. You start in 1st or 2nd block of 3rd year doing Uworld focused sets, studying Step 2 resources, repeatedly repeating stuff from previous rotations. You do that the whole year, then spend 2-4 wks repeating Uworld and doing practice tests.
 
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Just to clarify, you guys think passing step 1 will be important for do students? So now instead of just taking a scored step 1, it’ll likely be important to pass step 1 and get a good score on step 2? In addition to comlexs?
 

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Just to clarify, you guys think passing step 1 will be important for do students? So now instead of just taking a scored step 1, it’ll likely be important to pass step 1 and get a good score on step 2? In addition to comlexs?
That's not new. For most DOs, taking and doing well on both Step 1 and Step 2 CK is what has been recommended for years, more so now given the merger.
 
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Just to clarify, you guys think passing step 1 will be important for do students? So now instead of just taking a scored step 1, it’ll likely be important to pass step 1 and get a good score on step 2? In addition to comlexs?

There is Less pressure to “do well” on step 1 since its P/F. But more so step 2 now.

You should still put a good faith effort in your Comlex scores. This will not be hard to do if you study for usmle.

Whether or not a PD will screen DOs using comlex level 1 is completely unknown. Perhaps if you are applying to a mainly DO filled program where some applicants still do not have USMLE in the coming years.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Just to clarify, you guys think passing step 1 will be important for do students? So now instead of just taking a scored step 1, it’ll likely be important to pass step 1 and get a good score on step 2? In addition to comlexs?

I’m not sure how many different ways we can say yes....
 
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Just to clarify, you guys think passing step 1 will be important for do students? So now instead of just taking a scored step 1, it’ll likely be important to pass step 1 and get a good score on step 2? In addition to comlexs?

Everyone here has given you solid advice and a formula to follow, OP. This is how it is as a DO student who wants to go into a competitive specialty.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Just to clarify, you guys think passing step 1 will be important for do students? So now instead of just taking a scored step 1, it’ll likely be important to pass step 1 and get a good score on step 2? In addition to comlexs?
Yes. Please understand. There are no corners to cut. Being a DO is already going to hold you back in any field. If there’s a way for a PD to cut down the amount of apps to review, they will. And if there’s a reason to not interview a DO, they’ll take it. You truly have to be a cut above an MD to match the same spot. So for the umpteenth time, you can’t skip taking step 1 because that’s viewed as doing less than your competition. I’m not sure what your aversion to taking a pass/fail exam is tbh.
 
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Thanks everyone :) sorry for being repetitive, before the past few of researching I didn’t even know what tests students take in med school lol. Figured I should learn given that I’ll be starting next fall.
 
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Now that COMLEX 1 is P/F too, do DO's just have one chance to crush Step 2 to show their competitiveness or is there anything else we can do? I'm a first year DO student hoping for a surgical residency. Already started AnKing
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Now that COMLEX 1 is P/F too, do DO's just have one chance to crush Step 2 to show their competitiveness or is there anything else we can do? I'm a first year DO student hoping for a surgical residency. Already started AnKing
Be top of your class, publish, start making connections, etc.
 

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Now that COMLEX 1 is P/F too, do DO's just have one chance to crush Step 2 to show their competitiveness or is there anything else we can do? I'm a first year DO student hoping for a surgical residency. Already started AnKing
Research just became super important
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Do you mean make connections with program directors or just physicians in general that would be able to write LORs?

Both. Make connections in your field of interest with people who could help you get into a residency program.
 
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