Failed Step 2.

Discussion in 'Step II' started by Thatsmyspot, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Thatsmyspot

    2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for reading…and suggestions..

    Hey guys, long time follower since premed days but never posted anything.

    Anyway, I took step 2 CK on July 10 and failed. I scored a 206. Obviously, I am miserable but ill save self pitty because there isn’t time. I am taking CS on august 13th, and I have already submitted my application for CK. So for now plan is to take CK on step 18th and that way I’ll have my scores for CS and CK on October 7th . I could take CK earlier than sept 18th but since wont get my CS scores until October 7th and that’s when I am planning to submit my eras.

    US-IMG (carib). Just a short story. I started my prep June 2014. Took little time off from rotations to study. It was rocky start.

    Started with MTB with Uworld and finished uworld with a 60% random, mixed, timed

    Late july 2014: Nbme 4 – scored 180

    Mid august nbme 6: scored 190.

    September 2014 - November 2014: couple of deaths in the family within few weeks of each other. Few weeks later, good friend committed suicide. Called me before, but i couldn't reply in time. Felt was my fault so didn't take CK, withdrew ERAS etc etc.

    October 2014-Mid Feb 2015: Did uworld again (70% correct), kaplan qbank(57% correct) and Rx (72%). All were done in a timed, random mode. Took about 2-3 hours per block to read every word, make notes, look up stuff on wikipedia, google, step up to medicine, First step 1 and 2 etc etc.

    Mid feb – July 10: Re did uworld (4th time) and scored 80%. I was still missing stupid questions but was getting better at analyzing.

    NBMEs: (All were done online with extended feedback)

    Re did NBME 4 and NBME 6 and scored 229 and 236 respectively. I did recall around 4-6 questions per NBME.

    NBME 7 (3 weeks before the test): Missed 39 and scored 230.

    UWSA: July 5th: Tried beta blocker, made me sleepy and extreme mental fog. After first 2 blocks, took a nap and chugged down 2 redbulls. Overall, scored 224

    April 2015-July 10, 2015 - Did clinical mastery series NBME (online with extended feedback). Timed! IM form 1 and 2: 77 and 80 OBGYN: 60 and 64 Peds: 72 and 75 Neuro: Mid 60s Surgery: 77 and 65

    That's how i have been practicing answering questions:

    1: Read the last line 2) Read the stem and have differentials. As I read the stem, one of the differentials will become the diagnosis. 3) Answer the asked question 4) Look for my answer in the choices and if it’s there pick it and move on. If its not or if it’s asking something that I can’t answer then look at the answer and use process of elimination and look for an answer that explains all or majority of the symptoms/signs and pick it and move on.

    Now sometimes, I get in a weird rut or mind set that I have hard time picking an answer and this makes me waste time and I over think. So I get these questions wrong because I am over thinking them AND I run out of time and miss those questions too that I didn’t answer.

    Overall used these: MTB 2 (IM), MTB 3 (non IM) MTB HY videos (few times) MTB HY Audio (converted from videos) - whenever driving etc. Kaplan videos in July 2014. These were recorded in 2010. Uworld (62%, 70, 77, and 80%)- Timed, random and reviewed the blocks (took 2-3 hrs to review per block) Kaplan and first aid question bank - Timed and random. Step to medicine for whatever i was missing consistently based on question banks.

    July 10: Real exam

    First block: Hard, I struggled with endo/DM questions with labs. I don’t know if it was because of it being the very first block and my brain kinnda slow. So I ran out of time. I randomly chose an answer for 6 questions. I didn’t even read them, I had 20 seconds to put down an answer for those 6 so I did.

    July 10: Real exam

    First block: Hard, I struggled with endo/DM questions with labs. I don’t know if it was because of it being the very first block and my brain kinnda slow. So I ran out of time. I randomly chose an answer for 6 questions. I didn’t even read them, I had 20 seconds to put down an answer for those 6 so I did.

    Block 2-8: Easier. Felt better. Kept using my strategy (read the last line, read the stem, predict answer, look and pick it and move on). Some questions I was struggling to move on. I felt very famililar with the topic but I couldn’t get the answer. I felt answer was on tip of my tongue and I can get it. So spent a little more time than I should have so ran out of time. Random guessed on 2-3question per block without even reading due to running out of time

    I also had trouble with first few questions on each block. Perhaps, because I was coming from my break so first 4 questions took around 9 minutes due to slow processing. So around 20 questions (biostats, murmurs and abstracts), I randomly guessed without even reading. So probably got most of them wrong and I am sure got others wrong too by over thinking and I think that’s the reason why I failed. Sure, I don’t know everything but know enough to get a 225-230.

    So plan is to: Take CS august 13th, Take CK September 18, work on ERAS after september 18th, Get scores for CS and CK on october 7th and submit ERAS then.

    How do I force myself to pull the trigger faster? I mean I know I should stick to these strategies above by using process of elimination but how can I prevent myself falling for the questions whose answer is just on the tip of my tongue and I think I can get it in by spending extra two seconds. Perhaps, be more aware of this timing issue and remind myself of CK failure to make sure don't make same mistakes over again.

    So any suggestions regarding perhaps trying different strategies to consistently stop screwing myself over or sticking to my strategies and not spending a second over allotted time on a question. I usually try to do 10 questions in 13 minutes. Perhaps, I should try to aim for 1 min per question and even try to make sure I am answering each block during practice with atleast 10 minutes to go? Also, if theres any content glaring weakness please let me know.

    Applying IM/FM everywhere around 180 programs.

    I feel my brain is slow and lacks processing speed. Any suggestions how to improve upon that? Perhaps a little aerobic exercise 2-3x a week for like 20 minutes and perhaps vitamins, fish oil or OTC herbal supplements?
     
    #1 Thatsmyspot, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
    ULTRON likes this.
  2. Thatsmyspot

    2+ Year Member

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    Someone PM with some questions, so i figured might as well post here too.
    My step 1 score was 210 and passed on first attempt. I prepared well and on NBMEs were around 220s. What happened? I left around 15 questions blank. I did not even put an answer down because I ran out of time. So I think that was the biggest reason for my poor performance.

    Did all of my clinicals in U.S.

    I did rx, usmle world and Kaplan. All were done in a timed, random mode. Yea, we did have shelf exams after each core and I was performing around 65-70 percent but my preparation wasn’t great. Pretty superficial to be honest. And that’s why I was struggling with NBME 4 and 6 when I took them in July 2014. But after doing qbanks (rx, Kaplan and uworld), I definitely believe my knowledge base is great. Because whatever i got wrong, i looked it up in step up to medicine, wikipedia, MTbs, First aid step 1 and 2, FA OBGYN, or even kaplan lecture notes. Had 20 pages typed from kaplan and rx. Had around 120 hand written pages of notes from uworld. Sure, don’t know everything and still have gaps like I suck at biostats. I worked a lot on endo but sometimes I still struggle with endo questions where it can be due to vitamin d, hyperparathyroid, CKD etc and it’s just dependent on Phosphorous levels. I sucked at congenital adrenal hyperplasia but have gotten better. But I think overtime by doing uworld or Kaplan and rx, my foundation is no longer an issue. There is a significantly difference between what I knew in jan 2015 vs July 2015 but it doesn’t matter since it’s all about the result.

    I watched all 200+ hour plus Kaplan videos back in July 2014- early August 2014 but I am the type of person that needs to re watch something few times. I can’t retain just by watching it once. But I don’t think those video’s were necessary. I do have 2013 DIT but I think its just a recap which is not what I need.

    How I prepare for 3rd year rotations? Honestly, it was crappy prep at best. Pretty much stuck to blue prints because I need to read something more than once and most of the rotations don’t allow enough time to read something over and over. So I stuck with MTB 3 for Obgyn, peds and surgery and used uworld questions. Even though, I did okay but I don’t think my knowledge was great. Perhaps, I needed more repetition.

    OBGYN: MTB3, APGO and uworld

    Peds: MTB 3 + Pretest qs

    IM: I actually don’t remember.

    Psych: FA psych but i didn’t do any questions and that was a mistake. I did okay (67) but yea.

    Surgery: MTB 3+ uworld plus Uwise (worthless)

    FM: BRS

    Pysche
    I don’t think it’s the content problem. Sure, I don’t know everything but I know enough to score atleast around 225ish. This isn’t the goal though. I personally think I need to apply my timing strategies by doing big chunk of uworld blocks back to back instead of doing one block and take a break. Like do 3-4 blocks in a row. Biggest challenge that I have sometimes, I get stuck and can’t move on to the next question without MAKING SURE that I have chosen the best possible answer. This does two things: 1) Either confuses me and I change answer 2) Makes me waste additional 20 seconds that I don’t need to waste. If I do that to few questions per block that takes away time from other question where that time can be used properly. And I run out of time. So end result is: I talk myself out of some of the easy questions that I should be getting right by “making sure” AND I run out of time and then have to put an answer down to 2-3 questions per block without even reading. Which is just horrible practice.


    On my CK: I had around 2 biostats per block and 1 audio murmur which I skipped to come back and attempt at the end but I used up that time “making sure” my answer is the best answer and first 4 questions of each block took me 8 minutes. Perhaps, it was because I was coming from a break and had took few times to get in the flow? So 6 question randomly guessed without even reading the stem in first block + 2-3qs per block no. 2-8 makes the total to be around 20qs that I randomly guessed without even reading. So I am sure this played a role in my performance.



    Appreciate your advice. Thank you very much.
     
    #2 Thatsmyspot, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

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