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?