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Indvidual Advice for Step II

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Repdsesstuinas

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Hey, I was hoping to get some specific advice on when to take step II. I am a third year (soon to be fourth year) applying to oto. I have read past threads and the opinions vary widely.

I did well on step I with a 261 (99 percentile). I am from a smaller mid-western MD school without a home program. I have done well academically (ranked 2nd, junior AOA, GHHS).

I know that my scores now are pretty good and I don't want to dilute them if I do poorly by taking boards early but at the same time I really don't want to push back taking boards until Nov/Dec. I am getting ready to do my family med rotation and could use that time to study for boards to take in late July before my first away in Aug.

Any specific input would be great.

Thanks!
 

ZagDoc

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Because of the delay in scoring, for the first half of my interviews I didn't have step 2 scores posted. Not a single interviewer commented on it. For the second half of my interviews, I had my scores back (matched my step 1 score within ~3 points). Not a single interviewer commented on it. The PD at my home institution basically told me to take it in the spring and just pass it. So think you can't really go wrong whatever strategy you do. Most people score much higher on step 2 anyways... harder for those of us with 99s but I think as long as you score 240s/250s, you're fine. Just be sure to put in the time so that you don't have a big dropoff if you decide to take it this summer.

Fwiw the only program I interviewed at that required step 2 scores to rank you was UCSF. so if that program is on your radar you might opt to go the early route anyways.
 

OtoHNS

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I've always heard that the only reason to take step 2 early is if you have a marginal step 1 score that you want to improve on. I guess if some programs are now requiring step 2, that is clearly another reason to go ahead and take it.

I wouldn't worry about it Mr. 261, I think you will do fine on the test regardless...
 

lildave2586

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My scores are similar to yours, and I'm taking mine in November just because it's a convenient time for me to take the exam. I would just take a look at your schedule and fine the best time for it. Don't worry about getting it in early, you obviously don't need it.
 

Repdsesstuinas

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Thanks for the advice. I will prob end up taking it in Dec then.
 

THE armada

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I got in the 260's on step I. Finished third year with medicine then surgery. Had a light rotation to study for ~3 wks. Took the test in July, scored higher. Had people comment on both my scores at my interviews. I loved getting it done with, would have hated to worry about the test around interview time or later. I recommend taking it, if you put in the time...you will not hurt yourself.
 

Pir8DeacDoc

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If you did very well on Step I (which you did), then all you stand to do is hurt yourself on Step II. If you do the same then you haven't really helped yourself, you've just affirmed what I already knew, you're a good test taker. What if you come way down, as an interviewer which should I believe is the real "you"? It creeps in a little doubt, which may not be a big deal, but it might. Why even take the chance with taking it early, no one notices or cares unless you do worse, which hurts you.
 

ThePursuit

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Alright, I somewhat disagree. If you have a great step I, you don't need to save yourself with a strong step II. That said, if you take step II early and do well it's good. It shows you get stuff done, don't play games, and your step I wasn't a mistake.

That's why I'm taking it early (and because I don't want to have to worry about it). Obviously I must accept the risk that it could theoretically hurt me, but I'm not going to let that happen. Most people probably won't care, but I'm guessing a few people will notice.

I was told this by an attending, so obviously opinions vary but most people apparently dont care.
 
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Bigpwn

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Alright, I somewhat disagree. If you have a great step I, you don't need to save yourself with a strong step II. That said, if you take step II early and do well it's good. It shows you get stuff done, don't play games, and your step I wasn't a mistake.

That's why I'm taking it early (and because I don't want to have to worry about it). Obviously I must accept the risk that it could theoretically hurt me, but I'm not going to let that happen. Most people probably won't care, but I'm guessing a few people will notice.

I was told this by an attending, so obviously opinions vary but most people apparently dont care.

I'm sorry, but I took step 2 early, so I can play games for rest of the 4th year. Does that make any sense? :laugh:
 
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