1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.
    Dismiss Notice

more USMLE II questions

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by weezy, May 22, 2001.

  1. weezy

    weezy New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know that you have all given input to USMLE questions before, but I have one more. I am curious if those of you who have taken the USMLE II (as well as your friends) did about the same as you did on USMLE I. I heard that statistically, people get about the same score on both.

    My situation is a little different than "DO2be2002" because I didn't do that great on USMLE I, but I am planning on applying to a competitive residency. I am thinking that if I take step II early and do really well, I can redeem myself a little. But, I don't know how much time to plan on studying to ensure I really "rock" this time. Any advice or thought on this? thanks
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    38,583
    Likes Received:
    26,754
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I actually did a fair bit better on Step 2; without revealing my scores I will say that I was 16 points higher on Step 2 than Step 1 which put me nearly 1 std dev above the mean.

    I think its a bit easier to do well on Step 2 because *most* students don't study much for it, take it during 4th year while perhaps distracted with other things, plus the experience of your clinical rotations helps.

    Good luck!
     
  4. weezy

    weezy New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is good to know. How long did you study for it? I am planning on taking it right off this summer (just after my 3rd year ends). I will have just finished my surgery rotation, which I hear would be good since I will be studying so much medicine for the surgery test. I am planning on studying for 3 weeks. I am hoping this will be good enough to do a lot better. Also, I think it will be nice to get it over with. What do you think?
     
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    38,583
    Likes Received:
    26,754
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Getting it over with is not a phrase I would wisely apply to an exam which you have admitted you need to do well on. It strikes me as an irresponsible attitude or something only worth applying to a meaningless event.

    I do not know the content of your surgical exams but mine, while certainly having some elements of medicine, were highly surgical. Therefore, I am unsure as to how studying for your surgical exam would help you with the IM-laden Step 2 except for the basic medical principles inherent in all specialties.

    I can't really estimate how long I studied for Step 2 as I took it during an elective and didn't have a block of time off to study for it. I simple studied as time allowed, but certainly don't think it was stretched out over more than a few weeks here and there. Only you can estimate whether 3 weeks is enough time or not. The old saw is: Step 1, 2 months; Step 2, 2 weeks; Step 3, number 2 pencil. For some 3 weeks might be more than enough; for others, not enough.

    Frankly I'm not sure I see the advantage of taking it right after 3rd year. There is so much to learn during 4th year - things that seemed difficult during 3rd year suddenly seem so clear and easy to understand. You will gain more knowledge and experience duirng 4th year, especially if you do any Sub-Is or another medicine rotation. Unless you are spending 4th year doing rotations which have little coverage on Step 2 (ie, Derm, Anesth, Rads, etc.) or you are required to take it now by your school, I would wait and get more clinical experience under my belt. I found that most of the stuff I didn't do 4th year rotations in (Peds, Ob-Gyn) was easily reviewed with review books and not a problem for me on Step 2. But doing IM, EM and Surg rotations helped me with my clinical judgement and I'm sure on Step 2.

    Just my 2 cents...if you feel you would be better prepared taking it now, then so be it.
     
  6. weezy

    weezy New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I definately see your point. I should clarify. For me, this is a critical test. As I mentioned, my plan would be to take it before I apply and hopefully do well on it so my application looks better. I have to take it before the fall because I am applying to an early match residency and need to have the scores back. In talking to 4th years, some of them suggested that they felt like in many respects taking it soon after 3rd year when you have studied all the core things in the books may be a benefit. However, I also know that experience helps tremendously too. I know the repetition of doing things in the 4th year really makes things more solid.

    However, since I need to take it before I apply, I don't have that luxury. That is why I am taking 3 weeks off to study like crazy for the test.

    As far as the phrase I used "getting it over with", I know many 4th years who waited until the end of the 4th year to take it (even after they had matched) and they were all dreading having to deal with it. I realize taking it somewhere in between would be ideal. Anyhow, that is my situation. My worry has been that I may not do much better if I take it so early in the 4th year and it sounds like (from what you said)that may make it harder. That is why I posed the question.
     
  7. Rusty

    Rusty Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2000
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    I matched to my residency in Neuroogy in January and took Step II in March. As a result, I had zero stress regarding my results. I knew I would pass, and felt that my score was of little significance. However, I did study for 2 weeks and beat my Step I score by 5. If you need an exceptional score for a competitive residency, I would recommend that you study for a longer period of time based upon your performance on Step I. To clarify, if you studied an average amount of time for Step I and performed average, then you should plan to study well above the average amount of time for Step II to achieve a score well above average. Good luck.
     
  8. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    38,583
    Likes Received:
    26,754
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    weezy...

    If you feel you must have the scores before you apply then I can understand your need to take it early; I didn't realize you were applying for an early match.

    While it appears that some of the 4th years you know stressed about Step 2, my experience is that of Rusty's - most US students I know took it after the match and like him, knew that their score didn't really matter (as long as they passed) as they already had a spot. I can think of few things less stressful than that.

    I understand that some people think that having 3rd year "fresh" would be helpful and there is some credence to that argument. However, there is SO little Ob-Gyn, Peds, Surg and Psych on the exam that you really only need to have a handle on IM - the rest of the stuff I found perfectly doable by simplying using First Aid and other review sources. Most of the questions from those fields are pretty basic stuff which doesn't need a lot of review. Thus, I still believe that if you are doing a Medicine Sub-I it behooves a student to wait and take the exam after that. I'm not sure when your apps are due but it sounds like you don't have that luxury weezy.

    Several people who have taken Step 2 recently found a fair bit of Trauma, you might be well advised to make sure you include that in your studies. Since the test is so important for you you'll want to devote as much time as possible to studying for it - whether that be 3 weeks or 3 months.

    Good luck!!
     
  9. Cassidy61

    Cassidy61 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2001
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know what Dr. Cox is talking about with the surgery test. I took the NBME surgery in December and it was like the medicine exam on steroids! It is ALL medicine! They only happen to mention a surgical procedure at the beginning of a question about a medical complication. Just my two cents.
     
  10. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    38,583
    Likes Received:
    26,754
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Thanks for your input Cassidy. While you may have taken the NBME subject exams are final rotation evaluation, this is not the case for everyone.

    Obviously if you are taking the NBME Surgical exam and it is almost all IM, then it would prepare you for Step 2. However, many of us instead take school-designed exams which are much more surgical in nature for the very reason that the NBME exams are not as well-designed as they could be (not that school designed exams are any better but at least they focus on the appropriate subject matter). :)
     

Share This Page