asmallchild

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Thanks to all for their Step 3 advice. Time for me to give back.


Book: Kaplan's Master the Boards
To be fair, the book does contain a ton of information that probably did show up on the exam. But it's hard to read it as an intern. Skimmed through the book once (and I really mean skimmed, any long list was instantly glossed over) over a period of 4 weeks. Tried to get through key sections the weekend before my exam and well, didn't work out so well. Not a huge book person when it comes to these Step exams.



Test Questions: USMLEWorld, USMLE Step 3 software
Completed all the questions in UW as well as all the UW CCS case scenarios. Did this over a 3 week period and spent the last week just redoing questions. Always in tutor mode, always 12 questions at a time. Scores ranged from 50-70% although by the time I hit the repeats, we were looking at 80-100%. Also completed the Step 3 questions provided by the NBME. I thought the CCS questions from UW were a lot more helpful than the sample ones offered by the USMLE Step 3 software but I would take a look at the official questions anyway because they are more representative of what you'll see on the exam. For the UW ones, it seems like they let you delve a little further in the case even proceeding to follow-up. On the real thing, the instant you skim the surface of the answer, the software will move you along. Also, after completing all the CCS case scenarios, I re-read the explanations for all of them the final weekend.



Summary
4 weeks-off to study although if we distill it to actual time spent studying, probably < 1 week. In retrospect, I would have liked to take the exam a little more seriously as I did feel it was pretty tough on the two days I as taking it. Endurance is also a factor if you prepare for the exam the way I did (12 sample questions at a time). I will note that my 2nd day was ridiculously short (<4 hours). If you acquaint yourself with the software and go through all 50+ UW CCS cases, you'll pick up pretty quickly what they want you to do and you almost fall into a rhythm when completing these CCS cases. I have never walked out of any medical-related exam with 4 hours left in my test day! And the CCS cases were the only portion of Step 3 where I was clearly above average.



Score: >230/99
(A large drop from my Step 1/Step 2 scores. Still, I'm not sure that Step 3 is graded on a similar scale and I'm not sure if Step 3 is actually used for evaluation of residents in any capacity. As far as I'm concerned, it's pass/fail and, needless to say, very happy to have passed and be done with Steps, forever!)
 

Pathinterpreter

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Wow, congrats! This is the first 99 I get to see on Step 3. I'm still in shock while writing. Intern in what? Internal medicine?

My test is in 2 weeks, 'recent' Step 2 CK, using Master the Boards & UW.
Any final advises in this precious time? Thanx in advance and CONGRATS :D
 

asmallchild

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Wow, congrats! This is the first 99 I get to see on Step 3. I'm still in shock while writing. Intern in what? Internal medicine?

My test is in 2 weeks, 'recent' Step 2 CK, using Master the Boards & UW.
Any final advises in this precious time? Thanx in advance and CONGRATS :D
Thanks, I'm an intern in internal medicine.

My advice would probably be UW over and over again. It does a great job of prepping you for the CCS cases and hopefully with enough of the regular questions, you'll get a feel of what you need to work on and can directly address it with focused reading from Master the Boards.
 

alittlestory

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Hey. thanks for sharing- I've been procrastinating for since Feb...

Can you clarify a few things pls?

- "12 questions" in a row, was this for CCS or the multiple choice q's?
- Did you do the questions subject-based or random?
- Where can I find the NBME questions?

Thanks so much ;)
 

asmallchild

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Hey. thanks for sharing- I've been procrastinating for since Feb...

Can you clarify a few things pls?

- "12 questions" in a row, was this for CCS or the multiple choice q's?
- Did you do the questions subject-based or random?
- Where can I find the NBME questions?

Thanks so much ;)
1) Even the multiple choice questions, I have a very limited attentino span.

2) I did all questions random

3) The NBME questions can be found off the official Step 3 site

Good luck!