My USMLE Step 3 Story

Discussion in 'Step III' started by txc10, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. txc10

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    Hi, everyone,
    Just wanted to share my experience with USMLE Step 3--> here are the details:

    When- I took the exam on November 15 and 17, 2008 (a Saturday and a Monday).

    Results- I got my results back on the morning of Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008, via email (Passed comfortably, score similar to both Step I and II)

    Preparation- First Aid for USMLE Step 3 (read through it twice, including CCS cases, and made lots of notes), Kaplan QBank (scored 59% on about 1,000 or so questions, all random and timed in sets of 50), and the CD that USMLE sent to me after registering (scored about ~78% or so on the sample test, I can't remember exactly, and went over the CCS cases on the CD multiple times in order to be comfortable with the format). I studied a couple of months for the exam, during lighter rotations, about 1-2 hours daily, on average.

    Actual exam- The multiple-choice part of the exam is divided into blocks of either Outpatient or Inpatient/ER. I thought that the Inpatient/ER blocks were much tougher than the Outpatient blocks- fortunately there were only 2 of those blocks on the first day (out of 7), and 1 block on the second day (out of 4). I finished each block with 1 minute or less to spare.

    There were quite a few questions that tested your ability to manage very atypical clinical scenarios, ones that you may find in real life practice and not in textbooks. There weren't a whole lot of questions with pictures or charts, but, oddly enough, on my exam, >50% of the questions that included pictures were those of male/female genitalia???(vaginal prolapse, labial HSV-II, scrotal swelling, syphilis ulcer). There was only one question that required use of headphones (peds cardiac question). I remember a handful of questions on vaccination protocol (ex. Tetanus) and statistics (ex. PPV, NPV). There were tons of questions regarding best initial step in management. You should also be aware that some questions are stand-alone and others are sequenced together as a case or set of 2-3 items.

    The nine CCS cases were pretty straight forward, except for one, and my cases ended well before the 25-minute alloted time. The following were my cases:
    1) General Health maintenance for pt with oa/dyslipidemia/htn
    2) Aortic dissection
    3) Pancreatic CA
    4) Cardiac tamponade
    5) Acute cholecystitis
    6) Pneumonia
    7) Menorrhagia/Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding
    8) Temporal arteritis (this case started off looking like rheumatoid arthritis)
    9) COPD Exacerbation

    I purposely scheduled the exam on Sat-Mon, to give me an extra day to review the CCS cases in the back of FA, and to go over the CCS cases on the CD from USMLE.

    That's it for now; I will edit this post if I remember any more details. Good luck to you all.
     
    #1 txc10, Dec 15, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  2. keep

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    Hi, Congrats! I got around 59% in kaplan q bank in time mode. Please can you share your score for corrlation as i really worried about where i stand. u also did Usmle world / NMBE or kaplan q book too?
     
  3. txc10

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    I got about average (the average was 214 for recent test takers); I didn't use USMLE World, NBME self-assessment, or QBook. I only used the items that I mentioned in the original post (FA, QBank, and sample CD from USMLE). Good luck.
     
  4. keep

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    Thanks so much replying. Please can you throw some light on the diffcult index of kaplan q bank as compared with the real exam and also in terms of lenght of questions and topics
     
  5. txc10

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    Well, to be honest, I don't think that QBank questions were all that similar to the real exam. I think that the actual exam questions seem to be a little bit more vague and "management" directed than those on QBank....its hard to describe. In a way, I think that the sample questions on the USMLE Tutorial CD are more similar to the real exam than QBank was. Nevertheless, I feel that QBank was a useful tool, as I used it for all three of my board exams, and I passed comfortably on each one.

    If I had to add one additional resource, I would probably do the NBME self-assessment test. Frankly speaking, I wanted to use it, but couldn't find it on the nbme website at the time :oops: so I just ended up not doing it.

    As far as topics go, I feel that, on my exam, they were pretty evenly distributed and that no one topic in particular was tested more heavily than another. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
     
  6. Ice dude

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    Hey guys,

    Could you please tell how much time did it take for your step3 application to be approved and the permit to arrive?
     
  7. txc10

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    Yeah, I registered in Maryland, and it took just a couple of weeks for my scheduling permit to arrive.
     
  8. keep

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    Thank you so much again!
     

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