Reperfused

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Thanks for your detailed reply. Clarifies all my queries.

I really don't remember much about the Kaplan books, but I feel the Surgery one is the most useless, if I were you I would go through the pages very quickly looking for things you think are important for you to review and leave it at that. I would review cardio in the Internal Medicine one as well, just because cardio always takes the highest percentage of questions. The MTB books are useful for diagnostic tests, because they tell you exactly how to answer the questions in order, and also guide you in treatment, so I would focus on that and look elsewhere if you want to review a particular disease more in depth, because they are very superficial when describing clinical findings.
Also, don't read the Kaplan books or MTB more than once, unless you're looking for a specific thing, they're not like the First Aid for Step 1 which you can read twice or three times and actually get something more out of it each time.
 

Reperfused

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Hey guys, does anyone if the online CMS forms get updated every now and then or do they remain unchanged like the NBMEs? I mean what would they do if they want to add new questions to the CMS forms, just add a form 5? Or change the questions within the existing 4 forms for each subject.
I’m asking this because if I do offline CMS forms that someone downloaded in 2015 would I be missing out on the new questions?

Thanks in advance!
 
Nov 11, 2018
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Mind sharing them please?
Hey guys, does anyone if the online CMS forms get updated every now and then or do they remain unchanged like the NBMEs? I mean what would they do if they want to add new questions to the CMS forms, just add a form 5? Or change the questions within the existing 4 forms for each subject.
I’m asking this because if I do offline CMS forms that someone downloaded in 2015 would I be missing out on the new questions?

Thanks in advance!
 

AFishAnt

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Jul 14, 2014
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Thank you! I took NBME 6 about 6 weeks before my test date while I was still on Family Medicine (before I really started studying or doing uworld consistently). I took the subsequent practice tests each Saturday before my test. UWSA 1 about 3 weeks before, UWSA 2 the following week, and NBME 8 about 5 days before my test date.

I reset uworld about 7 weeks before my test date while I was 60% through. During clerkship I was doing about 40 questions a day and 120 uworld questions (sometimes more) during dedicated. I was about 95% the way through uworld (after resetting) when I took CK. I used OME, Master the Boards, and Step up during clerkships but not consistently. I felt I didn’t have the same capacity for studying like I did during step 1, so I relied solely on Uworld.

I’m not entirely sure why I jumped so high on the real deal especially after feeling so terrible during the test. I am pleasantly surprised. How you feel during the test does not necessarily correlate with how well you’ll score!
Congrats on your score! I have a question. Did you do anki on top of the 120 per day during dedicated? If so, do you recommend it? I only have 2 weeks for dedicated and was wondering if I should forego anki to get more questions in on my 2nd pass of UW. During step 1 I was only doing 80 a day and I felt that was hard enough with anki on top.
 
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fantalescent

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Did dedicated prep for 3.5 weeks, pretty relaxed schedule tbh.
Had already done basically a full pass of UWorld prior to dedicated study time, and got through about half of UWorld on a second pass during dedicated.

Average UW blocks during 2nd pass: 77%
SA1 (took the 1st day of dedicated: 246
NBME 8 (took after 1st week of dedicated): 233
SA2 (took mid-2nd week): 262
NBME 6 (took 1 week before exam): 252

Actual test: 259
Woohoo! And I felt like absolute **** walking out of the test.
I basically just used UWorld and annotated in First Aid. Supplemented with a bit of Online Meded for sections that I felt weren't covered that well in FA but really just used FA and UW.
 
Jun 22, 2018
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Did dedicated prep for 3.5 weeks, pretty relaxed schedule tbh.
Had already done basically a full pass of UWorld prior to dedicated study time, and got through about half of UWorld on a second pass during dedicated.

Average UW blocks during 2nd pass: 77%
SA1 (took the 1st day of dedicated: 246
NBME 8 (took after 1st week of dedicated): 233
SA2 (took mid-2nd week): 262
NBME 6 (took 1 week before exam): 252

Actual test: 259
Woohoo! And I felt like absolute **** walking out of the test.
I basically just used UWorld and annotated in First Aid. Supplemented with a bit of Online Meded for sections that I felt weren't covered that well in FA but really just used FA and UW.
Congrats on the great score!! Quick question, I just took NBME 6 as a baseline not too long ago and am almost done with UWorld. The NBME felt pretty straightforward in terms of topics and how they asked the questions and I did pretty well on it, but I don't want my confidence to get to inflated. Did you feel like the actual exam was similar to the NBMEs in style or content and should I feel ready for the test if I'm doing well on the NBMEs?
 
May 15, 2019
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Hey guys. I could really use some advice. I'm a USMD student who is currently 16 days out from Step 2 CK, and I have a rotation starting June 3rd.

I have a low Step 1 score (21x), and really need a 240+ on Step 2, but thus far I'm pretty concerned about that happening.

NBME 6: 207 (took on Monday)
UWSA1: 224 (today)

I'm encouraged by the several-point jump in between these exams in just two days, but with only just over two weeks left to prepare, is it even possible to get a 240+? I'm 40% done with UWorld at a 63% average at the moment, and should be done with UWorld with a week left before Step 2.

Any advice would be much appreciated!! Thanks!
 
Last edited:
May 15, 2019
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Hi. I an IMG. I will take the step 2 ck tomorrow. I noticed the uworld adding more question during my preparation time... But there is something else that scared me last saturday (...). I started to prepare for step 2 ck on January 2019. I did nbme form 6 for a baseline. 2 months later, after having reviewed 2/3 of the UW, I took nbme form 7 and went up 36 points compared to form 6, and also did UWSA form 1 and got 220... Then I kept studying with some inconvenients that made me pass the test date from May 3rd to May 17th. Two weeks ago I did nbme form 8, and I passed it comfortably (taking in an account that they say nbme underpredict the real score for step 2 ck). BUT last saturday I took the UWSA FORM 2 and got a horrible 197 in the 3 digit score, after having completed the whole UW qbank and almost half of the usmle-rx... It just did not make sense to me. And the questions on this UWSA form 2 were pretty much like the regular study questions and harder. That saturday I did the diagnostic test of the Kaplan step 2 ck and got over 70% correct questions (enough to pass)... So, I wonder if UW changed the form 2 for some reason (?). Has anybody had this experience during this last 6 days?

Thanks for your attention!!
 
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Slave to the Game

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Apr 4, 2014
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NBME 6-8 average: 250s
UWSA 1-2 average: 260s

Real deal: 241.

I think there are a lot of people who aren't excited to share their poor score report, which makes for an overly optimistic thread that may give people like myself false hope.

FYI, Step 1 250s, 4-week dedicated, >90th %ile on all shelf exams, AOA/all H, USMD, UW average >70% first pass, >90% second pass (~70% done, didn't finish), felt good coming out of the test like I did for Step 1.

Here's hoping programs don't ask about why I dropped so low.
 
May 17, 2019
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1
Hello Everyone ,

I desperately need your help and advise. I am an IMG , almost 10 yrs post graduation. I have few spots confirmed next year for fellowship positions in the US and the only prerequisite is to clear the USMLE. I have done UWORLD Q bank once 45-50%. OME notes and Uworld flashcards and notes from U world explanation. I gave USWA2 and got 170 , which as you know is way short of the passing score. May I know what needs to be done next. Do I need to do U world q bank again ? or/and use texts such as MTB /Step up etc along with Uworld. I need to give the exam in 6 weeks time from now.
Thank you for your help in advance.
 

pathlologist

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Sep 23, 2016
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Just took it today, felt raw walking out. Alternated between feeling confident and unsure throughout the exam. There were a handful of Step 1-style minutiae questions but otherwise about what you'd expect. NBME 6 was 262 2 weeks out, UWSA1 was 268 5 days out. Hoping those were predictive, I feel like it's a toss up. A lot of my friends the year above said they all felt terrible walking out of the exam but it turned out fine, hoping that holds true. I'll update when I have my score in a few weeks.
 

ac909009

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Nov 16, 2014
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Congrats on your score! I have a question. Did you do anki on top of the 120 per day during dedicated? If so, do you recommend it? I only have 2 weeks for dedicated and was wondering if I should forego anki to get more questions in on my 2nd pass of UW. During step 1 I was only doing 80 a day and I felt that was hard enough with anki on top.
I used anki for step 1, but didn’t use it for step 2. I thought questions were the best way to study. I made flash cards with the uworld explanations (things that I knew I would forget or needed extra attention) inside the uworld app and looked back through them throughout my last few days of study.
 
Jul 11, 2018
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Got my score back on Wednesday! I felt like absolute garbage coming out of that exam. Basically was wondering if I took the correct exam because so many questions seemed random and weird.
Background: 1 week of dedicated but I came straight out of my medicine clerkship. Honored all my shelf exams (mid 80s-high 90s throughout the year)
263 on step 1. I originally planned a longer dedicated but moved my exam up because I was burnt out.

UWSA1 5 days out 270
NBME 6 3 Days out 275
Free 120 2 days out: 95%
Actual exam: 269

Trust your practice exam scores!
 
May 17, 2019
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Hi Guys ,

I did form 6 nbme today . 2 qs in my laptop shutdown and I had to log in nbme to complete the exam , post logging in the test started from the 3rd qs. So I completed the exam and found my score to be 10 equalling 1 on the USMLE 3 digit score . I reviewed the answers and I def have more than half ( minimum correct answers, dint count them). When I check the performance profile bar chart , half the subjects dont have any bars to it. May I know if this is a technical issue or is it cuz my laptop shutdown and only 2 qs were considered out 184 ? Thanks for your help.
 
Apr 7, 2018
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If it helps

1 month of dedicated. 90% of my studying was using UWORLD. I bought OME and used it for a few things but really didn't use it. My shelf exams were all over the place, but I was always above average at my medical school

Step 1: 250's
NBME 6: 228 <<< LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I freaked out and refused to take anymore NBMEs because I got 90% of the questions correct and this was my 3 digits score, which was ridiculous
UWSA 1: 252
3 weeks of studying
UWSA 2: 255 (I was a little annoyed at this point, because I had studied non-stop for 3 weeks and increased by 3 points)

Step 2: 260's

As I was taking the exam I very relaxed, because I honestly didn't care anymore (lol), I just wanted it to be over. I left having no idea how I did, but overall I did not feel good about it. I honestly was not going to be surprised if I scored a 230-240, which on Step 2 would have been below average. I scored exactly 1 SD above the mean on Step 1 and exactly 1 SD above the mean on Step 2. In medical school I was typically 1 SD above the mean in all of my classes. So based on this and the experience of my friends, I would say that the overall pattern/trend of your performance during medical school is VERY predictive of how you will do on the USMLE exams. There are always those people who do much better than predicted and those who do worse. I studied by doing everything honestly. I took the NBMEs and UWSA for both Step1 and Step2 without cheating. I did UWORLD timed blocks without looking anything up and if I had extra time (usually 15-20 minutes) I used 5 minutes to review my answers and then moved on, knowing that I would be slower on Step 2. There was one block on Step2 that I got WAYYYYYY TOO comfortable and I got to question 26 and realized I had 19 minutes left, so pay attention to your time.

Happy to answer any questions anyone has.
 
Last edited:
Jun 22, 2018
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If it helps

Finished MS3 in April, 1 month of dedicated. 90% of my studying was using UWORLD. I bought OME and used it for a few things but really didn't use it. My shelf exams were all over the place, but I was always above average at my medical school

Step 1: 250
NBME 6: 228 <<< LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I freaked out and refused to take anymore NBMEs because I got 90% of the questions correct and this was my 3 digits score, which was ridiculous
UWSA 1: 252
3 weeks of studying
UWSA 2: 255 (I was a little annoyed at this point, because I had studied non-stop for 3 weeks and increased by 3 points)

Step 2: 261

As I was taking the exam I very relaxed, because I honestly didn't care anymore (lol), I just wanted it to be over. I left having no idea how I did, but overall I did not feel good about it. I honestly was not going to be surprised if I scored a 230-240, which on Step 2 would have been below average. I scored exactly 1 SD above the mean on Step 1 and exactly 1 SD above the mean on Step 2. In medical school I was typically 1 SD above the mean in all of my classes. So based on this and the experience of my friends, I would say that the overall pattern/trend of your performance during medical school is VERY predictive of how you will do on the USMLE exams. There are always those people who do much better than predicted and those who do worse. I studied by doing everything honestly. I took the NBMEs and UWSA for both Step1 and Step2 without cheating. I did UWORLD timed blocks without looking anything up and if I had extra time (usually 15-20 minutes) I used 5 minutes to review my answers and then moved on, knowing that I would be slower on Step 2. There was one block on Step2 that I got WAYYYYYY TOO comfortable and I got to question 26 and realized I had 19 minutes left, so pay attention to your time.

Happy to answer any questions anyone has.
How did you feel the actual exam compared to the NBME or UWSA? I anticipate that the stems will be much longer than the NBME but I recently took 6 and found it to be pretty straightforward in terms of the questions asked and definitely easier than UWorld. I just don't want to get too comfortable by thinking the test will be as straightforward as NBME 6 was haha
 
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MedDoctor92

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Jun 10, 2015
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For those students that had really low step 1 scores like me, this is for you. I will update when I get my CK score. Studied for 3.5 weeks.

Step 1: 220
NBME6: 215 (the day pre-dedicated)
UW1: 253 (2 weeks into dedicated)
UW2: 254 (5 days before exam.)
Free 120: 86% (night before exam)
Real Step 2CK: ?
 

Mkandil

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Jun 10, 2013
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For those students that had really low step 1 scores like me, this is for you. I will update when I get my CK score. Studied for 3.5 weeks.

Step 1: 220
NBME6: 215 (the day pre-dedicated)
UW1: 253 (2 weeks into dedicated)
UW2: 254 (5 days before exam.)
Free 120: 86% (night before exam)
Real Step 2CK: ?
Rooting for you man!
Good luck
 
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Mar 12, 2019
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Strategy: I made Anki cards throughout M3 year from resources. Internal medicine was my 3rd to last rotation, so after it was over I continued to do the cards. I redid my Fam Med and Peds cards during dedicated and continued my Psych and OB/Gyn cards. Surgery I just didn't get to for studying and relied on UWorld. Dedicated consisted 1 month of doing 80 questions/day and reviewing those for 2-2.5 hours. I made Anki cards for material out of left field, but otherwise just tried to get the take home point from the question and move on. I started to use Zanki Step 2 when I had about 160 UWorld questions left just to review some topics I felt were slipping away--I would just do them once and not review them after.

Test Day: Felt awful. I didn't get much sleep and my appetite was absolutely non-existent. The questions were long and convoluted. It felt like UWorld questions, but take away like the 1-2 sentences that really made an answer likely. I would stare at some questions for 5 minutes before giving up because I was convinced I was missing something. By the 3rd section, I tried to move on quickly from questions I just had no clue about, which felt like a lot. I never remember many questions, but I remembered about 5-8 of which I think I missed 2 or 3. Not a great sample size lol. Anyway, I really did feel terrible, so anyone reading this just please remember we all feel awful. It helped me reading those experiences during the 3 week wait.

Step 1: Mid-260s
UWorld %: 84% first pass (timed, random)
UWSA 1: 259 (Baseline 4 weeks out)
NBME 7: 264 (3 weeks out)
UWSA 2: 263 (2 weeks out)
Free 120: 88% (1 week out)

Step 2 CK: Low-270s


If anyone has any questions, I'm always happy to answer. Truthfully, it's just another one of those tests you have to put a bunch of time into. Although I will say, my dedicated for CK was a joke compared to my dedicated for Step 1. Studying hard throughout the year for CK really makes a huge difference.
 
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Mar 17, 2019
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Great score can you share some of your assessments or study plan.
3 months prep with lots of self-doubt
nbme 6- 236 2.5 months out
nbme 7 - 248 1.5 months out
uswa1 - 252 1 month out
free 120 - 92 % 1 month out
uswa2 - 258 15 days out
I didn't get any sleep the night before the exam, even after popping a zolpidem
The real exam was really tough, I just wanted to quit after attempting the first 3 questions, the first block was the toughest and meant to break you which surely did.
the question stems were really long up to 20 lines of bull**** sometimes I dozed off reading them (cure for my insomnia? ) with just 1-word as clue guiding towards the answer which is strategically buried in heaps of trash.
psych and biostats were the toughest questions for me
6 drug ads, drug ads block had 38 questions but the other questions were really long
had many x-ray images,
stick to UW which covers 60 -70 percent of whats tested indirectly or directly, but the exam is not about clinical knowledge it's about clinical judgement and clinical application
only two step 1 related questions, don't waste your time on basic science
amboss, Kaplan and cms were not so helpful for the real exam
keep your prep phase as short as possible, dragging the prep phase will only drop your scores and sanity.
 
Last edited:

anilkumar

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Scored 246.

UWSA 1 259, UWSA 2 254, NBME 8 245 - all during the month prior to my exam date. The exam was weird in a way, and there's no time to review questions and you will frequently find yourself running out of time. So watch out for that, and manage your time properly. Exam was kind of similar to NBME 8, UWSAs were hard with respect to time management.

My resources: Just UWorld for 4 months, didn't do a second round after resetting (was able to do only 30% due to a time constraint). Had made my own personal cards on Anki, and revised tables/charts/algorithms. That's it.

Good luck!
 

chocoholicsoxfan

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May 2, 2015
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psych and biostats were the toughest questions for me
6 drug ads, drug ads block had 38 questions but the other questions were really long
had many x-ray images,
stick to UW which covers 60 -70 percent of whats tested indirectly or directly, but the exam is not about clinical knowledge it's about clinical judgement and clinical application
only two step 1 related questions, don't waste your time on basic science
amboss, Kaplan and cms were not so helpful for the real exam
Any advice on resources to study for clinical judgment/application? I feel like this is what I struggle with most, so I'm kinda worried.

Like least favorite questions on shelves were those kinds. Example: person has a thyroid nodule, how often do you screen? And the choices are never, 1mo, 3mo, a year. That kinda thing.
 
Mar 17, 2019
17
2
1
Status
Medical Student
Do you mind sharing your average score in Amboss
I've been doing amboss vigorously the past days and it's brutal. Did you feel the real test is even harder?
dont waste your time on amboss, my avg score in amboss 83 , I did it in 5 days free trail towards the end of my prep after uw
 
Mar 17, 2019
17
2
1
Status
Medical Student
Any advice on resources to study for clinical judgment/application? I feel like this is what I struggle with most, so I'm kinda worried.

Like least favorite questions on shelves were those kinds. Example: person has a thyroid nodule, how often do you screen? And the choices are never, 1mo, 3mo, a year. That kinda thing.
I am no expert either, I was just winging em
 
Apr 7, 2018
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How did you feel the actual exam compared to the NBME or UWSA? I anticipate that the stems will be much longer than the NBME but I recently took 6 and found it to be pretty straightforward in terms of the questions asked and definitely easier than UWorld. I just don't want to get too comfortable by thinking the test will be as straightforward as NBME 6 was haha
Well i quite obviously did not do well on NBME 6... I mean I guess thats not true, I got 90% correct but because people clearly study the quizlet and anki decks and then take it, the scores are super inflated. I felt like Step2 was comparable to UWSA and the shelf exams. I would say I felt like Step2 was way more like the shelf exams than step 1 was. hope that helps
 
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May 17, 2019
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Hey guys, I’m a first time poster on this forum. Just wondering, what are competitive CK scores nowadays for IM and Paeds. Also is the score more important than the percentile you fall in? Also I am an IMG so I know that also makes things tougher and there are bunch if factors that play a role in the application process.
 

TheIllusionist

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Aug 9, 2013
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Took it today
STEP 1: 247
Rotations- all honors
Shelf exam percentiles- Ob-gyn- 95th Surgery- 80th Neurology- 99th Psych- 99th Medicine- 99th Peds- 99th FM: 95th
During year
Ob Gyn- read Beckman's, casefiles, UWISE Questions, U World Questions, NBMEs
Surgery- read Devirgilios twice, U World Surgery, Pestana Audio twice, Pestana book and questions, NBMEs
Neuro- Read Aminoff, case files, firecracker neuro cards, U World, NBMEs
Psych- Read First AID for Psych a couple times, Zanki, U World, NBMEs
Medicine- U World, annotated it into STEPUP2 Medicine supplemented stuff with Goljan Rapid Review, Zanki Medicine, Broencephalon Medicine, NBMEs
Peds- U World, WiWa, Zanki, NBMEs (background was strong enough at this point)
U World- 73% first time through (I blitzkrieg the relevant section near the beginning of rotations and keep reviewing them over and over)
U World 2nd pass- done mostly on my phone in FM rotation (my last rotation) and read all of Goljan's Rapid Review Pathology (this somehow helped me with random **** and contextualizing everything)- 86%

Dedicated Time 3 wks
UWSA1 as a diagnostic- 265
First two weeks
Weaknesses (got 99th on medicine and peds on the diagnostic) were psych, obgyn, and surgery- so redid all obgyn questions slowly and all surgery questions slowly. also reread all of devirgilios- took about 2 weeks (relearned a lot of medicine just doing this too since there is a ton of overlap_
UWSA2- 271
Redid all of WiWa for medicine and peds
2 Days out- To re-familiarize myself with the style NBME 6 and 8 back to back (fried by brain). Scored 267 and like 258 respectively (lot of dumb mistakes on 8, scared me)
1 day out- free 120- 93%. Biostat and ethics review (well worth it)

Exam:

Someone said this earlier and I agree: The questions were similar more similar to the shelf exams than for STEP1. Shelf exams prepare you pretty well and give you a good idea of what it will feel like, particularly the medicine and surgery shelf exams.

The questions were a mix. Some freebies, mostly medium level, and a few ultra vague or ultra specific pain in the ass types. I finished blocks a lot earlier than I did for STEP1. The questions I didn't know tended to be very specific nuances of common conditions rather than random diagnoses. What made me very happy about how I felt, regardless of what my actual score will be, is that I didn't feel regrets about "not studying" certain things during the test. The types of things that stumped me were stuff that I genuinely did not see before or saw before on floors but just couldn't remember specifically enough. It was an extremely fair test. It was way less out of left field compared to STEP1.

Don't neglect learning how to interpret images on floors. Don't neglect just common protocals followed on floors, ideally look up why things are done for the reason they are done. Try to always be curious about pathogenesis of treatments and diseases. Anyway, laid it all on the line. As you can see my practice scores all ranged. I'll get what I get. Certainly an element of luck to it as well.
 
Apr 7, 2018
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Any advice on resources to study for clinical judgment/application? I feel like this is what I struggle with most, so I'm kinda worried.

Like least favorite questions on shelves were those kinds. Example: person has a thyroid nodule, how often do you screen? And the choices are never, 1mo, 3mo, a year. That kinda thing.
UWorld. If you pay attention and make notes every time one of these questions come up it will be a "gimme" question. I started out being terrible at these types of questions. I used Uworld and every time I came across a thyroid nodule question I would write notes about why you choose one thing over the other. I would keep all of this on one page and then at the end I reviewed it. If you do that, the pattern becomes really obvious and the questions become some of the easiest.
 
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