Psychiatry Applicant Q: Low-average Step1, considering late Step2 date?

Sep 6, 2016
Medical Student
Hello! I am applying to Psychiatry, looking for advice on potentially delaying my Step2 test date. I appreciate any advice you have to offer.

Things I think are pertinent from my application:
- Pre-clinical years include taking time off/decelerating. I needed to withdraw from a course late, which resulted in a failing grade. Remediated without issue. Overall, this was due to a few factors, I was struggling, with my personal health and going through a divorce. I feel I've reflected on and grown from this, but I know this is not ideal
- Step 1 score in the 210's
- Clinical grades have been mostly High Pass, Honors, and some Pass.
- I have a number of very involved volunteer and research experiences that I am proud of, not specialty specific though

I had planned to take Step2 mid-Sept, so my score would be available early October. Based on practice exams/predicted scores and where I could realistic improve to by the test date, I'm looking at 230. Although this is improved from Step1, I was aiming for something higher to make up for my interrupted coursework and lower Step1. I also have a geographical preference for matching, which a higher Step2 might help with.

Ultimately I'm considering pushing Step2 to late October (the next available time given my upcoming rotation schedule), which would mean receiving the score mid-November.

My question, should I be prioritizing a score of 230 available early in interview season or a higher score later? Is improvement to 230 adequate to alleviate any concerns about my academic faults? To hopefully match at my first or second choice program?

Thank you for any perspective you can offer!