luckrules

7+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2011
53
16
Status
Medical Student
Apologies if this has been asked before.

MS4 applying into psychiatry. I want to take step 2 CS in January. Do any psychiatry programs require a score before rank day and will this be a problem?

Thanks in advance!
 

MacDonaldTriad

5+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2013
2,208
3,411
still on the right side of the dirt
Status
Attending Physician
I really can't resist sarcasm at this point, but I can't see why standardized objective data comparing candidates could be considered useful when you are considering hundreds of applicants. Don't worry about it.
The USMLE people should really have tests stop in July for students who haven't failed so a fire will be placed under the process. If everyone takes it close to each other, the disadvantage would also be standardized.
 
About the Ads

OldPsychDoc

Senior Curmudgeon
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2004
6,270
3,959
57
Left of Center
Status
Attending Physician
You won't get ranked by us without a passed CS.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Psychotic

Ironspy

10+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2008
132
217
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It's an easy exam requiring minimal studying for native English speakers but required for ranking by a bunch of programs (Bc you can't start residency without it). It's a no brainer to just get it done in July/August and never think about it again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OldPsychDoc
OP
L

luckrules

7+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2011
53
16
Status
Medical Student
Thanks all. I was originally planning on taking a year out to apply for a different residency but finally settled on psych and am applying straight through. Consequently I'm having a hard time finding a test date. Would December be too late?
 

ExcaliburPrime1

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2015
90
69
Status
MD/PhD Student
Can't speak for all programs. The one I ended up matching in wanted the results prior to ranking. I believe I took it in December and just barely got the scores in time, if I recall correctly. Unfortunately it's a "big deal" at some places, even if you are a stellar candidate who has no business failing it.
 
Oct 13, 2017
1
0
Status
Medical Student
Similar question to original: I was an applicant going into interview season with every hope of matching at a top tier school (great step, good letters, interest in psych, etc). But, I have just found out that I failed step 2 cs. There aren't any December/November slots available anywhere so I may have to retake it in January meaning my scores wouldn't release till after rank. I need some real help with this guys. Does anyone know which residencies will absolutely not rank me without the score in?
 

raisinbrain

2+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2017
100
144
Status
Medical Student
Similar question to original: I was an applicant going into interview season with every hope of matching at a top tier school (great step, good letters, interest in psych, etc). But, I have just found out that I failed step 2 cs. There aren't any December/November slots available anywhere so I may have to retake it in January meaning my scores wouldn't release till after rank. I need some real help with this guys. Does anyone know which residencies will absolutely not rank me without the score in?
If you have time in your schedule and feel comfortable/prepared, you can still try to take it before the end of the year. Just check up on available dates at the sites nearest you every once in a while. Every weekend that I've checked, there is an open test date for at least one day of the upcoming week that opens up. Stays available for minutes to hours.

Not directly answering your question (I don't know the answer), but hope it helps. Good luck.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

3lefts

2+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2016
108
100
Status
Medical Student
Similar question to original: I was an applicant going into interview season with every hope of matching at a top tier school (great step, good letters, interest in psych, etc). But, I have just found out that I failed step 2 cs. There aren't any December/November slots available anywhere so I may have to retake it in January meaning my scores wouldn't release till after rank. I need some real help with this guys. Does anyone know which residencies will absolutely not rank me without the score in?
Gosh- CS failures seems so terrifyingly random. Sorry for the extra stress. I wish you the best.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
Apr 26, 2017
25
26
Similar question to original: I was an applicant going into interview season with every hope of matching at a top tier school (great step, good letters, interest in psych, etc). But, I have just found out that I failed step 2 cs. There aren't any December/November slots available anywhere so I may have to retake it in January meaning my scores wouldn't release till after rank. I need some real help with this guys. Does anyone know which residencies will absolutely not rank me without the score in?
I'm absolutely terrified of this. My score won't come back until December 13th at the earliest and by then it'll probably be too late to schedule something in time.
 

Amygdarya

10+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2009
2,135
1,684
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Similar question to original: I was an applicant going into interview season with every hope of matching at a top tier school (great step, good letters, interest in psych, etc). But, I have just found out that I failed step 2 cs. There aren't any December/November slots available anywhere so I may have to retake it in January meaning my scores wouldn't release till after rank. I need some real help with this guys. Does anyone know which residencies will absolutely not rank me without the score in?
Sorry to hear about this. Your best bet is, as @raisinbrain posted, to keep looking for an earlier date to schedule. Don't reveal your failed CS to the programs until you have a pass or unless you have no other choice.

You can look at the programs' websites if they require all Steps for ranking (some though not all programs spell it out clearly). The problem is, even with programs that don't *require* it before ranking your ranking may still be negatively affected because passing all Step1-2 is a requirement for getting a training license in most (all?) states, and programs don't want to get a resident who may have a delayed start because of delayed licensing due to Step issues. (Eg., Harvard program spell this out in their interview invitation emails.) So, again, your best bet is to keep looking for available dates and take CS in time to have a pass by ranking.
Best of luck!
 
Last edited:
About the Ads

3lefts

2+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2016
108
100
Status
Medical Student
Same. My school said to take the exam by the end of November. I thought scheduling mid-sept would give me plenty of time to retake it if I needed to but I somehow didn't realize until shortly before my exam that I wouldn't get a failing score until mid- to late-December, and then would have to find a retake date that was open, and then would have to wait another few months on top of that to get those results. Knowing there were such high stakes, I felt so nervous and like I was messing up throughout that whole exam. Now, every time I get an interview, which should be reassuring, I get another pang of nausea-inducing anxiety that it's all for naught. I'm definitely gonna advise future applicants to take CS in July to save themselves any needless worrying. In the meantime, for the sake of people finding themselves in a **** situation, hoping this requiring CS to rank thing is more an exception than a rule. There seem to be a number of old threads in which people passed CS by graduation and were still able to match and start residency.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
  • Like
Reactions: Twomonty17

splik

Professional Cat at Large
10+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2009
3,794
5,242
Status
Attending Physician
I only know of 2 programs that make a big thing of wanting CS in order to rank (they may be more, but be assured they will tell you when you interview that this is required). However, many other programs will still use it in their rank list determination, especially if they have been burned in the past. Some states do not require you to have completed your USMLEs to get your training license for residency and so in those states it won't be a big deal. But most states do.

The question isn't whether you won't be ranked at all because of a lack of CS, but whether it will hurt your ranking, which it absolutely will. You will be bumped down compared with those who have a complete application (i.e. with CS) and some places may assume you failed and havent declared it (and would be correct in that assumption).

Basically you should be obsessively checking for openings even more obsessively than you are checking your emails for interview invites, and schedule your CS retake at the first available opportunity
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ironspy

Celexa

2+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2017
110
175
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I could be wrong, but it seems like there's a feedback loop going on. A few programs start requiring CS to rank, therefore some applicants start taking it earlier...this causes programs to see more applicants who have it completed compared to the past, and given the difficulties sorting through applicants a passed CS is a nice data point to have. This causes more programs to start saying that they need CS to rank and on and on it goes with more people taking CS earlier causing people who don't have it to be at more of a disadvantage than they would have been in the past.

I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing and am damn glad I took CS early, but a lot of med schools have not caught up in terms of the advice they give their students.
 

AshNiffler

2+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2015
245
197
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm absolutely terrified of this. My score won't come back until December 13th at the earliest and by then it'll probably be too late to schedule something in time.
Same omg
 

OldPsychDoc

Senior Curmudgeon
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2004
6,270
3,959
57
Left of Center
Status
Attending Physician
I'm absolutely terrified of this. My score won't come back until December 13th at the earliest and by then it'll probably be too late to schedule something in time.
And we're "absolutely terrified" at the thought of committing to Match someone who can't start the program in June because they don't qualify to graduate and can't be licensed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DisorderedDoc417

DisorderedDoc417

2+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2016
428
292
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I really can't resist sarcasm at this point, but I can't see why standardized objective data comparing candidates could be considered useful when you are considering hundreds of applicants. Don't worry about it.
The USMLE people should really have tests stop in July for students who haven't failed so a fire will be placed under the process. If everyone takes it close to each other, the disadvantage would also be standardized.
July during the MS4 isn't really a disadvantage. By that time students have seen the presentations they are likely to see on test day ad nauseam. If anything, I think "medicine" knowledge starts to drop for some students at the beginning of interview season and into the fall. I think this would be a great idea. The med school affiliated with my residency makes their residents do it in January-February of MS3 and allows time to prepare for it. They all do fine and are in the clear come interview season (same with CK).
 

doggums

7+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2012
96
28
Status
Medical Student
Anyone know if programs will interview before a score is back? are there many that will not?
Anecdotally, I took CS in July and got ~20 interviews before my scores came out in mid-october. I would imagine it may vary some depending on your Step 1, Step 2CK, and IMG status as to how comfortable they are trusting that you'll pass. It seemed like most places will interview without it, but need scores by the time they're doing rank lists.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OldPsychDoc

3lefts

2+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2016
108
100
Status
Medical Student
Anecdotally, I took CS in July and got ~20 interviews before my scores came out in mid-october. I would imagine it may vary some depending on your Step 1, Step 2CK, and IMG status as to how comfortable they are trusting that you'll pass. It seemed like most places will interview without it, but need scores by the time they're doing rank lists.
You will get interviews without your CS back, but you will need to post a score to be ranked by many programs. If you’re like me and get anxious about the thought of not passing, I would look up the reporting schedule and pick a testing date that has a reporting window after applications are due (so you can choose to not update your USMLE transcript until you have a passing score if things don’t go your way) but that would still have plenty of time after your score is posted to reschedule, retake and get those retake results back by February. Since it can take up to 3 months to get results back, your initial testing date would probably in the summer. Those dates fill up super early, so start the registration process now if you have not already.
 
About the Ads

surfguy84

7+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2012
590
231
Status
Medical Student
You will get interviews without your CS back, but you will need to post a score to be ranked by many programs. If you’re like me and get anxious about the thought of not passing, I would look up the reporting schedule and pick a testing date that has a reporting window after applications are due (so you can choose to not update your USMLE transcript until you have a passing score if things don’t go your way) but that would still have plenty of time after your score is posted to reschedule, retake and get those retake results back by February. Since it can take up to 3 months to get results back, your initial testing date would probably in the summer. Those dates fill up super early, so start the registration process now if you have not already.
I'm scheduled early September....this is probably a bit late. Any idea if more dates will open up or get added?
 

3lefts

2+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2016
108
100
Status
Medical Student
I'm scheduled early September....this is probably a bit late. Any idea if more dates will open up or get added?
Not sure, sorry. I took mine in September also and it was fine. Vast majority of people pass on their first try.
 

OldPsychDoc

Senior Curmudgeon
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2004
6,270
3,959
57
Left of Center
Status
Attending Physician
Not sure, sorry. I took mine in September also and it was fine. Vast majority of people pass on their first try.
For for those few who do not--it can be VERY difficult to get a date to retest that will return your passing score before Feb 21--when rank lists are due. At this point, it's a calculated risk for the program to rank someone who has a chance of not graduating and being unable to start residency in June!
You just do not want to be that applicant...
 

W19

Membership Revoked
Removed
Removed
Account on Hold
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2014
6,096
4,220
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I cant emphasize enough... Take that test early (preferably in July or August) because the anxiety waiting for a CS result in January/February after the interview season is over is too high.

I applied to IM and some programs told me I was not going to be ranked if I don't submit a passing result before ROL submission deadline. I think WI might be one of the states that do not require CS for a training license.

FAQ | Department of Neurology | UW Madison
 
  • Like
Reactions: OldPsychDoc

raisinbrain

2+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2017
100
144
Status
Medical Student
I'm scheduled early September....this is probably a bit late. Any idea if more dates will open up or get added?
I don't know if more would get added (I would guess not). If your concern is that September is later than you feel comfortable with, and there are not currently any earlier dates, keep in mind that there will very likely be earlier testing dates that become available due to others' cancellations or rescheduling. You just may need to be persistent in checking for test dates, or use the scheduler website's email notification tool, since slots can fill between minutes and days after becoming available.

I rescheduled my test date three times, each time making it slightly more convenient for my rotation scheduling. It all works out in the end if you're persistent.
 

W19

Membership Revoked
Removed
Removed
Account on Hold
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2014
6,096
4,220
Status
Resident [Any Field]
@raisinbrain

This thread was started last year... OP probably took CS already. The best way to find a date that fit your schedule is to sign up for an open date... and you will automatically get an email when an there is an open date in the window that you put. But these dates are taken quickly, so you basically have to check your email constantly.
 

Taddy Mason

30 Helens agree
2+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2015
845
1,639
The Seaward
Status
Resident [Any Field]
@raisinbrain

This thread was started last year... OP probably took CS already. The best way to find a date that fit your schedule is to sign up for an open date... and you will automatically get an email when an there is an open date in the window that you put. But these dates are taken quickly, so you basically have to check your email constantly.
...and be able to click the hyperlink and login into the USMLE website within seconds of receiving said e-mail...which tend to arrive between 1-5am...
 
  • Like
Reactions: W19

raisinbrain

2+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2017
100
144
Status
Medical Student
hopefully not promoting too much anxiety or neuroticism here, but there's also the fun standby of forwarding those emails to your pager (mine magically would reach my pager before my email).
 

PsychApp777

2+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2017
47
58
Status
Resident [Any Field]
So the consensus is that the vast majority of programs will interview with no CS? Or does having a CS pass in September put one at a significant advantage in terms of getting interviews?
 

Celexa

2+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2017
110
175
Status
Resident [Any Field]
So the consensus is that the vast majority of programs will interview with no CS? Or does having a CS pass in September put one at a significant advantage in terms of getting interviews?
Having a CS pass does not give you an advantage when it comes to interviews because it doesn't differentiate people at all (you are expected to pass, after all). Having a great CK score might help with interviews. CS just needs to be in by rank list deadlines (at which point not having it turns into a MAJOR disadvantage).

My advice is take CS early and just be done with it. If you can do CK and CS around the same time that's not a bad idea, I took mine close together and the medical knowledge you need for CK covers everything you need for CS and then you can just brush up on the format of CS and be pretty much ready. People have a rougher time with both when they've been away from general medicine and clinic for a long time.
 
About the Ads

PsychApp777

2+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2017
47
58
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Having a CS pass does not give you an advantage when it comes to interviews because it doesn't differentiate people at all (you are expected to pass, after all). Having a great CK score might help with interviews. CS just needs to be in by rank list deadlines (at which point not having it turns into a MAJOR disadvantage).

My advice is take CS early and just be done with it. If you can do CK and CS around the same time that's not a bad idea, I took mine close together and the medical knowledge you need for CK covers everything you need for CS and then you can just brush up on the format of CS and be pretty much ready. People have a rougher time with both when they've been away from general medicine and clinic for a long time.
Would you say this applies even for an applicant with a mid 220's Step 1 and a mediocre application overall? My thinking was that having a CS pass in September may make such an applicant seem like a safer bet.

To make my question a bit more concrete, would I get more interviews with a 230+ CK and a CS pass or a 240+ CK and no CS? I'm thinking the latter would probably look better, but just wanted to make sure.
 
Last edited:

Amygdarya

10+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2009
2,135
1,684
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Check out the CS score release schedule. There is a magic window of time to take the test when the scores come out after September 15th (ie after ERAS submission, meaning if you don’t pass CS you won’t have to release it) but early enough to reschedule CS, should you need that, to have a pass by February (ie by ranking), which is all you need.
 

Celexa

2+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2017
110
175
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Would you say this applies even for an applicant with a mid 220's Step 1 and a mediocre application overall? My thinking was that having a CS pass in September may make such an applicant seem like a safer bet.
PDs would have to chime in but I don't see why. Something like 95% of people who take CS pass so it's assumed you will. My home PD definitely only cares about having CS for ranking.

I'm a huge proponent of taking CS early--I had both my CS and CK scores in before September--but not because of any reason I had to think CS mattered for interviews. I did it because I wanted it done and I had no regrets. Definitely saw regret among my peers who waited. Again, not because of interviews--just because the test sucks and M3 is the best preparation for it anyway.
 

Celexa

2+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2017
110
175
Status
Resident [Any Field]
To make my question a bit more concrete, would I get more interviews with a 230+ CK and a CS pass or a 240+ CK and no CS? I'm thinking the latter would probably look better, but just wanted to make sure.
I think you're barking up the wrong tree even assuming that those two scenarios are how things would go. Like I said above, the studying required for CK is surprisingly synergistic with CS. Unless you've consistently gotten consistent feedback on clinical rotations that you are abysmally awkward, regularly offend patients, and take 3x longer than most people do to write a note, you shouldn't have to do a ton of CS specific studying and it *definitely* shouldn't be taking away from your CK prep.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Amygdarya
Jan 20, 2018
9
0
Having a CS pass does not give you an advantage when it comes to interviews because it doesn't differentiate people at all (you are expected to pass, after all). Having a great CK score might help with interviews. CS just needs to be in by rank list deadlines (at which point not having it turns into a MAJOR disadvantage).

My advice is take CS early and just be done with it. If you can do CK and CS around the same time that's not a bad idea, I took mine close together and the medical knowledge you need for CK covers everything you need for CS and then you can just brush up on the format of CS and be pretty much ready. People have a rougher time with both when they've been away from general medicine and clinic for a long time.
Is this pretty unanimous, or only for some programs?
 

raisinbrain

2+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2017
100
144
Status
Medical Student
There are some programs which claim, per Freida, to 'require' CS prior to interviewing. Brief assessment looked like many of these are less competitive places (not a steadfast rule, though) and may be more worried about getting dinged by having applicants not pass prior to rank list / intern year. That said, I scheduled an interview prior to my CS being released at one of those programs that stated CS was required to interview. Not sure what that means. Perhaps if you (or others) have a track record of failing steps, or barely passing, it would be of more importance. But the part about really needing to have it prior to rank list submission day is definite, as mentioned above.

If you really wanted to satisfy all angles here and are concerned about scores for step 1 or 2, you can take CK early, then take CS some arbitrary number of weeks later - 3 if that's what you have your heart set on (fyi the longer you wait, the more you'll be re-studying CK material). As long as you take CS by August you should probably get results posted around Oct 10, which is right around when programs receive MSPEs and such and more interviews start rolling out. That shouldn't hinder you in the least, I'd suspect.
 
OP
L

luckrules

7+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2011
53
16
Status
Medical Student
Apologies if this has been asked before.

MS4 applying into psychiatry. I want to take step 2 CS in January. Do any psychiatry programs require a score before rank day and will this be a problem?

Thanks in advance!
This is OP posting an update. I used the CS score release schedule to find out I needed a date in December have a score back by ROL time. I obsessively rechecked the registration page until I got a date not on Christmas. This was a huge headache. Eventually I took my CS in mid December and got back my score in early February.

Worrying about this was not fun, so in the future I do recommend taking it early. I had some extenuating circumstances that left me not thinking about this until relatively late for this cycle (thought I was taking a research year out, funding fell through and I decided to apply in late summer), but if I could do it over again, I would probably just have scheduled it some random day near the end of M3. The presentations are common enough as long as you've done OB, Peds, FM, and Medicine (and maybe not even all of them), you should be ok. That way you don't have to worry about it.

However, you have a gazillion other things to worry about, and we all let something fall through the cracks.

One of the questions on here had to do with interviews. I had interviews at great places without a CS score. There were only about 3-4 places I REALLY wanted an interview at that I didn't get. I don't know if this had anything to do with my lack of CS score. I'd be surprised if it did. There were enough really talented applicants into psych this year that it probably had more to do with competition than anything else.

With regards to ROL, I had one place reach out to me in late January asking about CS score. I explained the situation, linked them to the CS score release schedule, and told them I'd get it to them as soon as possible. They seemed pretty cool about it. Randomly, the next day after I sent that email the scores got posted, so I think it was very minor. I don't know if other places didn't rank me, or ranked me lower than they would of otherwise, because I did not have a CS score in late January or early February. Certainly seems possible.

My chance to editorialize and put in my $.02 on this anonymous internet forum. This test is an extremely expensive. Most people seem to pass it. It requires a lot of time and energy to travel to. I'm at a loss as to why this is required to graduate and to be ranked. At worst it like a money grab, at best a way for people who are involved in licensing to sooth their conscience about not emphasizing "soft skills" enough in medical school curriculum.
 
About the Ads