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Step 2 CS scheduling

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by luckrules, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. luckrules

    luckrules 5+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    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!
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  3. FlowRate

    FlowRate Physician 7+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    You should really have a score back before rank.
  4. MacDonaldTriad

    MacDonaldTriad 2+ Year Member

    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.
  5. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Physician Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2004
    Left of Center
    You won't get ranked by us without a passed CS.
    Psychotic likes this.
  6. Ironspy

    Ironspy 7+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    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.
    OldPsychDoc likes this.
  7. luckrules

    luckrules 5+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    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?
  8. MacDonaldTriad

    MacDonaldTriad 2+ Year Member

    Not too late in terms of programs seeing it before rank lists go in, but too late in terms of keeping you from interviews who want to see it before they invite you.
    michiganpsych08 and Psychotic like this.
  9. ExcaliburPrime1

    ExcaliburPrime1 2+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2015
    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.
  10. psychgirl2018


    Oct 13, 2017
    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?
  11. raisinbrain


    Sep 12, 2017
    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
  12. 3lefts


    Jun 27, 2016
    Gosh- CS failures seems so terrifyingly random. Sorry for the extra stress. I wish you the best.

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
  13. Twomonty17


    Apr 26, 2017
    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.
  14. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    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: Oct 14, 2017
  15. 3lefts


    Jun 27, 2016
    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
    Twomonty17 likes this.
  16. splik

    splik Professional Cat at Large Physician Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    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
    Ironspy likes this.
  17. Celexa


    Oct 15, 2017
    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.
  18. AshNiffler

    AshNiffler 2+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2015
    Same omg
  19. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon Physician Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2004
    Left of Center
    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.
    DisorderedDoc417 likes this.
  20. DisorderedDoc417


    Dec 15, 2016
    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).
  21. 3lefts


    Jun 27, 2016
    I hope everyone above got to breathe out a huge sigh of relief today! :)

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