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step 3 - back to back or separated days?

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zipps999

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Based on my schedule and the days local test centers offer step 3, it is looking like my two options are either taking step 3 such that my first and my second day are split apart by a week, while on a lighter rotation - or taking the back to back but on a much more intense rotation. Thoughts? I worry the week in between will just give me anxiety/make me lose momentum but if i take it back to back, i worry about mental fatigue as well as not having enough study time given i'll be on a heavier rotation. thanks in advance for any advice!!
 

mentie

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It depends on your stamina and how prepared you feel. If you are confident and scoring highly on UWSA/NBME, then just bang it out in 2 days and get it over with. Back to back would destroy me though. I had one day in between, and I needed it. But that's because I wasn't confident nor scoring in a safe range. If I were you, I'd do it during a light rotation with a week in-between just to be safe. You can spend that week focusing on CCS (which is more than enough time).
 

Tapepsi

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Well going off my own personal experience, taking it on a lighter rotation with back to back days worked really well. Including the weekend I was also able to take 4 days off right before the test which really helped as going to an exam right off wards would have definitely affected my score.

So between those options I'd vote lighter rotation with a week apart but like you said every day you're not taking day 2 portion you need to be reviewing and I personally couldn't do that as id spend that time worrying about how I did on day 1 and what day 2 would be like instead of studying.

Btw is there a reason that those are your only options? That seems like such a limited number of options especially if you're an intern. Most programs allow you to use "Step 3 days" regardless of which rotation you're in.

In terms of fighting fatigue, I consumed two energy drinks per test day which normally would cause me to have a heart attack but worked for the exam and got me through it. Lol
 

Lostin_space

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Based on my schedule and the days local test centers offer step 3, it is looking like my two options are either taking step 3 such that my first and my second day are split apart by a week, while on a lighter rotation - or taking the back to back but on a much more intense rotation. Thoughts? I worry the week in between will just give me anxiety/make me lose momentum but if i take it back to back, i worry about mental fatigue as well as not having enough study time given i'll be on a heavier rotation. thanks in advance for any advice!!

i definitely would say take it a week apart. That's what i'll be doing. I found taking it back to back was not only exhausting, but did not give me enough time to wind down after an exhausting day 1, and that way you can get biostats out of the way and focus on ccs for day 2. also being on a lighter rotation will be good. i went into the exam after months of heavy rotations and i felt mentally and physically exhausted.
 

drake19

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test days for me were separated by 1 week. Glad I did this I was exhausted and mentally checked out for days after test day #1
Test day #2 was alot better for me because CCS portion went by so fast ended pretty early around 2-3 pm
 

FlowLimited

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Despite being on a more intense rotation, I would still take it back to back. The second day is significantly shorter and more straightforward. Just get it done. Spend the increased free time of your lighter rotation doing something enjoyable instead of studying.
 
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