Discussion in 'Step III' started by Sherlock Holmes123, Aug 12, 2017.

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  1. Sherlock Holmes123

    Sherlock Holmes123

    Mar 10, 2016
    This is my whole exam experience... I wanted to write it for a long time after the result but I was busy....I really hope that this will help at least someone.....Thank you so much for the whole SDN community...

    Time for prep: 6 months (only 3 months with dedication)
    Materials used: UW step 3, UW step 2CK, Ali notes, FA step 1 (especially Biostats and Pharma), Some questions from Kaplan Qbook Step 2ck and Step 3.
    UW step 3 %: First time-55%, Second time-93% (I know, I know looks like beefed up but most of the time I was retaining even the question. So I think 93% means nothing)
    UWSA: 210 (2 months out)
    NBME 4: 450 (215) (1 month out)
    UWSA offline: 225 (1 week out)- Did the same UWSA but second time offline and didn't go through the explanations before, so it was like taking UWSA again.

    First of all, my step 2CK was in November 2015 (after that did not read anything but was working so at least I was active). My prep started in January 2017. Started with UW step 3 and I was very very slow and these three months, I mean Jan, Feb, Mar I wasn't even preparing seriously but anyway completed UW step 3 by March end. After that I started my second time prep and halfway through I dont know why I panicked for some reason and thought it would be great idea to do UWSA (scored 210) and to know where I am exactly (I wouldn't recommend this to anyone). And the second time I completed UWSA in 1 month. Then started doing CCS with a friend from May 1st and at the same time was going through archer CCS videos. Got bored with the CCS videos and stopped them. While doing the CCS UW, I was also going through the UW step 2CK, Ali notes and FA step 1. Also in my free time, when I was doing nothing I used to go through Kaplan Qbank question from both step 2ck, step 3 (Didnt complete these, just did medicine, neuro, ob-gyn and didn't even read the explanations). Did NBME by the end of May and scored 450 (I correlated 450 with other applicants experiences and just draw a line that 450 correlated to a score around 215-220. So this wasn't an official one). Then June came, started panicking, and was doing notes from UW step 3, FA step 1, and Just step 2CK tables. Also, If I find some time in between, I used to do CCS cases just like practicing again and again. One week out, I took the same UWSA and scored around 225-230 (by the way this one was offline). My exam dates were 19th June and 26th June (I wouldn't suggest taking a week gap in between because the anxiety gets to you and you start panicking. So ideal is between 3-4days).

    1st day- Started at 7:40 AM and It takes approx 30minutes from my home. So probably started the test at 8:30 AM. There were total 6 blocks on the first day (38,38,39,39,40,40- not in the same order though. so a total of 236 questions). Most of the exam was about bio stats and pharma drugs (constituted at least 15 questions in each block. Somewhere even more than 15). Expect at least 1 drug ad question and If you don't know, Just pick an option and move on. All the 6 blocks I had, I was doing them on time without anything left and so luckily I didn't leave anything unanswered). Apart from that everything was cool. Took breaks at the right time whenever I needed one and was having food and coffee.

    Coming back home, I felt horrible and was down for that day. Had couple of beers. Didn't do anything and from the next morning I started the UW practice cases and did those. Also went through my notes and CK tables very quickly.

    2nd day- Same routine as the first day, started on time and reached there on time and started. The questions part was very cool. I think I had 6 blocks of 30 questions each with 45 minutes of time. Most of the questions part included prognosis, preventive stuff. It was like UW step 2CK and step 3, nothing usual. Then CCS part started. Total I had 13 cases (Six 20minute cases and Seven 11 minute cases). The cases are similar to the ones on UW CCS but I think everyone will get 1 or 2 FU_ Ked up cases for sure. No matter what you do, either the patient dies or the 2-minute screen comes off and the case ends. I had 2 of those, completely bizarre but one of the best things was I couldn't do the necessary stuff but by the time the case ended I got the right diagnosis and I entered that but the whole diagnostic stuff was ****ed up because the presentation was pointing towards one diagnosis but the real diagnosis is completely different and you won't even recognize that. One main downside between the UW CCS software and Real exam CCS software is that the real one is kind of slow and It usually buffers when you enter the orders and confirm them (UW software doesn't do that and It was kind of frustrating). So the point is UW CCS cases are enough for one to do good in real exam CCS (The graph on my score report shows my performance in between high borderline to High performance).

    Then after coming back from the second day, I thought that I will Pass for sure because my second day felt way better than the first one and If I pass, I was expecting at least a 220 but that's fine.

    So no one explains the trick about the step 3 results. I am going to change that and I will explain how that works.
    My second day was on 26th June which is Monday. So the whole week is gone and start from next Wednesday and counts four Wednesdays I.E.. 26th July (Could be 3 too, so it depends). The Sunday before the expected result date I.E.. in my case on 23rd July, On FSMB candidate website the print permit option disappeared but the main FSMB site still shows "APPROVED" status and on Tuesday i.e. on 25th July it changed to Expired on Main FSMB site and It shows that I can start reapplying but there was no link to reapply.
    So what I did was I waited at night because my friend told me that the score report will be uploaded to candidate website at 12:00 AM but the link to your email comes in the morning. So I waited and checked it at 12:07 AM and...

    Wait for it....BAM...The link was there to download the score report....

    When I checked it...


    My advice is to stick with UW step 3, and 2CK especially if you took your CK a long time ago (Also, FA step1 for Pharma and Biostat part). UW is the key and it will get through it. Try whatever resources that work for you. I personally don't like MTB's so I didn't mention them but if those work for you go for it. And for CCS, UW UW UW UW UW (I'll have to type that infinity times) and with that just PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Use your Self assessments very wisely which I didn't do..Its better to take UWSA before and then NBME (Like UWSA 20 days out and NBME like 1 week to 10days out)..

    Best of luck for everyone....
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
    IM_1990 likes this.
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