Aug 23, 2017
9
12
Hey all,

I just wanted to thank everyone here for all the advice and resources and shared experiences - they've helped me a ton, and I hope this post (although very long - sorry about that) can help someone else. I passed recently with a score in the 220s.

Exam Structure:
  • Based on what I read, Day 1 sounded mostly non-medical to me (i.e. doesn't require too much actual medical factual knowledge), but rather heavily focused on Biostats and Behavioral Sciences/Ethics - so I knew I'd need to spend time properly studying these. For Step 1 and 2, these subjects just didn't comprise enough of the exam for me to give them any importance, so I started off very weak in them when prepping for this test.
  • Day 2 on the other hand sounded like it would be very medical, heavy on clinical acumen and intuition (not just medical factoids). CCS is also on this day, again, expecting you to be a doctor like you would be IRL.
Study Strategy: Because I'm neither in medical school nor in residency, I had the luxury of 10 weeks of study time, and I realize that's neither doable nor necessary for everyone. Anyway, I split my studying into 4 sections based on what I felt I needed and the way the exam is structured:
  • Actual medical knowledge/facts: UWorld Step 2 and 3 Qbanks only, because I had good results with a UWorld-only approach for my previous Steps. I had flashcards that I had made from UWorld Step 2 from before, so I studied those, while also making flashcards for UWorld Step 3. Making these flashcards actually took up the majority of my study time (honestly, about 7-8 weeks out of the 10 I had) because I'm incredibly slow and probably undiagnosed-ADHD. I didn't do any self-assessments and to be honest I didn't really do any of the questions, just created subject-based blocks and read them in "Review" mode, so if you're wondering what my average on UWorld was, it was 0% (sorry, I know that's not very helpful). I didn't repeat the Qbank, but instead studied the flashcards twice or thrice.
  • Ethics: because I'm very weak in this area, I used First Aid for Step 1 + 2 + 3 (the specific chapters for Ethics/ Behavioral Sciences) + MTB3 (again, the specific Ethics chapter) + UWorld Step 3 questions.
  • Biostats: UWorld Step 1 + 2 + 3 questions + UWorld Biostats review. I know this may sound like overkill to some people, but this was absolutely necessary for me. And it made the biostats on Day 1 feel super comfortable and easy. If you can take the time to really nail down biostats, it'll help a ton.
  • CCS: Crush Step 3 CCS. I didn't use UWorld CCS, just because I felt like it was way too much info for me to retain. Crush had 120 cases, told you what the bare minimum is to pass, and was a quick and easy read. It covered almost all the cases included in UWorld CCS (I did a cross-check) plus a few more. Practicing on the Primum software is definitely helpful to get a feel for the weird software, and become aware of which tests you can and can't order. FYI, on the real test, there is only an option to order things "Stat", not "Routine".
Exam experience:
  • Day 1: Biostats felt easy and exactly like UWorld. Any Step 1-like (basic science) questions were either super easy or very obscure, but were only a handful, so very negligible. Ethics - ugh. Even with all the prep, there were many curveballs on the exam that left me scratching my head.
  • Day 2: Way worse for me. Went into the exam with very little sleep which led to a lot of dumb mistakes on easy questions, and made the harder questions even harder to get through. Question stems I got were wayyyyyy shorter than what you see on Step 1/2 or the UWorld Qbanks - which actually made it a lot harder :S Questions felt extremely vague, the answer options all equally bad and mostly I felt like instead of picking the best answer, I was picking the 'least bad' answer. The prognosis questions were over my head; I just guessed and moved on. Hopefully if you're a resident, you find Day 2 easier than I did because I definitely felt like having some clinical intuition here would help a lot. My experience was that it was very focused on prognosis and management, knowing when to stop working something up, and knowing when something is worth working up or not. CCS was weird and terrifying. Even though I figured out the diagnosis for all the cases, doing the workup would take forever because the software had like a 1-second lag for every screen that popped up, and when you're in an 8-minute case and ordering 15 things, those seconds add up. My cases all ended way too early, before I saw any improvement in most of my patients, so I was pretty sure I failed this part. I don't know how these things get graded honestly, because ultimately I ended up scoring entirely in the high performance section for CCS, so Crush did the trick. 11/13 cases were covered in Crush.
  • FYI - I did Day 1 and Day 2 five days apart. This helped me because I didn't study for CCS during my dedicated study time, so I crammed it in those 5 days after I got the Day 1 Biostats and Ethics stuff out of the way. Again, I know this isn't feasible for everyone, but it worked out well for me.
Good luck to everyone on this last Step, and thanks again for being such an awesome community :)
 
Last edited:
Aug 23, 2017
2
0
Congratulations!!! :)
Thanks for the detailed experience and preparation you did. Best of luck for the match Doc :thumbup:
 
Sep 4, 2017
1
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hey congratulations!!! can you help via sharing your flash cards?? that would be very helpful!!
 
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DisorderedDoc417

2+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2016
428
292
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hey all,

I just wanted to thank everyone here for all the advice and resources and shared experiences - they've helped me a ton, and I hope this post (although very long - sorry about that) can help someone else. I passed recently with a score in the 220s.

Exam Structure:
  • Based on what I read, Day 1 sounded mostly non-medical to me (i.e. doesn't require too much actual medical factual knowledge), but rather heavily focused on Biostats and Behavioral Sciences/Ethics - so I knew I'd need to spend time properly studying these. For Step 1 and 2, these subjects just didn't comprise enough of the exam for me to give them any importance, so I started off very weak in them when prepping for this test.
  • Day 2 on the other hand sounded like it would be very medical, heavy on clinical acumen and intuition (not just medical factoids). CCS is also on this day, again, expecting you to be a doctor like you would be IRL.
Study Strategy: Because I'm neither in medical school nor in residency, I had the luxury of 10 weeks of study time, and I realize that's neither doable nor necessary for everyone. Anyway, I split my studying into 4 sections based on what I felt I needed and the way the exam is structured:
  • Actual medical knowledge/facts: UWorld Step 2 and 3 Qbanks only, because I had good results with a UWorld-only approach for my previous Steps. I had flashcards that I had made from UWorld Step 2 from before, so I studied those, while also making flashcards for UWorld Step 3. Making these flashcards actually took up the majority of my study time (honestly, about 7-8 weeks out of the 10 I had) because I'm incredibly slow and probably undiagnosed-ADHD. I didn't do any self-assessments and to be honest I didn't really do any of the questions, just created subject-based blocks and read them in "Review" mode, so if you're wondering what my average on UWorld was, it was 0% (sorry, I know that's not very helpful). I didn't repeat the Qbank, but instead studied the flashcards twice or thrice.
  • Ethics: because I'm very weak in this area, I used First Aid for Step 1 + 2 + 3 (the specific chapters for Ethics/ Behavioral Sciences) + MTB3 (again, the specific Ethics chapter) + UWorld Step 3 questions.
  • Biostats: UWorld Step 1 + 2 + 3 questions + UWorld Biostats review. I know this may sound like overkill to some people, but this was absolutely necessary for me. And it made the biostats on Day 1 feel super comfortable and easy. If you can take the time to really nail down biostats, it'll help a ton.
  • CCS: Crush Step 3 CCS. I didn't use UWorld CCS, just because I felt like it was way too much info for me to retain. Crush had 120 cases, told you what the bare minimum is to pass, and was a quick and easy read. It covered almost all the cases included in UWorld CCS (I did a cross-check) plus a few more. Practicing on the Primum software is definitely helpful to get a feel for the weird software, and become aware of which tests you can and can't order. FYI, on the real test, there is only an option to order things "Stat", not "Routine".
Exam experience:
  • Day 1: Biostats felt easy and exactly like UWorld. Any Step 1-like (basic science) questions were either super easy or very obscure, but were only a handful, so very negligible. Ethics - ugh. Even with all the prep, there were many curveballs on the exam that left me scratching my head.
  • Day 2: Way worse for me. Went into the exam with very little sleep which led to a lot of dumb mistakes on easy questions, and made the harder questions even harder to get through. Question stems I got were wayyyyyy shorter than what you see on Step 1/2 or the UWorld Qbanks - which actually made it a lot harder :S Questions felt extremely vague, the answer options all equally bad and mostly I felt like instead of picking the best answer, I was picking the 'least bad' answer. The prognosis questions were over my head; I just guessed and moved on. Hopefully if you're a resident, you find Day 2 easier than I did because I definitely felt like having some clinical intuition here would help a lot. My experience was that it was very focused on prognosis and management, knowing when to stop working something up, and knowing when something is worth working up or not. CCS was weird and terrifying. Even though I figured out the diagnosis for all the cases, doing the workup would take forever because the software had like a 1-second lag for every screen that popped up, and when you're in an 8-minute case and ordering 15 things, those seconds add up. My cases all ended way too early, before I saw any improvement in most of my patients, so I was pretty sure I failed this part. I don't know how these things get graded honestly, because ultimately I ended up scoring entirely in the high performance section for CCS, so Crush did the trick. 11/13 cases were covered in Crush.
  • FYI - I did Day 1 and Day 2 five days apart. This helped me because I didn't study for CCS during my dedicated study time, so I crammed it in those 5 days after I got the Day 1 Biostats and Ethics stuff out of the way. Again, I know this isn't feasible for everyone, but it worked out well for me.
Good luck to everyone on this last Step, and thanks again for being such an awesome community :)
 

DisorderedDoc417

2+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2016
428
292
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I felt very similarly about the test, I finished it today. As a result I can hold out hope that I passed. If 220s feels bad I'm sure 196 feels even worse. That being the only numbered im concerned with scoring higher than :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Giannab
OP
C
Aug 23, 2017
9
12
I felt very similarly about the test, I finished it today. As a result I can hold out hope that I passed. If 220s feels bad I'm sure 196 feels even worse. That being the only numbered im concerned with scoring higher than :)
yeah lol, no one cares about anything other than a pass. 196 was all i was hoping for.
 
Sep 12, 2017
8
0
Status
Non-Student
Hey all,

I just wanted to thank everyone here for all the advice and resources and shared experiences - they've helped me a ton, and I hope this post (although very long - sorry about that) can help someone else. I passed recently with a score in the 220s.

Exam Structure:
  • Based on what I read, Day 1 sounded mostly non-medical to me (i.e. doesn't require too much actual medical factual knowledge), but rather heavily focused on Biostats and Behavioral Sciences/Ethics - so I knew I'd need to spend time properly studying these. For Step 1 and 2, these subjects just didn't comprise enough of the exam for me to give them any importance, so I started off very weak in them when prepping for this test.
  • Day 2 on the other hand sounded like it would be very medical, heavy on clinical acumen and intuition (not just medical factoids). CCS is also on this day, again, expecting you to be a doctor like you would be IRL.
Study Strategy: Because I'm neither in medical school nor in residency, I had the luxury of 10 weeks of study time, and I realize that's neither doable nor necessary for everyone. Anyway, I split my studying into 4 sections based on what I felt I needed and the way the exam is structured:
  • Actual medical knowledge/facts: UWorld Step 2 and 3 Qbanks only, because I had good results with a UWorld-only approach for my previous Steps. I had flashcards that I had made from UWorld Step 2 from before, so I studied those, while also making flashcards for UWorld Step 3. Making these flashcards actually took up the majority of my study time (honestly, about 7-8 weeks out of the 10 I had) because I'm incredibly slow and probably undiagnosed-ADHD. I didn't do any self-assessments and to be honest I didn't really do any of the questions, just created subject-based blocks and read them in "Review" mode, so if you're wondering what my average on UWorld was, it was 0% (sorry, I know that's not very helpful). I didn't repeat the Qbank, but instead studied the flashcards twice or thrice.
  • Ethics: because I'm very weak in this area, I used First Aid for Step 1 + 2 + 3 (the specific chapters for Ethics/ Behavioral Sciences) + MTB3 (again, the specific Ethics chapter) + UWorld Step 3 questions.
  • Biostats: UWorld Step 1 + 2 + 3 questions + UWorld Biostats review. I know this may sound like overkill to some people, but this was absolutely necessary for me. And it made the biostats on Day 1 feel super comfortable and easy. If you can take the time to really nail down biostats, it'll help a ton.
  • CCS: Crush Step 3 CCS. I didn't use UWorld CCS, just because I felt like it was way too much info for me to retain. Crush had 120 cases, told you what the bare minimum is to pass, and was a quick and easy read. It covered almost all the cases included in UWorld CCS (I did a cross-check) plus a few more. Practicing on the Primum software is definitely helpful to get a feel for the weird software, and become aware of which tests you can and can't order. FYI, on the real test, there is only an option to order things "Stat", not "Routine".
Exam experience:
  • Day 1: Biostats felt easy and exactly like UWorld. Any Step 1-like (basic science) questions were either super easy or very obscure, but were only a handful, so very negligible. Ethics - ugh. Even with all the prep, there were many curveballs on the exam that left me scratching my head.
  • Day 2: Way worse for me. Went into the exam with very little sleep which led to a lot of dumb mistakes on easy questions, and made the harder questions even harder to get through. Question stems I got were wayyyyyy shorter than what you see on Step 1/2 or the UWorld Qbanks - which actually made it a lot harder :S Questions felt extremely vague, the answer options all equally bad and mostly I felt like instead of picking the best answer, I was picking the 'least bad' answer. The prognosis questions were over my head; I just guessed and moved on. Hopefully if you're a resident, you find Day 2 easier than I did because I definitely felt like having some clinical intuition here would help a lot. My experience was that it was very focused on prognosis and management, knowing when to stop working something up, and knowing when something is worth working up or not. CCS was weird and terrifying. Even though I figured out the diagnosis for all the cases, doing the workup would take forever because the software had like a 1-second lag for every screen that popped up, and when you're in an 8-minute case and ordering 15 things, those seconds add up. My cases all ended way too early, before I saw any improvement in most of my patients, so I was pretty sure I failed this part. I don't know how these things get graded honestly, because ultimately I ended up scoring entirely in the high performance section for CCS, so Crush did the trick. 11/13 cases were covered in Crush.
  • FYI - I did Day 1 and Day 2 five days apart. This helped me because I didn't study for CCS during my dedicated study time, so I crammed it in those 5 days after I got the Day 1 Biostats and Ethics stuff out of the way. Again, I know this isn't feasible for everyone, but it worked out well for me.
Good luck to everyone on this last Step, and thanks again for being such an awesome community :)
I super suck at biostats and I found the UW biostats not helpful at all. What is another good source for biostats
 
OP
C
Aug 23, 2017
9
12
I super suck at biostats and I found the UW biostats not helpful at all. What is another good source for biostats
honestly, biostats was my absolute kryptonite, but after i pounded the UW biostats questions and explanations a few times (and took my time with them), that's all i ended up needing, and the real deal felt exactly like UW to me. literally the only other thing i used was this one youtube video i found for the ROC concept, which i struggled with a ton, and it helped a lot:
 
OP
C
Aug 23, 2017
9
12
Congratulations!!!
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I'm also interested in your flashcards.
unfortunately, i made physical flashcards - about 3000+ of them - so i can't share a link with you for them. someone else asked if i could take pix of em, but honestly, i just dont have the time or energy to take 6000+ pix (front and back) and upload them. just hammer out what you need from UW and im confident you'll nail the exam
 
Nov 21, 2018
2
0
unfortunately, i was twice on step 3 and no uworld no Kaplan do not match real exam
as an old foreign doctor I have strong impression that step 3 question designed by people w/o clinical experience. research and administrative workers. sometimes I have an impression that question on the real exam is from drHouse movie or from Facebook
MedBullet design as you can see on the pictures by very young doctors, probably residents. try to discuss some obviously wrong question, but they obviously do not understand what about they talking
CCS for Uworld written by people from another planet.
strong advice start study from real USMLE samples
 
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