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Step 3 Questions

MNCASC

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I'm taking step 3 on June 3 and June 8.

1) Does day 2 have any biostats? Or is it just day one?

2) How much time should I dedicate to studying for the CCS portion? I was thinking for two days before I take day 2 of the exam. Or is that not enough?
 

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Hello MNCASC,

Day 1 consists of all multiple-choice questions, while Day 2 is both multiple-choice questions and the CCS cases. On Day 1, you will have 232 multiple-choice items divided into 6 blocks of 38-39 items. You are given 60 minutes to complete each block. This ends up being about a 7 hour test if you include the 45 minutes of break time (plus the 5-minute optional tutorial). Day 2 is a bit longer and ends up being about 9 hours. 180 multiple-choice questions (6 blocks of 30 questions) and 45 minutes allotted for each block. There are 13 CCS questions (10-20 minutes each depending on the case). Plus, you get 45 minutes of break time.

According the the Step 3 website, biostats is primarily tested on the first day. But, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw a biostats Q during the multiple-choice section on Day 2. I know that in general biostats is heavily tested on Step 3. I personally recommend giving yourself a few days in between Day 1 and Day 2. Focus on biostats for Day 1 and focus on studying for CCS between Day 1 and Day 2. I ended up taking my Step 3 day 1 on a Friday and day 2 on a Monday and thought that worked out perfect as it gave me an entire weekend to dedicate to CCS studying. The CCS portion of the exam holds a lot of weight and there are many students who either do not pass or end up with low scores due to inadequate preparation for the CCS portion. In my opinion, UWorld is not the best resource when it comes to studying for the CCS portion. I would highly recommended purchasing and working through all the CCS Simulated cases at USMLE Step 3 CCS Case Interactive Software Simulator - for PC & Mac. They provide you with 101 simulated cases and actually give you a grade and feedback, unlike UWorld. I think it's an incredible resource and definitely worth the money. They also provide you with 2 free simulated cases that you can try and test out prior to making any purchases. Definitely check it out.

Hope that helps! Best of luck with your Step 3!

- Annette G, MD, MPH - USMLE Tutor and Residency Advisor at Med School Tutors
 
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GC-DR

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Just took in about 2 weeks ago.
Day 1 is a ton of biostats and drug ads. Its not enough to just memorise formula, you need to understand it properly and have a method for drug ads, Also a ton of step 1, drug mechanisms and random microbio stuff. Blocks are fast and tight you won't get time to go back
Day 2: no biostats, had like an extra 10 mins on every block. much easier day. But alot of risk factor questions.

CSS: i thought i had it down pat in uworld. OMG nothing like it on the day. The software lags there is no time for anything, only 4 of my cases ended early, it overall felt terrible. I can't express this enough, PRACTICE CSS RELIGIOUSLY. Get punchy at it and fast.
 
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SNAMJ

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Just took in about 2 weeks ago.
Day 1 is a ton of biostats and drug ads. Its not enough to just memorise formula, you need to understand it properly and have a method for drug ads, Also a ton of step 1, drug mechanisms and random microbio stuff. Blocks are fast and tight you won't get time to go back
Day 2: no biostats, had like an extra 10 mins on every block. much easier day. But alot of risk factor questions.

CSS: i thought i had it down pat in uworld. OMG nothing like it on the day. The software lags there is no time for anything, only 4 of my cases ended early, it overall felt terrible. I can't express this enough, PRACTICE CSS RELIGIOUSLY. Get punchy at it and fast.
what are your resources for study biostats?
Have you tried the CCScases.com or only Uworld?
 
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GC-DR

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Biostats - dr randy oneil biostats youtubes are the place to start
Then i would get first aid step 1 formulas. and youtube each individual formula from a youtube that isn't about medicine, so that you really understand the stats and how to manipulate a 2x2 table very effectively depending on the information presented to you.

And then get quick at translating the formula into words. Because thats how the test presents it. and vice versa.
Definitely go through uworld biostats top to bottom, If there is only 1 thing, you should do twice or make anki cards for, or really understand. Its uworld biostats + extra. Because the other stuff, you know by now from step 1 and 2, and biostats is a huge part of the exam.

I didn't try CSScases, i didn't have time. Only uworld and watched the archer video.
Whether i pass or not. I grossly underestimated how quick you need to be at CSS, and wish i had done more for it.
 

GC-DR

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So i passed with a 239.
I'm not really sure how as i said only 4 of my cases finished early.
So what that tells me is there are a ton of points of CSS for doing the right thing on the right track, so based on that i'd say make sure you get the archer course
 

GC-DR

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Think of it as a timeline.
If you max out your options too early, it will finish early.

if you get all the correct answers it will finish early

my experience was only 4 finished early in the real thing. I thought I failed but I did well. So don’t over think it too much.
There’s a lot of marks for being on the right track and doing ordering the right stuff.

you might order a cbc. See tons of white cells. Get a bone marrow biopsy get cancer consult onc and it’s over early

or you might get imaging, bmp, pet scan, Counsel cancer, counsel stop smoking, constantly check in on them, schedule follow up CBC and heme onc, etc. and not finish the case early

both might be a pass or the top one might be a fail cause you only got 15/30 marks.

it’s impossible to tell.
 

tchil

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Just took in about 2 weeks ago.
Day 1 is a ton of biostats and drug ads. Its not enough to just memorise formula, you need to understand it properly and have a method for drug ads, Also a ton of step 1, drug mechanisms and random microbio stuff. Blocks are fast and tight you won't get time to go back
Day 2: no biostats, had like an extra 10 mins on every block. much easier day. But alot of risk factor questions.

CSS: i thought i had it down pat in uworld. OMG nothing like it on the day. The software lags there is no time for anything, only 4 of my cases ended early, it overall felt terrible. I can't express this enough, PRACTICE CSS RELIGIOUSLY. Get punchy at it and fast.
I understand that feeling completely I felt Ready for ccs and then you go to the Ccs portion and you just wonder what happened Once each case ends. There is a maybe 50% I felt my work was adequate but a lot of it was just trying to figure out why my antibiotics haven't been given or something like that . Basically I am reiterating exactly what was said above - Practice. Practice again. Have algorithms/ Mental order sets that you have ingrained in your brain. type fast. Always always always check to see Where The patient Is located.

That aside, Deep breath - A good prep and a solid mindset Can take you a far distance. Good luck!
 
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