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Step II CK

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bigfrank

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Well,

I took the beast a few days ago, and I will talk about what I did and what worked well for me....
  • I studied very hard during the third year. I usually used the appropriate Blueprints book and corresponding PreTest book. I usually got approximately 80% of PreTest questions correct and scored around the 95th percentile or higher on all of my Shelf exams. I feel that this is the key component of doing well on the Step II CK exam.
  • I studied woefully little for the actual exam. I put it off as long as possible and eventually studied for just under 2 weeks, approximately 1-2 hours each day.
  • I did do one of the NBME exams (part A) and scored a predicted 258. This was before I started studying and was probably the reason why I didn't study as hard as I should have leading up to the Step II CK.
  • I did [only] 25% of QBank and averaged a little under 80% on the questions I actually did. What a waste of $500 or whatever it ended up being!!!
  • I did do Kaplan's QBook, which was actually very good. It comprised most of my studying during the last week. It took about 5-6 hours to go through. I'm a fast test-taker and could do each 50-question block in about 30 minutes. I averaged about 87% on this book and found the questions to be excellent overall. A little on the easy side, but I had several near-repeats on the actual exam.
  • I skimmed through First Aid for the USMLE Step II once and skimmed Step II Secrets once as well. I preferred the latter in a major way. But I didn't have time to go back through and review, so we'll see how it all turns out.
In terms of the actual exam, I thought it was very fair. I probably marked about 20% of the questions (9-10) per block as ones I wanted to go back through and review. There were a fair number of easy psychiatry questions, which was a pleasant surprise.

I thought the subject content on the exam was fairly represented and no one subject/content matter was skimped or piled on.

Don't forget your Pathophysiology and Pharmacology from the Step I!!! I had a large number of relatively straightforward Pathophysiology and basic-science Microbiology questions and was thankful that I had prepared well for the Step I. Some of the material didn't come up during the 3rd year at all.

In any case, I'll post how I did in "4-6 weeks," per the NBME people.

Thanks for reading, hope this helps!!!
 

Cpt.Hook Hamate

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My Experience:

I took Step 2 almost two months ago. I wanted to put 3 solid weeks towards preparing for it but it didn’t happen. I was traveling to interviews and going to the interview dinners and just didn’t get to study like I wanted.

I got around to about putting just under two weeks of solid study but during those two weeks, I put as much hours into studying as I could. Sometimes I got started around 8am and wouldn’t quit to about midnight with breaks in between, of course.

I used Usmleworld and Step 2 secrets (all you need, IMO). I read through SECRETS once and completed about 70% of Usmleworld. I went through the Usmelworld wonderful explanations with a fine-toothed comb almost consistently for most of the sessions. My average on Usmleworld was a 51%. This didn’t worry me too much because I got this percentage on Kaplan Qbank during Step 1 and got a 217. Since I just wanted to pass the exam, I was pretty relaxed when I went in to take Step 2.

The exam was long as hell. By the time I had completed the 3rd block, It felt like I had been there all day. The questions were long but I felt that I was able to think through all of the answers pretty well. There was lots of OB/GYN and I just wasn’t able to do many question on Usmleworld in OB/GYN due to time constraints. That was too bad.

What was good is that I actually ran into several questions that were almost verbatim from Usmleworld. I want to say that they were the exact same questions I had seen in Usmleworld. I could have sworn that they were. I kicked myself in the ass for not finishing Usmleworld.

Overall, I felt that the test was fair and caused me less stress than when taking Step 1. It was long as a MF’er though. I had to race in the end of most of the blocks to finish but I didn’t feel too bad about it. I actually walked out of the exam feeling okay. I got a 210 on it. I’ll take it!
 

bigfrank

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Well, I found out my Step II CK score today and it was 260/99. I am very happy with this good news, as I didn't think I would do that well.

In any case, I hope my preparation notes helps. Obviously, preparing well during the third year is key to doing well, as my actual Step II CK study time was virtually nonexistent.
 

future_OB

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bigfrank said:
Well, I found out my Step II CK score today and it was 260/99. I am very happy with this good news, as I didn't think I would do that well.

In any case, I hope my preparation notes helps. Obviously, preparing well during the third year is key to doing well, as my actual Step II CK study time was virtually nonexistent.
Congratulations! Please do share the books, review materials used and time frame. I need help badly. Cant seem to organize anything.
 

bigfrank

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I described what I did above, in my first post in this thread. Hope this helps!
 

Clair de Lune

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Got my scores today, and did better than anticipated. 254/99!! For studying purposes, I have to recommend USMLEWorld--70% of my studying was from this resource. I did all the questions, then repeated all the ones I got wrong. I had about 61% right the first time through, then it went up to about 67% with repeated questions. I also read first aid 2X, in chunks depending on what subject I wanted to study that day. I didn't study too much the week before the test, did about 1-2 hours of USMLE world daily and also read Crush Step II that week. I'm so happy!! Good luck to anyone else getting ready to take the test!
 

meconiumdelee

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bigfrank said:
Well, I found out my Step II CK score today and it was 260/99. I am very happy with this good news, as I didn't think I would do that well.

In any case, I hope my preparation notes helps. Obviously, preparing well during the third year is key to doing well, as my actual Step II CK study time was virtually nonexistent.
big frank-my hero!
congrats on another fabulous score. again, the recurring theme-
work it third year and you should be in good shape for Step II CK.
 

nofear

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Bigfrank you are the man bro...congrats on another great score...my question is that do u suggest for peds and IM to only use blueprints as a source. I know for ob bp is awesome, just not sure for the upcoming rotations. thanks
 

bigfrank

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For Peds, I used Blueprints, Appleton & Lange's question book, and PreTest. I scored a raw "99" on the exam.

For IM, I used PreTest, MKSAP-II, and First Aid for Medicine. I didn't do quite as well on this exam, but it was my first Shelf. I think I got the 95th percentile or so.

Hope this helps.
 

bigfrank

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meconiumdelee said:
big frank-my hero!
congrats on another fabulous score. again, the recurring theme-
work it third year and you should be in good shape for Step II CK.
Didn't you get like a 263 or something? Are you patronizing me!!

:D
 

meconiumdelee

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bigfrank said:
Didn't you get like a 263 or something? Are you patronizing me!!

:D
no way, no patronizing here! big frank is the man! he always has a kind word to say, plays nice on SDN. always gives helpful posts.
just wanted to point out the recurring theme-step 2 covers a lot of material, and a lot of it I didn't get to on studying for the exam. it was stuff i had learned/read about on previous clerkships that i pulled from that deep vault in the old noggin'...
 

DOCTORSAIB

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bigfrank said:
For Peds, I used Blueprints, Appleton & Lange's question book, and PreTest. I scored a raw "99" on the exam.

For IM, I used PreTest, MKSAP-II, and First Aid for Medicine. I didn't do quite as well on this exam, but it was my first Shelf. I think I got the 95th percentile or so.

Hope this helps.

Congrats on the great score!

Just curious, why didn't you use Usmleworld question bank during your Step II prep?
 

bigfrank

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DOCTORSAIB said:
Congrats on the great score!

Just curious, why didn't you use Usmleworld question bank during your Step II prep?
I didin't study long enough to even mess with it. I just got through 25% of QBank. I've heard it's good, but I didn't think it was worth the time for me to devote to it.

By the way, thanks for your nice words.
 

bulldog

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hey bigfrank,

how did step 2 ck compare to the nbme shelf exams for each topic? was it relatively similar in terms of content/level or details, or was it more/less detailed? flipping through qbook again after taking shelf exam, it seems like qbook covers more of the 'big picture' concepts, while the shelf occasionally delved into some picky details or asked for 'what would u do next', that qbook/pretest/a&l often didn't talk about.
 
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bigfrank

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There were TONS of "next step" questions on the Step II. I thought the questions were virtually identical to most of the Shelf exam questions. I will stand by my original assertion that QBook is a good study source.
 

12R34Y

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I agree a lot with BigFrank here. I took step 3 during the last month of 3rd year (last summer) and basically just studied hard for clinicals with appropriate material. and I LOVED USMLE STep 2 secrets and Boards and wards! I read them throughout my entire 3rd year. I did both NBME tests online and it predicted my score perfectly. As it did for step 1 as well.

Step 2: 265/99 (almost 25 points better than step 1). I think I should preface it by saying that I had an extensive clinical background before medical school which may have helped me do better in this "clinical" portion of the the steps, but I also tend to score well standardized tests ie shelfs (always greater than 90%).

I thought the test was Waaaaay more straight forward and doable than step 1.

good luck to everyone!

later
 

future_OB

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12R34Y said:
I agree a lot with BigFrank here. I took step 3 during the last month of 3rd year (last summer) and basically just studied hard for clinicals with appropriate material. and I LOVED USMLE STep 2 secrets and Boards and wards! I read them throughout my entire 3rd year. I did both NBME tests online and it predicted my score perfectly. As it did for step 1 as well.

Step 2: 265/99 (almost 25 points better than step 1). I think I should preface it by saying that I had an extensive clinical background before medical school which may have helped me do better in this "clinical" portion of the the steps, but I also tend to score well standardized tests ie shelfs (always greater than 90%).

I thought the test was Waaaaay more straight forward and doable than step 1.

good luck to everyone!

later

Congratulations to everyone who did so well! May I ask your opinion? I have a month to spare for step 2. would B&W suffice for Peds and Psych? what would you suggest for IM? I know you say blueprints for OB which I already bought. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks. :scared:
 

12R34Y

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future_OB said:
Congratulations to everyone who did so well! May I ask your opinion? I have a month to spare for step 2. would B&W suffice for Peds and Psych? what would you suggest for IM? I know you say blueprints for OB which I already bought. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks. :scared:


Blueprints for Peds and OB is on the money! I read the blue boxes in both right before step 2 as a quick review and it was great.

Boards and Wards is also amazing. I pretty much read through it many times during 3rd year and was my primary source for boards review. I think if you studied hard during your IM clerkship that B&W will suffice.

Oh and don't forget to take the online practice NBME exams (nbme.org) they predicted my score almost exactly and I had many repeats on my exam.

good to see where you fall.

later
 

future_OB

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12R34Y said:
Blueprints for Peds and OB is on the money! I read the blue boxes in both right before step 2 as a quick review and it was great.

Boards and Wards is also amazing. I pretty much read through it many times during 3rd year and was my primary source for boards review. I think if you studied hard during your IM clerkship that B&W will suffice.

Oh and don't forget to take the online practice NBME exams (nbme.org) they predicted my score almost exactly and I had many repeats on my exam.

good to see where you fall.

later

Thanks for the reply. I will do that for OB & Peds. One more thing, what about Surg and psych?

thanks in advance :confused:
 

12R34Y

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future_OB said:
Thanks for the reply. I will do that for OB & Peds. One more thing, what about Surg and psych?

thanks in advance :confused:


I didn't use anything other than B&W for both surgery and psych. I did pretest surgery during the rotation, but for actual board review secrets and boards and wards sufficed in my opinion.

later
 

future_OB

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12R34Y said:
I didn't use anything other than B&W for both surgery and psych. I did pretest surgery during the rotation, but for actual board review secrets and boards and wards sufficed in my opinion.

later
thanks so much for your advice. I'll do what I can and let you know how it goes. If you think of anything else...feel free to drop a line. :scared:
 

nuclearrabbit77

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the key is to kill step 1 so you can take step 2 late enough in the year so it won't matter in your residency app.

if you are bright enough to kill step1 means you are smart enough to kill the shelfs and pass step2 comfortably with minimal studying.

took that 9 hour beast last weekend, and it wasn't bad at all besides me daydreaming of a self-inflicted EtOH poisoning.

was it me or did it feel like i was taking a flippin' ob-gyn shelf?
 
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passthebiscuits

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sorry to ask such a dumb question...but is USMLEWORLD the online qbank for like 90 bucks a month and such...i was googling and that's my best guess as to what you guys are talking about...or is it a book I can purchase?


THanks-
 

OneStrongBro

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bigfrank said:
Well, I found out my Step II CK score today and it was 260/99. I am very happy with this good news, as I didn't think I would do that well.

In any case, I hope my preparation notes helps. Obviously, preparing well during the third year is key to doing well, as my actual Step II CK study time was virtually nonexistent.

Congrats BigFrank! You definitely deserve it. Do you have any advice for epidemilogy, and statistics for Step 2? What should I focus on? Is it the same level of detail as Step 1?
 

bigfrank

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OneStrongBro said:
Congrats BigFrank! You definitely deserve it. Do you have any advice for epidemilogy, and statistics for Step 2? What should I focus on? Is it the same level of detail as Step 1?
Hey stranger -- nice to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words!

Regarding the epidemiology, I would say that it really hit on the HIGH POINTS on my exam -- knowing the definition of sensitivity vs. specificity vs. PPV vs. NPV was very high-yield.

If you review your Step I material, you'll be golden!

And good luck to you!
 

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Hi Bigfrank,

Congrats. Always looking for advice on how to better study 3rd yr material. Can you tell me some tips on how you learned your 3rd year material so well during rotations? What did you concentrate on, mostly treatments, DX? Did you test yourself while on the day to day rotation, or at night when you came home? Make flash cards, what was your method? Clearly, you're an expert with what ever system you use. DO you have any tips on eliminating distractor questions on the step 2 exam?

Again congrats on a job well done!
 

anconeus

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Congrats on the awesome scores everyone.
I have a question regarding pharm section on step 2:
Are all the drug names generic or are there some trade names used as well?
Step 1 was all generic names as far as i remember, so is it the same for step 2 as well?
 

neutropenic

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anconeus said:
Congrats on the awesome scores everyone.
I have a question regarding pharm section on step 2:
Are all the drug names generic or are there some trade names used as well?
Step 1 was all generic names as far as i remember, so is it the same for step 2 as well?

Generic, so make sure you know clopidogrel, imantinab, olanzapine, and simvastatin and not Plavix, Gleevec, Zyprexa, and Zocor.
 

omores

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Just got my results back: 261/99 (Step 1: 249/99).

Studied exactly 30 days: the length of a subscription to USMLEWorld. I worked through every single question in randomized 46-question blocks, and tried to read carefully through all the explanations, with varying degrees of success. Over the course of the month I read through Secrets as well, but didn't exactly sit down and study it. It helped mostly by reinforcing what I was learning from USMLEWorld.

For me, the test felt far easier -- more intuitive -- than Step 1 (for which I studied infinitely harder.) The test (to me) is much more about overall clinical judgement than about memorizing minutiae. Example: patient with shortness of breath. You'll be given clinical details and basic labs, and then it's up to you to decide whether it's heart failure or pneumonia, and pick an answer accordingly. Because of this, practice questions played a far stronger role for me than they did for Step 1. After doing several hundred of them, I began to get the gestalt of their clinical vignettes , to glean the salient points amidst all the useless data.

Overall, my test felt pretty well-balanced, though I was (happily) surprised by the number of pediatrics questions. There was not a single ortho question, much to my delight (so many random exteral fixation vs. internal fixation vs.... on USMLEWorld. I just gave up on those after awhile.)

And it went by quickly. I had already early-matched and so was pretty relaxed, but I finished in about 6.5 hours, including a long lunch (and then panicked about that later -- wondered if I'd missed a block or something.)

Best of luck, everybody!
 

jbod34

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I looked on Amazon for the USMLEworld. I can't find it. Any suggestions? ISBN#? Thanks!!!!!!
 
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bigfrank said:
[*]I did do Kaplan's QBook, which was actually very good. It comprised most of my studying during the last week. It took about 5-6 hours to go through. I'm a fast test-taker and could do each 50-question block in about 30 minutes.


you did 850 qs in 6 hours? :confused:
 

bigfrank

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drRumi said:
umm..yea... u must be... because thats like 25 sec. for every question.
sorry? jealous.

P.S. Please don't attempt to hijack my thread, as you have done with so many others on here.

:)
 

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bigfrank said:
sorry? jealous.

P.S. Please don't attempt to hijack my thread, as you have done with so many others on here.

:)


jealous?!? wow, that nice. real mature. yes, im jealous. i am so jealous that i cant be the almighty in test taking. excuse my feeble minded ignorance. i thought i was in this forum to learn how to prepare for the boards... i forgot i had to kneel to you first.

as far as hijacking, my reply was to your original post. thats hardly hijacking the thread, your highness.
 

anconeus

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that was obviously a typo about 850 questions? step 2 is just like step 1, 250-300 questions, right?
 

scully

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My medicine shelf had maybe 1 pharm question that I can remember - I expected much more. Does Step 2 have little pharm as well? I am trying to put together a study schedule, and am wondering how much time to put toward pharm (my least favorite of all topics).


Thanks for any advice from those who know-
 

bigfrank

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I'd say that you'll probably have, on average 20% Pharm questions. These are usually phrased as "treatment" questions.

Good luck!!!
 

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Hi guys!

I'm planning to taking 2CK at the end of July....I have both B/W and Secrets. I also liked Step Up to Medicine for my IM rotations....thought it helped for the shelf...so I may be reading that a bit too ....My question is what do I need for phram review. None of the above resources really contain pharmacology as First Aid for step I or step Up for Step I...other then having a really good recall from M1-III years can you guys recommend a book/source that I can use?

Also...what is the question break down for step 2..ie how much for med vs peds etc..

Thanks,

Maple
 
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