Step up to Step 2 Vs First Aid Step 2ck

Discussion in 'Step II' started by LifeLeaf, Oct 19, 2011.

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  1. LifeLeaf


    Sep 4, 2011
    this was asked a really long time ago, but I'm looking if anyone has new insights on the 7th edition First aid CK vs Step up to step 2?

    Anyone take the test recently, and do well have any preference on these two books. I have both and was flipping through them. Step up seems more succinct but the diagrams are better in FA.

    I'm currently just using world + secrets, but need a book to review subjects im weak in.
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  3. Radiculous

    Radiculous 2+ Year Member

    May 16, 2010
    Just one person's opinion:

    First Aid to Step 2 CK - Flipped through it. Medicine sections seem poorly organized and woefully inadequate. I strongly prefer Step up to MEDICINE if you have the time -- a great book that reads smoothly. However, I will use First Aid to supplement the non-Medicine areas (the OB/GYN section in FA2CK seems particularly thorough and well-organized; Pediatrics; Psych)

    Step Up to Step 2 - an alternate "all in one" package. The medicine portion is very much compressed, and since Medicine is a bulk of the Step 2 exam, I would go ahead and read Step Up to MEDICINE if you can. But the other sections look decent.

    Step 2 Secrets - Great to read through at the end to hammer home fine points (which is what I'm planning to do), but not sufficient as a primary text.

    Boards and Wards - Another good book if you have time, but again more of a condensed review source than a "central text."

    None of this should precede USMLEWorld. I think Kaplan is garbage and far too nit-picky (this opinion formed after completing approximately 350 questions), but I suppose it can't hurt. NMS question book was also good (again, did about 250 questions before stopping) but also intermittently picky and hit-or-miss. USMLEWorld is money all the way.

    My strategy was to complete USMLEWorld first, which I did recently, THEN do my reading -- as I'm reading, my mind is instinctively honing in on the facts that I had initially missed in World and then came across in the question explanations -- then building it into a framework as I study and annotate. This requires time, but I strongly recommend it.
  4. JabsterL

    JabsterL Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    This is a genius idea. Based on my exam which I took yesterday and what I feel would have helped me maximize my score if I were to do it all again, I would definitely say learning by doing questions is the most important thing you can do because of being able to learn the "patterns" of questions that come up on all the NBMEs/UWSA, UW, shelf exams, and ultimately the real deal itself. The only thing with CK is that while you have all these gimmes you'll get right without having had to study these concepts during your "CK dedicated study time" because you overlearned these points during the first 3 years of med school (pathogenesis of common diseases and their complications, drugs of choice, next best steps, and so on), you also have secondary and tertiary "next level" of thinking questions where, for instance, they'll give you the "next best step" you're used to being asked about, and then you need to give the "next best step" after that. So just like for step 1, knowing "mechanisms" and "asking why?" for each and every step (diagnostic and therapeutic) for all important diseases seems the key to acing this exam. That being said, they didn't ask me about many zebras from left field, so I'd suggest hammering the most common and important (life-threatening) presentations/diseases and concepts and then just a superficial MTB/FA understanding of all the other rarer diseases, always keeping in mind the slight nuances/differences between similar diseases so you can tell them apart from the distractors that are the wrong answer.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

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