Taking time off for step 2. Would it look bad for residency apps?

Kevin Baker

7+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2010
Resident [Any Field]
I'm looking at test prep and am starting to schedule 4th yr rotations. My schools offers an optional independent study rotation for the steps and I have a few weeks of vacation I could use. I was planning on using the independent study month to study for step 2 but was wondering if this would look bad on residency apps? I'm not looking at anything super competitive (peds/psych/neuro/IM) and am happy with my step1 performance, but would still like to do well on the test and my rotations at the end of the year are pretty jampacked. Would it be better to use some vacation time? I'm a slow learner and am afraid if I scheduled an easy rotation for the first month of 4th year I'd fall behind on studying.


10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2007
Resident [Any Field]
I don't think anyone would notice, or care, if you used your vacation to study. Make sure you have enough time to get some LORs, though.

For whatever it's worth, I did qbanks throughout 3rd. If I was on peds, I did all of the peds uworld/combank questions. If I was on neurology, I did all of the neurology questions. At the end of 3rd year I only had 2 weeks of dedicated time to study for level 2. I scored above a 700.

I guess my point is: you don't need a lot of dedicated study time for level 2 if you study appropriately throughout the year.