RunwayModel

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Is textbook reading for USMLE Step 2 necessary? I am currently in required clinical rotations and I notice that in order to ace standardized exams such as the NBME Subject (shelf) exams, just reading Blueprints and doing Pretest is just not doing it. It may be enough to pass (if even that) but not to crush the shelves to achieve Honors. Recently for OB-Gyn and even Peds, when I read Beckmann's and Nelson's respectively, I got a high shelf score, vs. Psych I just read Blueprints and I passed but nothing to brag about. Apparently, the shelf exams are similar if not identical to USMLE Step 2. At least, the same people write both the shelf and USMLE Step 2.

In preparing for USMLE Step 2, do you think it is a good idea to read the textbook for every rotation, and use review books just to overview and sum-up the high-yield stuff? I would like to really do well on USMLE Step 2. While review books may cover enough to pass but not do stellar, I want to do stellar. Any ideas from those who have done stellar on this exam? Do I have to know the high yield and the low yield stuff? It seems that more and more residencies are putting an emphasis on Step 2 now anyways. BigFrank, do u have any ideas? :confused: :D
 

Samoa

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And if there's anyone out there with any knowledge of how this step 2 deal works in relation to residency applications, I have a question as well:

If you take it in time to get your scores back before, say, August of your 4th year, and it turns out you did badly, can you put just your Step 1 score on your residency app, or does USMLE automatically send out both?

Yeah, I know, I don't need to be worrying about Step 2 before I've even taken Step 1, but please humor me. I'm not planning to blow it off, either way, but I like to know the territory before I get there. It helps me avoid shortsighted decision making.
 

Hercules

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Samoa said:
And if there's anyone out there with any knowledge of how this step 2 deal works in relation to residency applications, I have a question as well:

If you take it in time to get your scores back before, say, August of your 4th year, and it turns out you did badly, can you put just your Step 1 score on your residency app, or does USMLE automatically send out both?

Yeah, I know, I don't need to be worrying about Step 2 before I've even taken Step 1, but please humor me. I'm not planning to blow it off, either way, but I like to know the territory before I get there. It helps me avoid shortsighted decision making.
You check a box saying whether you want your Step 2 result automatically released.
 

Mirror Form

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Lovella said:
Is textbook reading for USMLE Step 2 necessary? I am currently in required clinical rotations and I notice that in order to ace standardized exams such as the NBME Subject (shelf) exams, just reading Blueprints and doing Pretest is just not doing it. It may be enough to pass (if even that) but not to crush the shelves to achieve Honors. Recently for OB-Gyn and even Peds, when I read Beckmann's and Nelson's respectively, I got a high shelf score, vs. Psych I just read Blueprints and I passed but nothing to brag about. Apparently, the shelf exams are similar if not identical to USMLE Step 2. At least, the same people write both the shelf and USMLE Step 2.

In preparing for USMLE Step 2, do you think it is a good idea to read the textbook for every rotation, and use review books just to overview and sum-up the high-yield stuff? I would like to really do well on USMLE Step 2. While review books may cover enough to pass but not do stellar, I want to do stellar. Any ideas from those who have done stellar on this exam? Do I have to know the high yield and the low yield stuff? It seems that more and more residencies are putting an emphasis on Step 2 now anyways. BigFrank, do u have any ideas? :confused: :D
Woah, step 2 questions may be hard, but they're definitely easier then the shelf questions. So if you actually read BP's thoroughly for each area, you'll do very well. However, that's definitely not the best way to study for step 2. If you want a really high score, study Boards and Wards carefully, and do lots of questions. If like most people, your score is superfluous and you just want to pass, simply read crush step II in a few days and also do a couple practice tests in nbme.
 

TheDudeabides

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Hercules said:
You check a box saying whether you want your Step 2 result automatically released.

Actually, you check a box saying "automatically retransmit my USMLE transcript" So when you first fill out ERAS and submit it(which you want to do at the earliest possible date sept1.) it will send whatever is already on your transcript which will include step II if already taken and have scores back. So if you wait and take your test later so that at the time you submit your ERAS your step II scores are not back yet, then you can check "Do not automatically re-send my transcript" and then wait untill you get your score back. At that point you go back to ERAS and click re-sumit my USMLE transcript. This is the way I did it after taking it in november. You do have to put what month you plan on taking it, but if during interviews in Dec-jan they say "hey it says here you took step II in sept" you can just say, oh yea I rescheduled until the spring because I got too busy. Most residencies dont care if you have taken it or not. It is advantagous to go ahead and take it early if you think you can (or need to) improve step 1 for a copmpetitive residency. I took mine later because i did well on step 1, I still eneded up retransmitting it in late dec after I got my scores back because i did almost exactly the same (as most people seem to do). Anyway hope this helps, and your right, you dont really need to be worrying about this right now :)
 

TheDudeabides

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Lovella said:
Does anyone have any advice to my original question?
No you dont need to read those texts ever, especially not for step 2. You did good on those 2 shelfs because they were easier, the psych shelf was pretty hard. For step 2 I read crush step 2 once and did all of qbank and did pretty good. The main thing to do is QUESTIONS and reading the explanations. Hope this helps
 

openyoureyes

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my step 2 score did not correlate to my shelf performance, and i would recommend approaching each differently.

i got mid-70's in surgery, ob and peds. mid-80's in medicine and neuro, mid-90's in psych. used blueprints for all clerkships except nms for psych and neuro on-call. never bought the bigger texts and opted instead for medicine pocketbooks.

step 2 was 260. step 1 was 256. so both of these are 99 2-digits while my shelves were much lower.

read b&w, first aid, and did lots of questions (qbank, mock exam, a&l).

didn't touch any of the blueprints.

hope this helps.
 

scootad.

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Those are some mighty fine shelf scores, I wouldnt say there is no correlation just based on that. I dont know what my problem was but I never could figure out the shelves.

My shelves - 68 (med.), 78 (peds), 78 (psych), 68 (OBgyn), 72 (neuro), 82(surgery)

After psych, peds, and surg, was convinced I had rocked the shelf when walking out of the test room (e.g. 90+) but was obviously mistaken.

Step 2 - 245/99. So I dont see a correlation necessarily (did much better on step 2 than shelves) but also studied a lot harder for step 2 (2.5 weeks of uninterrupted study time). Also maybe I have a recollection bias, but I felt the questions on step 2 were much more 'big picture' than the shelves which were just totally random.
 

shorrin

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our school admin told us that if we take step 2 before Sept. 1 then the score automatically gets released whether you check the don't release box or not. :eek:
 

roach

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for the o.p.,
studying for step 2 is different from studying for shelves, at least for me. i am also a "reader"- used nms for nearly every clerkship, supplemented with reading from a standard text if necessary. did barely any questions. for step 2, however, i mostly annotated first aid with info from nms. didn't read nms books in detail, mostly just went over what i highlighted as important previously and added the trivia to the margins of f.a. did tons of questions from mksap and qbank. i found questions to much more helpful for step 2 than for the shelves. would highly recommend the nbme assessments- closely resembled the exam, even had a few repeats.

did good on both step 2 and shelves in spite of changing my study habits. for step 2 prep, it's too difficult to do the same amount of reading as you would
for a class.
my 0.02