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What would you guys recommend for Step II study materials?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by EC3, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. EC3

    EC3 Member 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 6, 2006
    The general step II forum isn't real helpful so I figured I would ask the EM crew.

    I'm looking to score in the low 250's/upper 240s; my step 1 was >240. My shelf scores to date have been pretty low percentile ~30s/40s. Any recommendations on what text I should be using, when I should try and take it, etc.? Thanks.
     
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  3. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    4,227
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    Dec 6, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I used almost exclusively Step 2 Secrets. I scored very very well on it. Keep in mind, though, that I took only the COMLEX, and this was also back in 2002-2003.

    Q
     
  4. dchristismi

    dchristismi Gin and Tonic 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 4, 2003
    Central Florida
    I used Step 2 Secrets and Boards and Wards exclusively and also did very well. If you scored 240+ on step 1, you really have nothing to gain by taking it early. (And much to lose, should you do poorly.)
     
  5. EC3

    EC3 Member 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 6, 2006
    this is what I thought as well, but...

    At my career advising meeting, the 'board' suggested it might help me out since my GPA is low and my clinical performance has been below average with mostly B's and one C.

    I have great written comments but it just seems that not studying for shelf exams and not kissing enough butt has hurt my numerical grade. They were saying that, as of now, PDs will question if my Step 1 was a fluke; but if i take Step 2 and do very well, apparently this will remove some of the doubt.
     
  6. paramed2premed

    paramed2premed Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 22, 2003
    Nutmeg State
    I'll tell you what I did, but it's not a strategy I'm trying to promulgate. It worked for me - that's all I know.

    I printed out the last year's worth of the "Case Records of the MGH" articles from the NEJM, and read 'em all.

    No complaints about my score, and I even matched into EM! Everyone else was using USMLEWorld, First Aid, etc., but I had had enough of that nonsense prior to Step 1. This was a good opportunity to read some really good articles, far better written than most USMLE World questions, I gather.

    Bets of luck.
     
  7. Dr. Will

    Dr. Will 10+ Year Member

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    Houston, TX
    USLMEWorld. Everyone I know that was scoring at least 66% on average, broke a 240 on step II. Take that for what it's worth, though. Lots of repeats on the actual test.
     
  8. StudentDoc327

    StudentDoc327 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 18, 2004
    Yeah I agree. If you studied hard for your shelf exams, USMLEWorld should be enough if you use the explanations as a study guide (they are long though! almost like mini-lectures). I went all the way through once on tutor mode, avg ~ 65% and broke 240. Good luck.
     
  9. SolidGold

    SolidGold Florida winters are the best! 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 8, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I'll second (third) the use of USMLE World. And the 65% average seems to be a pretty good sign of getting 240+ on it.
     
  10. polygonal

    polygonal Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 4, 2006
    +4 on USMLE world.

    I mostly used First Aid, OB/GYN blueprints and did all the questions in USMLE world. Got in the high 260s.
     
  11. SoCuteMD

    SoCuteMD 10+ Year Member

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    No more rounding!
    Ok, so brief hijack of this thread by a 2nd year. It seems like everyone is talking up USMLEWorld. What do all y'all EM rockstars think of Kaplan Qbank vs. USMLE World for Step 1?

    :hijacked:
     
  12. StudentDoc327

    StudentDoc327 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 18, 2004
    I dont think most of us would know... at least for current msIV and beyond because when we were studying for step I, USMLE World didnt have a step I prep or at least I didn't know anybody who considered it. IMO though Kaplan Qbank for step I wasnt nearly as helpful as USMLEWorld for step II, but when I was preping for step I there was really no alternative and many people seemed to swear by Kaplan. First Aid is $$ though make sure to memorize as much of it as you can.
     
  13. polygonal

    polygonal Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 4, 2006
    Well, I didn't know there was a USMLE World for step 1. Is it new? I used Kaplan for step 1 and did well. I used USMLE World for step 2 and did a little better. It probably doesn't matter much but it seems that USMLE World is a little tougher and I thought that was good.
     
  14. polygonal

    polygonal Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 4, 2006

    Very true.
     
  15. Dr. Will

    Dr. Will 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 27, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Aren't u a second year?
     
  16. SoCuteMD

    SoCuteMD 10+ Year Member

    8,678
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    Nov 28, 2005
    No more rounding!
    Haha...I edited it just before you posted that. I think I'm in denial re: boards in just over 2 months.
     
  17. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    USMLEWorld and Boards and Wards for Step 2. :thumbup:

    SoCute...I don't think USMLEWorld had questions when I took Step 1. Way to make me feel old. But I had both QBank and USMLEWorld for awhile for Step 2, and I have to say that USMLEWorld's questions were far superior. And by superior I mean harder but that's what you need to study. Oh, and First Aid is your new BFF.
     
  18. Janders

    Janders Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    BOSTON
    +8 on using USMLEWorld. Better questions and cheaper than Qbank.

    Overall strategy: I took about 4 weeks to study for Step II. I did not study nearly as hard core as I did for step one, but I still studied 4-6 hours a day most days for 4 weeks. I did this during an easy elective that involved a couple hours of class room time a couple days a week.

    First I read through the Kaplan books (I choose them because I got them for free-- they are good, but I think blue prints or First Aid would be just as good). Regardless, I just did a general overview for most of the first week. Then, I did questions...

    Do all the questions you can. Do all of USMLEWorld. All of it. Find more questions and do them. I split a Qbook with a friend and had another 400 or so high quality questions. I also got a week's worth of QBank from a friend (he had taken his test and still had a week of subscription left) and did another 500+ questions. I found the books from my weaker shelf exams and did the questions in the back of them.

    Anyway, this question-based strategy worked wonders for me... my step one score was nice but not overwhelming, and I raised it by about 30 points on step II. Whenever you get tired of questions, read over things you have identified as weaknesses, say, pediatric developmental milestones.

    The fact that you are getting 30-40%ile on the shelf exams isn't wonderful; try to discover your weakness(es) in studying for them and rectify that for your step II studying. You did well on Step I so you know what it takes.

    As for when to take it, I took it in late October and my scores were in the night of my first interview. If you are counting on a higher score just to get interviews, I might take it earlier. If you think you can score interviews and want a higher score to help you match/get a couple extra late interviews, late october worked for me.

    Good luck. Don't develop tendonitis doing all the questions.
     
  19. dotcb

    dotcb --------- 10+ Year Member

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    i was so burned out by 4 months into 4th yr (when i took step 2) that i really couldn't read anything. i took a kaplan course and my score went up 20 points from step 1. but i don't think it was the class. at this point if i had to do it all over again i would do q bank and usmle world, take notes on the questions, look up anything i need to refresh in books i already have, and that's it. i've always gotten more out of engaging with and thinking about questions than any other study method.
     
  20. Mantis

    Mantis

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    Dec 1, 2006
    I used Crust step 2. Doesn't seem too popular here, but I thought it was a great, succinct read. Also used Boards & Wards and USMLEWorld. I studied for 3 weeks taking the weekends off and never doing anything after 5PM. Nothing like step 1. Broke 240. Best of luck.
     

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