1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.
    Dismiss Notice

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

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2000
    Messages:
    4,227
    Likes Received:
    14
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    319
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,053
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    1,828
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    2
    +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

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    718
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    2
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    2

    Very true.
     
  15. Dr. Will

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,053
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Aren't u a second year?
     
  16. SoCuteMD

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    718
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    8,676
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    Joined:
    May 23, 2002
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    303
    +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

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2001
    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    120
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    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.
     

Share This Page