Step 2 is during your 4th year of medical school (although you could take it during your 3rd year if you want). I took it in November of my 4th year, a lot of people wait until the spring. It's up to you. For step 3, most take it either at the very end of their first year of residency or during their second year of residency.
I think a strong Step 2 score does help. I took Step 2 in early December and my scores were back for a couple of interviews and they all commented on them and a couple PD even told me that I wouldn't be ranked if my Step 2 scores weren't back in time (early February). If you take it even earlier (Sept) then I bet it would help getting even more interviews as well. It's up to you and how you did on Step I and how you test. I test well, so I wasn't too worried about it so I took it early.
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by oldman:
<strong>when do you take step 2? end of 3rd year of med school? when do you take step 3??</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hi there,
The earlier you take Step II after third year, the better. People who wait until the end of fourth year to take the exam, just have one more nagging thing hanging over them. I took the exam in early September and had my scores ready for residency interviews. Most of my more competitive residency interviews wanted the Step II scores anyway and I was glad to have them available.
If your school requires a passing score on Step II for graduation, then having your scores back by graduation time means that you can't take it any later than March because it takes about six weeks for the scores to get back.
Step II does require some review but not the angst that Step I required. You should take Step III near the end of your first year of residency (PGY-1). Again, the earlier you take this exam, the sooner it is out of your hair and the sooner you get your official medical license. You have seven years to complete Step III from the time that you took Step I or you have to start over. This is another reason to get these exams out of the way. Good luck!
If you did awesome on step 1, DON'T take step 2 early - it can only hurt you b/c if you do worse it looks like you just got lucky the first time.
If, however, you got a mediocre score on step1 you should take it early. You can only improve, and if you don't it doesn't look any worse than having only one mediocre score. It's your chance to make an improvement on your application, and several 4th years have said it really does help.