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When is best to take step2--please help

Discussion in 'Step II' started by nofear, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. nofear

    nofear Member
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    Hi Please let me know what months are the best to take step2ck if you want the score to be seen. My dean said june or july at the end of third year, is this true?
    thank you
     
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  3. inositide

    inositide Senior Member
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    The answer to your question depends on whether you want the programs to see your step 2 score during the interview stage or before the ranking of applicants stage.

    If you want your score to be seen by the programs at the time your application is being reviewed for interview offers, then you should take the step 2ck no later than the end of August because it takes approximately 4 weeks to get the score reports. Maybe if you absolutey need to stretch it out a little more, then you can take the step 2ck in the third week of september. But any later than that and most programs will have completed their first review of your application for interview purposes.

    If you don't care whether your score is seen at the interview stage, but you want the programs to have your score by the time they submit their applicant rankings, then it would be best to take the step 2ck no later than the end of December.

    As far as Step 2cs is concerned, I think everyone is in agreement that no program cares when you take it as long as you take it and pass it before starting internship year. The step 2cs is not really used as a barometer of your clinical skills because the programs have your dean's letter (MSPE) to look at for information about your clinical performance.

    The residency applications can be transmitted to programs starting on September 1st, and the Dean's Letters/MSPE are released nationwide on November 1st. Many programs grant interview prior to the release of the dean's letter, some of the most competitive programs wait and take a look at the the dean's letter before finalizing interview invites.

    Most people agree that Step 1 scores are used more for granting of interviews as compared to step 2ck scores simply because everyone will have taken the step 1 by the time residency applications are prepared, whereas a good percentage of people will not have taken step2ck until later on during 4th year.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. nofear

    nofear Member
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    Hey bro thanks so much that was awesome..
     
  5. inositide

    inositide Senior Member
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    Yes there are statistics that show that scores seemed to decline slightly as 4th year progressed. However, there are SO MANY confounding factors to explain the statistics that I would not even use that as a consideration in deciding when to schedule the step 2. Maybe people who did worse on step 1 take it earlier so they are one who study harder. Maybe the people who take it early are the ones who already aced the shelf exams and so they do better regardless of when they take the step 2ck. Or maybe people's IQ score drops every month. :))
     
  6. coffeebeing

    coffeebeing Junior Member
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    My personal inclination is to not take Step 2 until after interviews since I did alright on Step 1, but I have heard that some programs require Step 2 as part of your residency application. Where can I find a list of programs that require Step 2? I am going into general surgery.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  7. inositide

    inositide Senior Member
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    I am not aware of any list that is out there which lists programs that require step2 results for application. In fact, I am fairly certain that few if any programs would ask for step2ck from american medical students. For IMGs the programs might be pickier. If you are a student at a US/Canadian school virtually no program will ask for step 2 up front with the application. However, there are certain programs which will open state that they will be hesitant to give a favorable spot on their ranking of applicants in February until they know that you have passed step 2ck.

    The best way to find out is to browse the website of the programs that you are interested in and see for yourself. Go to www.ama-assn.org and search the residency databased for the region and speciality that you are interested in. A website for the program is almost always listed with each program listing. Click on it and go to application requirements on the program website.

    If you did well on step 1, my advice would be for you to take step2ck prior to the interview stage ONLY if you are fairly certain that you will do well based on how well you have done on your shelf exams or diagnostic tests.

    Otherwise, take step2 after the interview stage, but not later than December so that the programs will have your step2ck score for the final ranking stage.

    The reason I say you should consider taking step 2ck prior to the interview stage ONLY if you think that you will do well is because having passed step 1 AND step2ck with good scores might get you that extra interview at one of your reach programs (ie. the highest tier). HOWEVER, if you have a strong step 1 score and for some reason you end up dropping the step 2ck score by 20-30points (which probably happens less often), then you might end up not getting a couple interviews from the most competitive programs.

    Either way,try to take the step 2ck prior to the ranking stage because certainly if two applications are identical but one applicant has passed the step2ck and the other applicant has not taken it yet, then the person who has passed the step2ck will get a more favorable position on the program's ranking of applicants. Basically the program directors would want to minimize their risk of matching someone into their program who ends up failing the step2ck (again, this probably happens less often).

    I know that the various Johns Hopkins programs strongly prefer the step2ck to be available by ranking stage though they will offer interviews without it. UPenn has been a little finicky about preferring to see step2ck results even prior to offering interviews for some applicants.

    In surgical subspecialties many people will avoid the step2ck until after match. I do not personally agree with that strategy unless the rest of your application is top notch. As I said, between two people who have identical apps, the person with the step2ck score in place will carry the day.

    So here are the take home points:
    1) If you did well on step 1, ONLY take step2ck prior to interview stage if you have reason to suspect that you have a strong chance of doing well on the step2ck.

    2) If you drop the step2ck score by 30 points, it is certainly not going to eliminate your chance of getting a good residency, but it might throw a slight kink into your application.

    3) By all means, take the step2ck no later than december of senior year so that the programs will see your score when they are deciding the final applicant ranking.

    4) a strong step 1 will help you tremendously, a strong step 1 and a strong step 2ck will help you a little more, but a strong step 1 with a comparatively weaker step2ck score will hurt your application slightly.

    5) when you prepare and submit ERAS (electronic residency application) make sure you do not select the option of automatically sending step2 scores to the programs. If for some reason an applicant has a bad day and does poorly on the step2ck, the applicant is much better off being able to control when the step2ck score is released to programs and which programs to release it to.

    It seems that people have been receiving their step2ck results approximately 4 weeks after taking the exam, and if you wish you can make the results available immediately to the programs you applied to, and the programs will receive them via ERAS within 3-4hrs.

    Again, the above is what I have gleaned going through the application process and by speaking with other people. I think it makes a lot of sense, but you might get different advice from other people.
     
  8. nofear

    nofear Member
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    that was awesome thank you again




     
  9. coffeebeing

    coffeebeing Junior Member
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    Yes thank you Inositide. You da man (or woman)!
     
  10. FarEastGrapplr2

    FarEastGrapplr2 Senior Member
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