BeeGee

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Like the subject: for all you upcoming 4th years, when do you plan to take Step 2 and what do you think is a good date to begin studying. I wanted to go ahead and get it over with while all the material learned on the rotations is fresh, but don't know if I want to risk not doing as well as my Step 1 scores and having them show up just in time for interviews. Also, I've looked at failure rates for Step 2 and they are comparable to Step1. Why is it that not as much attention is given to Step2 prep? Is it alot easier and students just take it for granted and end up failing? All advice appreciated.
 

eastwest

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I am a fourth year and I took step 2 in November. I took two weeks off to study for it, which turned out to be two of the most boring weeks of my life. I don't think that two whole weeks were necessary. I read Prescriptions for the Boards, some of First Aid and I did a bunch of questions from a Kaplan CD and the NMS book. I think taking it early was helpful because the info was still fresh. Also, it is out of the way now, which is nice. As for your scores, you can choose on your ERAS application not to have your scores immediately released, thus if you score poorly, your scores won't show up. Good luck.
 

njbmd

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Originally posted by BeeGee:
<strong>Like the subject: for all you upcoming 4th years, when do you plan to take Step 2 and what do you think is a good date to begin studying. Is it alot easier and students just take it for granted and end up failing? All advice appreciated.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Hi there,
You should definitely prepare for USMLE Step II. In some ways, it is easier than Step I(generally more focused on medicine) but some of the questions can be very tricky. You should take the test as early as possible; I recommend no later than the third week in September of your fourth year.

You can get good prep with Prescription for the Boards and NMS Prep for Step II along with Q-Bank for Step II. The Q-Bank for Step II is not a good as step I but it does keep you thinking and gives you some application practice.

I found my Step II to be more difficult than Step I. The most difficult part was the length of the test. I breezed through Step I in six hours. It took the full 8 hours for me to finish Step II. By the seventh block, my eyes were beginning to cross from all of the reading. The case scenarios are pretty lengthy!

Do not believe the old quote that you can just study a couple of weeks for Step II. You need to put some quality time in on a regular basis for at least a month especially if you took Internal Medicine as your first rotation third year! Peds is also pretty well represented on this exam.

Good luck
NJBMD
 
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