LolaGene

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I will be taking a year between 3rd and 4th year to do a research fellowship and I have heard mixed reviews about the best time to take step 2 CK.

Would you consider it best to take the test 1) as soon as possible after 3rd year (while studying and doing research simultaneously); 2) before dec 31st during 4th year; 3) After matchday?

My school does not require that I take the test by Dec 31st (requires only that we take it before graduation). My step I score is in the 99th percentile.

I am leaning towards taking the test in august after 3rd year while doing research because I am afraid of forgetting material that I know fairly well now if it so happens that when I come back for my 4th year to find that more schools are requiring step 2 scores before ranking. What do you think..?

Thanks for your advice :)
 

Sislo

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I will be taking a year between 3rd and 4th year to do a research fellowship and I have heard mixed reviews about the best time to take step 2 CK.

Would you consider it best to take the test 1) as soon as possible after 3rd year (while studying and doing research simultaneously); 2) before dec 31st during 4th year; 3) After matchday?

My school does not require that I take the test by Dec 31st (requires only that we take it before graduation). My step I score is in the 99th percentile.

I am leaning towards taking the test in august after 3rd year while doing research because I am afraid of forgetting material that I know fairly well now if it so happens that when I come back for my 4th year to find that more schools are requiring step 2 scores before ranking. What do you think..?

Thanks for your advice :)
I would take it right after 3rd year
 

PhakeDoc

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For most research fellowships, you can delay start date by a month or so. I HIGHLY recommend you take it at the end of 3rd year. You WILL be out of the practice in terms of lingo after just 6 months away, much less 1 year+. I think Step 2 (and 3 I assume as well) questions can also be answered based on your clinical rotation experience (with some differences, obviously), and the longer you can keep those in the forefront of your memory to help you, the better. If I had to do everything over, I would have taken both CK and CS as soon as possible at the end of/after 3rd yr.
 

Dakota

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Disclosure: I didn't take any time off.

I would offer slightly different advice. I would take cs no question. It's a pain to schedule, takes forever to score, and is pass/fail. By having a score back early you can retake it if necessary and if you pass it's one more thing out of the way.

CK is a different beast. If you are very pleased with your step I score, I would delay until fall of MS4. If you take it in Nov or so you can report a good score before ranking time and if you don't do so well you don't have to report it. If you did poorly on step I and definitely need to boost your score take the gamble by taking it early so it will be in when programs make interview decisions. If your score is middling then you need to balance the risk and reward - what specialty are you shooting for and are you willing to risk a worse step II?

Good luck.
 

LolaGene

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Thanks for the advice. In terms of specialty of choice, unfortunately I don't know yet...

I am leaning towards just scheduling the step 2 CK as close to the end of 3rd yr as possible and hopefully my PI will give me the month to move and study. I am thinking if I take a practice test and feel uncomfortable I can always just cancel (and lose lots of $...). And also scheduling CS ASAP.

In terms of doing worse on the step 2, do you think it is worse to have a substantial drop in score while still staying above a 240 or do you think the big drop hurt you the most? From what I have heard, it seems like your board scores only get you in the door anyway and your interview is a key part of the process in the end.

Thanks for your help!
 

lord_jeebus

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If your Step I is really 99th percentile (> 265ish), take it late.

If your 2 digit score is 99 (the passing score is 75, it's not a percentile), consider taking it right after 3rd year when the material is fresh. Most people improve on their Step I.
 

LolaGene

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If your Step I is really 99th percentile (> 265ish), take it late.

If your 2 digit score is 99 (the passing score is 75, it's not a percentile), consider taking it right after 3rd year when the material is fresh. Most people improve on their Step I.
Thanks for your feedback. I think Im just gonna bite the bullet and schedule CK right after 3rd yr. My thinking is that I am doing well on the NBMEs to get a above a 240 especially with some studying for a couple of weeks... with the caveat that my score is >265 and though 240 is a great score, it would be a big drop from my step 1. Hopefully I wont hurt myself in the end if there is a big drop :-/

Thanks for yalls suggestions!
 

ClusterC

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I am in the same exact situation, with the same concerns (...how bad is it going to look if my score drops?). I've decided to take it right before leaving for my year off, even though that only means about 2 weeks to study. Here's hoping we both made the right decision. Good luck! :xf: