Scrub MD

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If I scored a 99 (2 digit) on step 1, when should I take Step 2? I will finish 3rd year with IM in July. Is UsmleWorld something I should have now and be using for my exams now? I originally wanted to take step 2 after IM and get it out of the way, but have been scoring around the average on this years exams.
 

Pianoboe01

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It could depend on what specialty you're going into - I'd suggest you ask your advisor. I believe some specialties more than others prefer to have your Step 2 score in before interviews regardless of how well you did on Step 1. Interview invites, in general, start to come out in October for a Nov-Jan interview season.

I had a 250+ Step 1 and just took Step 2 CK today. I've been on half of my interviews so far and no one has said a word about not having my Step 2 CK score (I'm going into path). Personally, I am glad I did not take it earlier in the year because I felt having radiology and EM under my belt helped me out on my exam.

Honestly though, it probably doesn't matter that much. Take it when you think you will be most prepared for it. If this means taking it early in your 4th year since you would have just completed IM, take it then. If it means taking it later in your 4th year so you can get some other courses under your belt and maybe schedule a light rotation to dedicate to studying, then do that.

Personally, I bought a 2 month subscription of UW for Oct/Nov. October was a light month (radiology) and November a vacation/interviewing month. It worked out nice for me.
 

yayarea

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Do NOT take CS or CK at a point where you are forced to send them in order to send Step 1. If, god forbid, you take them and screw up one of them, which admittedly is unlikely, and it was July, by the time you submit the USMLE transcript, you won't be able to hold either of the Step 2's. However, if you delay the step 2's until after you submit your USMLE transcript, you can choose to hold the scores on ERAS until they come back and you are satisfied.

I like safeguards personally.
 

Pianoboe01

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Do NOT take CS or CK at a point where you are forced to send them in order to send Step 1. If, god forbid, you take them and screw up one of them, which admittedly is unlikely, and it was July, by the time you submit the USMLE transcript, you won't be able to hold either of the Step 2's. However, if you delay the step 2's until after you submit your USMLE transcript, you can choose to hold the scores on ERAS until they come back and you are satisfied.

I like safeguards personally.

Good point! I guess if you really want to cover yourself, make sure neither of your Step 2 scores will be back before Sept. 1, the earliest you can submit your application (and the earliest they will upload your USMLE transcript). Score reporting for CK takes 3-6 weeks and CS takes a couple months (but it depends on what date you take it since scores are released in batches based upon groups of people taking it in a certain time frame).
 
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AmyO

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Do NOT take CS or CK at a point where you are forced to send them in order to send Step 1. If, god forbid, you take them and screw up one of them, which admittedly is unlikely, and it was July, by the time you submit the USMLE transcript, you won't be able to hold either of the Step 2's. However, if you delay the step 2's until after you submit your USMLE transcript, you can choose to hold the scores on ERAS until they come back and you are satisfied.

I like safeguards personally.

I hear this advice a lot, but I don't understand how it changes much of anything. Most programs will interview you but won't rank you on their match list until they have seen your Step 2 scores. If you're not satisfied w/ your scores, you can't retake them unless you fail anyway (which would not be good either). It seems like holding the step 2's only delays the inevitable of what would have been decided if you had sent them right when they came (except for maybe getting an extra interview invite or two just to get rejected if your step 2 really is that bad). Am I missing something here?
 

radoncadonc

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Personally, i would take it right after your IM rotation is over in July. I was better prepared for CK after my im rotation than i will ever be trying to study for it six months later. I take the darn thing in two weeks, but I am not happy about it. I wish I had gotten it over with.

I don't know anyone who went down on CK, even if they started out high like you. I would use UW to study for your IM shelf, then take an easy block where you will have time to study and take it about two weeks into that block.
 

Nuriko

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I hear this advice a lot, but I don't understand how it changes much of anything. Most programs will interview you but won't rank you on their match list until they have seen your Step 2 scores. If you're not satisfied w/ your scores, you can't retake them unless you fail anyway (which would not be good either). It seems like holding the step 2's only delays the inevitable of what would have been decided if you had sent them right when they came (except for maybe getting an extra interview invite or two just to get rejected if your step 2 really is that bad). Am I missing something here?

What you are missing is that Step 2 CK (very few give a damn about CS), and for that matter Step 1, are MUCH more important for granting interviews than they are for ranking. If you have been granted an interview, you have already proved yourself with your Step 1 score. The CK is desired for ranking only to see that you have a passing score and are thus eligible to graduate medical school and start residency in July.
 

AmyO

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What you are missing is that Step 2 CK (very few give a damn about CS), and for that matter Step 1, are MUCH more important for granting interviews than they are for ranking. If you have been granted an interview, you have already proved yourself with your Step 1 score. The CK is desired for ranking only to see that you have a passing score and are thus eligible to graduate medical school and start residency in July.

So if they only want to see your score on Step 2 CK to make sure it is passing, why hold the score for Step 2 CK until after you get an interview?
 

Nuriko

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So if they only want to see your score on Step 2 CK to make sure it is passing, why hold the score for Step 2 CK until after you get an interview?

Because, as I said earlier, the CK score is much more important for getting interviews. If you do worse on the CK, it may prevent you from getting some interviews, whereas after interviews, it really doesnt make much difference.
 
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