When to take step 2

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SixtyNinePesos

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Hi,

I'm a 3rd year, and I'm going to be applying for Ob-Gyn this fall. I'm a little confused about this process and I'm hoping someone can help me out. My main question is when to take step 2. My Step 1 score was 230, and I'm not sure if I need to take Step 2 before I apply, or after. Do programs mostly grant interviews when they know you've taken Step 2, or do they look more at the step 1 score? My school won't give us a straight answer b/c they don't want to encourage us to wait. Any info would be great.

Thanks!
 

SoSoDefJeff

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I don't think I didn't get any interviews that I wanted because I hadn't taken my step 2 yet (taking it this Saturday, actually), but in retrospect I would take it the first time you have a few weeks to study for it if you're not going goof off and get a bad score.
 

OBJen

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I would recommend taking both step 2 cs and ck in the first few months of your fourth year. I did this and it was so wonderful to have these exams done before interview season began and now that it is nearing the end of fourth year--I can just relax! Also, some programs will not rank you unless both tests are passed so better to take them early to make sure this gets done even though with your great step 1 score you will not have too much of a problem. Even with your high step 1 score--the earlier the better.
 

vegetables

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I would recommend taking both step 2 cs and ck in the first few months of your fourth year. I did this and it was so wonderful to have these exams done before interview season began and now that it is nearing the end of fourth year--I can just relax! Also, some programs will not rank you unless both tests are passed so better to take them early to make sure this gets done even though with your great step 1 score you will not have too much of a problem. Even with your high step 1 score--the earlier the better.


Could not agree more - took it in July of my 4th year and it's been great to not have to worry about it! Plus, you'll only get dumber as 4th year goes on....
 

GYN DOC

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Believe me you step1 scores are more than adequate for any ob/gyn residency. So you dont have to feel pressed to take the test early. You will get your interviews with no problem if everything else in you application is ok. However, i would recommend taking it early just to get it out of the way so that you dont have to worry about it at the end of the year. Most programs only require that you take step 1 before interviews. Most people take step 2 in july when their step 1 scores arent so great and they want their improved step 2 scores to be apart of their applicaition. You could take it at the end of december when there arent to many interviews because of christmas but then again thats your vacation.

Good luck to you
 

SixtyNinePesos

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Thanks to all of you for responding so quickly. I really appreciate the advice. I'm trying to figure out my 4th year schedule, so this info really helps. This brings up another question - I'd really like to stay in Chicago for my residency. Which programs do you recommend for extramural rotations? I hear Northwestern is a good one, but what about Rush or University of Chicago?

Thanks again!

Best of luck to all of you in the match!
 

tiredmom

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I will second Vegetables' comment about getting dumber as the year goes on... I feel like I can't remember anything anymore!

I took mine in July because I finished 3rd yr on family medicine - so studying for family's exam was essentially studying for step 2 CK. It was really nice to get it out of the way. Even though my Step 1 score was good for ob/gyn, my step 2 score was a ton better and really helped me stand out at interviews.

Good luck! The end is in sight!
 

anamarylee

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I took July off for my CK and took 2 weeks between required clerkships in the second part of September for my CS. I was so relieved not having to worry about that during my interview. One of the interviewers noticed my CK score and mentioned it, so that was a point in my favor. Another advantage of taking the CS early was having all the 3rd year material fresh in my mind. One of my mentors recommended I get them both out of the way as soon as possible, because if it comes down to me and someone else, those will be points in my favor.

Also, from other posters/classmates, taking the CS late in 4th year (after ROL deadline) makes it a bit harder to prepare for it, since you are not taking SP exams during 4th year, so you have to brush up on everything all over again. A bonus in my school is that if you take it and pass it before the end of January, you don't have to take the CPX, which is a graduation requirement. Check with your school though.

Off topic: if you are preparing your senior year schedule, do a rotation early on so you can get a great LOR.

Good luck.
 

drlexygoat

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I understand that it takes 2-3 weeks from the test date until the scores are posted to your school. However, do you know if it takes a while for those scores to be uploaded to the ERAS system?

Thanks!
 
H

Happy2BOB

I understand that it takes 2-3 weeks from the test date until the scores are posted to your school. However, do you know if it takes a while for those scores to be uploaded to the ERAS system?

You have to request ERAS to resend your USMLE transcript to all the programs you applied to. But, when I did that, it took less than 24 hours for them to get access to my score.
 

imbricatedu2rus

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One program did tell me that they did not interview anyone until both exam scores were in. (Univ. of South Florida)
 
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obbyjobby

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Yep, I took a year off b/t 3rd and 4th year and I didn't bother with Step II until just a few weeks ago! Everything fell out of my brain during my research year and I wanted to do my medicine subI, ER, ICU etc before tackling Step II. It was only a problem with one program, Emory, who said they don't rank you until both your scores are in.
 

jvarga

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Small piece of advice that I offer all candidates. Take step 2 early enough to have the scores in before rank night occurs. Why? Simple. If you haven't taken it, it speaks volumes about you and none of it is good (i.e. the Step I score may have been a fluke, you're afraid of taking the risk of lowering your score, you'll just take it whenever as long as its after rank night without putting effort into it, etc.) Also, when you are competing with everyone else and most of everyone else has a Step 2 (which they will), you are only hurting yourself by not having one. Programs want to know that you are a "sure thing" and do not want to risk offering a spot to someone who may be delayed because they failed Step 2 (believe me, I have seen people with similar step 1 scores fail step 2...not common, but it does happen). Most programs prefer to see your Step 2 score and like the reassurance that you will be a full-fledged MD that will be able to report for duty come July 1st. Granted some programs are satisfied with just a step 1, but are you really that sure that your favorite program is among those? Remember if you are not willing to take the risk, why should the program be the one to assume the risk with you.
 
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