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when to take step II?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by TGDO, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. TGDO

    TGDO New Member

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    I am having a hard deciding when to take COMLEX II and USMLE II. I am pleased with my step I and am having some performance anxiety over step II. As far as residency apps and the match goes does test timing make a difference?
     
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  3. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    If you did very well on step 1, then there shouldn't be a rush to take step 2.

    I really wanted to get step 2 out of the way. I made a 246 on step I and had absolutely no reason to take steap 2 early. In fact, my advisor and someone on this board advised against taking it early. Yet I was determined to just get it out of the way.

    So what happened? I didn't study for it hardly at all during the 2-week elective I took to study for it. Instead, I went to Six Flags twice and to two baseball games. So I rescheduled it during my EM rotation. Bad idea since the last week of my EM rotation I was working all night shifts. I couldn't take it on a Saturday after working all week of nights. I'd fall asleep during the thing. So I pushed it back yet another 2 weeks... When did I take it? In the middle of a trauma surgery rotation. I didn't study for it at all during the EM or trauma months, and I was on call two nights during the week of the test. End result of my carelessness? My score dropped 30 points from step I.

    Several of the program directors asked me what happened. I was brutally honest with them. Some got a kick out of the story, others thought it was careless of me.

    So learn from my mistakes. If you did well on step 1, then wait until after your interview season before you take it.
     
  4. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus
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    Thanks for posting southerndoc. Your story is exactly what I am afraid will happen to me. I got the same Step I score as you, and I just know that my Step II score will drop based on both a lack of time and motivation to study. I'm planning on putting Step II off until the ROL are done, but everyone seems to look at me like I'm insane when I say that.
     
  5. doc05

    doc05 2K Member
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    they look at you like you're insane because they probably don't know that you aced step-1. If they were in your shoes, they would do the same.
     
  6. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Exactly. If you have >230-240 on step I, then you shouldn't have any problem with getting interviews... even if really competitive specialties like radiology and emergency medicine.

    Derm, however, might be another story. I've heard of people with 260's not getting interviews.
     
  7. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member
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    I got the same score as you guys (246). Instead of waiting till March of MS4 what about taking it in Dec of MS4?? I have time off then, but will programs get my score in time for it to impact my ranking on their match lists?
     
  8. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Yes, I've seen people post on SDN that programs called asking them about their scores.
     
  9. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus
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    Good to hear since I'm applying in EM. So has anyone had an interviewer bring up the fact that they hadn't taken Step II, yet?
     
  10. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    I can tell you I had a couple bring up the point that my step 2 score was 30 points lower than my step 1 score. Some of them found it amusing that I blew off studying, while others thought it was careless. One even mentioned that step 2 gave him better judgment into how someone will do in their clinical years.
     
  11. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member
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    what are you going into southerndoc?
     
  12. Fermi

    Fermi Senior Member
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    What is the deadline for programs to submit their rank order lists? I was thinking I could take Step 2 late enough so that I would have the option of sending the score to programs after interviews were all done. I got >230 on Step 1 so it's not urgent that I take Step 2 early, unless I'm going into something really competitive. But I'd still like the option of reporting the score if it's good.
     

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