When to take the Step 2?

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Shanopy

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I'm a third-year applying to general surgery this fall.

1) I know I need to take Step 2 early, because I didn't do so hot on Step 1, but can anyone tell me when to take it?

2) Is the third week of August too late?

3) And if I do well on the Step 2, will it help me scure more interviews or it will only help after I get an interview?

I'd appreciate any input.
 

Sachin

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took mine sept 30th and all programs had it for invitations and during my interview.. goodluck!
 

Harrie

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Any disadvantage to putting it off if you are happy with Step I? I got a 256 on Step I and I'm worried that I can really only hurt myself with Step II. Meaning a score that is as good/better won't help me much, but a score that is lower could hurt me. Will programs be upset if I put it off?
 

otopico

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If you did really well on Step 1, it may be worth holding off. I did very well on Step 1 and figured I could only hurt my chances by taking step 2 before interview season. I matched ENT this year, and almost no one I met on the interview trail had taken step 2 yet. I took it in December (my school requires we take it before Dec. 31). It may be different for Gen Surgery, but unless your step 1 scores are poor and you need to buff up your application, I would delay.
 

Vincristine

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eek....I thought I had figured out my scheudle for M4, but now you have me stressing. I wasn't planning to take Step 2 until Janurary-ish. My reasons are: (1) I won't have finished psych until end of October, and (2) I did "okay" (few points within the mean) on Step 1, but am afraid I'll reinforce my "averageness" with a similar grade on Step 2.

Thoughts welcome about when to take Step 2 when you didn't get a 256 on Step 1 as well as thoughts on getting into surigcal residency with average board scores, okay preclinical grades, but very good clinic grades? Please.....
 

Furpal

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Hey,

I can tell you that I took Step 2 around October 17th and was able to know my score by all but one of my interviews. By reading "Crush the Boards" a couple of times and going through First Aid, NMS questions, and Kaplan's Q book I was able to raise my average STEP I score to a much better looking STEP II score. I like to think that my score opened a couple of interview doors at some of the good programs I got late interviews to, but I don't know that for sure.

I can also tell you that with average STEP I, and reasonable grades (mid-third) you should be able to get interviews at community, and mid-tier and some upper tier programs. Clinical grades, especially surgery, are going to be more important anyways. Just make sure you have a wide range of programs. We'll see what transpires 9 days from now as far as matching.

Surgery is getting to be more competitive, but there are still spots to be had if you have the desire.

We'll see what transpires 9 days from now as far as matching.

Furpal
MSIV UF
 

SteadyEddy

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I hear many of you talking about doing good or bad on Step 1. I scored a 226 and was wondering if that is a good enough score. I would appreciate anyone's feedback. Thanks.
 

Furpal

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Certainly STEP I scores matter and a 226 is fine, but it is only one part of the picture. I'm sure some places have cut-offs but I think a lot of places look at the whole picture: Grades, research extracurriculars, letters of recomendation, etc.

I can tell you that I was average on STEP I and was perfectly happy with the quantity and quality of places I interviewed. Surprised by some I interviewed at and surprised by some I didn't get interviews at.

I guess the most telling thing will be what happens next week.

Good luck.

J
 
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