Jan 11, 2010
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For current MS3's planning on applying for neurology this year and MS4's about to be neurology residents:

When will/did you take step 2 CK and why?

Thanks
 
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95439

For current MS3's planning on applying for neurology this year and MS4's about to be neurology residents:

When will/did you take step 2 CK and why?

Thanks
Depends on how you did on Step 1.

Did great on Step 1 (app. mid 230's or above): I'd wait as long as possible before taking step 2 (as long as possible basically means until you HAVE to take it so you can have scores available for certain programs which want step 2 scores before they set up their interviews). No need to risk doing poorly on Step 2 by rushing, take your time and you should get interviews at most places with your Step 1 score.
Did below average/poorly on Step 1: Try and take Step 2 earlier so you can 'make up' for a somewhat dissapointing step 1 performance. You should take a chance on Step 2, because Step 1 isn't going to get you the most desirable interviews.
Did average on step 1: That's the hard part - if you did 'ok' on step 1, it's probably good enough for most programs, but it's not going to get you in by itself. It depends on what tier of residency you want to go to.

All of this is mainly common sense - if you need to improve your application, take step 2 earlier so it will appear when you're applying, and you'll then have the scores to get an interview in the first place. Otherwise, you can put off step 2 so the scores come back after you've gotten interview invites, but before you actually go to interview (by which time most residencies will want a score)...
 

PhakeDoc

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If you are interested in the UC schools or UPenn, I would make sure you take CK in time to get the scores back. I heard mixed things about whether they need to be in by ROL time versus even to get an interview. I would check with specific programs if there's any doubt.
 
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That's a good point...some schools do require Step 2 to be taken before selecting you for an interview, but it depends on the program. If you have a clearcut school (or schools) you want to go to, you should contact them individually and ask what their requirements are.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Let's say that you have a step 1 score >230 (since that is the number that was put out there). Is there any benefit to taking step 2 CK prior to application submission (September) if you think you can improve upon your step 1 score?

It seems that it is easier to get really high scores on step 2 CK than it was on step 1 for several reasons, namely that people aren't studying as hard for it. So I am wondering if having a really high step 2 CK score (like 260+) ready when you apply can help you get more interview offers at neurology programs. I certainly assume it would at dermatology programs, but I don't know if neurology is the same way in that regard.

Another strategy may be to wait a little longer and get that high step 2 CK score after interview season but before ROL's are submitted so you can have a "good reason" to contact residencies and remind them that you really liked their programs. If you chose to do this, you are limited to impressing only the programs that gave you interviews based on your step 1 score.

I've read some posts by residents and faculty who are on the selection committees. Do any of them have any opinions?
 

typhoonegator

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I never put too much stock in step 2 scores unless, as stated above, it rectifies a really weak step 1 score. So many people don't have step 2 scores in their application folders that it makes it hard to use them uniformly in decision making. A step 1 score above 230 is fine. At least where I did residency, I don't think getting a 265 on step 2 would really put you in a significantly better position. Some schools might put more stock in these metrics than others.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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I was reviewing data from the 2009 match, and I did some calculations with all applicants. Many "independent" applicants make it into the "top" neurology programs so they should not be excluded from such an analysis even if I will be considered a U.S. Senior.

there were 704 neurology applicants in 2009

217 applicants (31% of all neurology applicants) had step 1 scores >230
29 applicants (13% of those with scores >230 and 4% of all neurology applicants) did NOT match

108 applicants (15% of all neurology applicants) had step 1 scores > 240
8 applicants (7% of those with scores >240 and 1% of all neurology applicants) did NOT match

41 applicants (6% of all neurology applicants) had step 1 scores > 250
1 applicant (2% of those with scores >250 and 0% of all neurology applicants ) did NOT match

Based on your advice and these figures, I think I'll rely on my step 1 score to get me interviews and wait to take step 2 CK around November. It'll be interesting to see the same figures for the 2010 match!
 
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95439

Based on your advice and these figures, I think I'll rely on my step 1 score to get me interviews and wait to take step 2 CK around November. It'll be interesting to see the same figures for the 2010 match!
Marqaha, you did really well on Step 1, and have a chance to go to some of the top neurology residencies in the country (as long as the rest of your application is stellar as well). So I'd recommend heeding Phakedoc's advice above. The programs that are more difficult to get into often want the Step 2 before sending out interview invites, so I'd check with the programs individually to make sure. You're in great shape though, good luck!
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I saw that UCSF and UPenn seem to want step 2 CK prior to ROL submission. I'll definitely plan on having my scores back before ROL submission time.
 

PAN627

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Are you an IMG or an AMG? If you are an IMG I'd say take step 2 ck before submitting Sept 1. If you're an AMG you're pretty much set with a 230+ on step 1.
 
Sep 16, 2010
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Have any new schools other than this list (UCSF/UPenn) started requiring Step 2 CK before ROL for this year?