USMLE step 2 CK experience

7/7/2012 1:04:27 AM
Hello there,

I would like to write about my experience with USMLE step 2 CK. I used this forum a lot in my preparation in viewing what other people have gone through. And I always found it useful to read others experiences and make my own study plan.

A little background info about my self: I am an IMG, graduated in 2009. I came to the US in Oct. of 2010. I am ECFMG certified now, I got 233 in step 1, 244 in step 2 CK, Step 2 CS Pass and passed all three exams in less than 6 months period in one attempt.

It took me 3 months and 20 days for the whole prep for step 2 CK. I was working the first two months 4 days a week. and I got 6 weeks off before the exam, which was very helpful. I took step 2 CK, right after step 1, which was the smartest thing to do and it worked really well.

I used kaplan LN, Kaplan videos, First Aid for USMLE step 1( just as a review of what I have read in step 1 but not much), and Master the boards for Step 2 CK.

First 2 months I was working 4 days a week, so I had about 3 days which I studied and I improved my study plan with time.

Last 6 weeks, were the review months: I did Uworld Qbank, timed, unused and mixed. I did 2 blocks a day, first thing in the morning with taking a break in between. It helped me very much develop a stamina for answering the questions in the exam. At night, I will review only the wrong questions and take notes. I finished the Qbank in 27 days. A tremendous improvement I saw in the assessment scores with this style.

I studied Internal Medicine twice, all the other subjects just once.

The take-home points:
* set a goal for your self and keep that goal in mind all the time. Aim for a high score, even if you want just a passing score, it will help you to get the best of your work.

* Try to relax every now and then to regain your energy and Know that when study for this exam you will see that you forget a lot, that's normal. and If you feel stressed out, train your self to shut down all the thoughts that are stressing you out and focus on the task in hand in your study plan. For e.g.: If you are studying Internal Medicine, and you keep thinking oh how am going to study Surgery and what about Psychiatry, oh and what about my exam date??!!. Forget about it, tell your mind: Hey just focus on Internal Medicine and believe me you will see in a day or two that everything that you were thinking about has a solution now. I used this technique and believe me it works.

My scores:
Kaplan Qbank: Just did couple blocks, was not worth it.
NBME 4 (6 weeks before the exam): 239
UWorld Qbank overall: 73% (Uworld is the best thing ever for the prep of Step 2 CK, many of the questions were of similar concepts as in UWorld, So use it as a learning tool and know it inside out.

USWSA: 250 (2 weeks before the exam)

Real deal: 244.

Good luck to everyone and I hope this helps. Ask if you have any questions.


Mohammed Al Fayyadh
edited by imghosty on 7/14/2012
edited by imghosty on 7/14/2012


7/7/2012 12:40:20 PM
imghosty wrote:
Hello there,

I would like to write about my experience with USMLE step 2 CK. I used this forum a lot in my preparation in viewing what other people have gone through. And I always found it useful to read others experiences and make my own study plan.

A little background info about my self: I am an IMG, graduated in 2009. I came to the US in Oct. of 2010. I am ECFMG certified now, I got 233 in step 1, 244 in step 2 CK, Step 2 CS Pass and passed all three exams in less than 6 months period in one attempt.

It took me 3 months and 20 days for the whole prep for step 2 CK. I was working the first two months 4 days a week. and I got 6 weeks off before the exam, which was very helpful. I took step 2 CK, right after step 1, which was the smartest thing to do and it worked really well.

I used kaplan LN, Kaplan videos, First Aid for USMLE step 1( just as a review of what I have read in step 1 but not much), and Master the boards for Step 2 CK.

First 2 months I was working 4 days a week, so I had about 3 days which I studied and I improved my study plan with time.

Last 6 weeks, were the review months: I did Uworld Qbank, timed, unused and mixed. I did 2 blocks a day, first thing in the morning with taking a break in between. It helped me very much develop a stamina for answering the questions in the exam. At night, I will review only the wrong questions and take notes. I finished the Qbank in 27 days. A tremendous improvement I saw in the assessment scores with this style.

I studied Internal Medicine twice, all the other subjects just once.

The take-home points:
* set a goal for your self and keep that goal in mind all the time. Aim for a high score, even if you want just a passing score, it will help you to get the best of your work.

* Try to relax every now and then to regain your energy and Know that when study for this exam you will see that you forget a lot, that's normal. and If you feel stressed out, train your self to shut down all the thoughts that are stressing you out and focus on the task in hand in your study plan. For e.g.: If you are studying Internal Medicine, and you keep thinking oh how am going to study Surgery and what about Psychiatry, oh and what about my exam date??!!. Forget about it, tell your mind: Hey just focus on Anatomy and believe me you will see in a day or two that everything that you were thinking about has a solution now. I used this technique and believe me it works.

My scores:
Kaplan Qbank: Just did couple blocks, was not worth it.
NBME 4 (6 weeks before the exam): 239
UWorld Qbank overall: 73% (Uworld is the best thing ever for the prep of Step 2 CK, many of the questions were of similar concepts as in UWorld, So use it as a learning tool and know it inside out.

USWSA: 250 (2 weeks before the exam)

Real deal: 244.

Good luck to everyone and I hope this helps. Ask if you have any questions.


MJ


hey mj where should i start from. i am a below average guy.ur story seems inspirational for weakling like me.


7/7/2012 1:05:47 PM
darkdynamo wrote:


hey mj where should i start from. i am a below average guy.ur story seems inspirational for weakling like me.


Hi,

First of all, don't underestimate yourself. You have the potential to get the highest score possible if you believe in your self and know the exam well.

Secondly, knowing the exam alleviates stress and fear that will ruin your preparation and your ultimate goal of getting the score you deserve.

If you are an IMG, most medical schools does not prepare you for the USMLE type of exams, they speak mainly about theory and they don't teach you how to apply it and also you can pass just memorizing facts not knowing why things happen.

My advice is to make a study plan, set a goal for your self and work on achieving that goal. Many average students get high score on the USMLEs, because they prepared well.

As I said earlier, always set a goal to acheive the highest possible score, even if you can't get a very high score you will end up with a decent score. Think about what you want to acheive by going through these exams and what are the things that you don't want to get, like a failing score and get away from it.

These exams are tests of endurance, not just medical knowledge. Solve as many questions possible to get your mind and body for the stress of the exam.

Good Luck and let me know if you any other questions.

Mohammed Al Fayyadh
edited by imghosty on 7/14/2012


7/7/2012 11:37:37 PM
Hey MJ,

Inspiring story indeed, and congrats for ur success, I got a question for you, since I am in a situation kind of similar to yours(atleast for CK).

I will be taking my Step 1 next week, last UWSA 1 score - 248, so i am putting in final touches by going thru More Biostats questions and Revisions.

However, given the fact tht i will finish my Step 1, so late, I will barely be having around 5-6 weeks at maximum for Step 2 CK. or else I loose this yr. ( I am done with CS already ).

So to pull of CK in 6 weeks flat, is seeming to be a little tough task in the limited amount of time. I am asking this question since you hv gone thru the same situation and I think you experience might be useful ..

Advice for CK please.

Thnx .


7/8/2012 9:21:56 PM
AkBh54924306 wrote:
Hey MJ,

Inspiring story indeed, and congrats for ur success, I got a question for you, since I am in a situation kind of similar to yours(atleast for CK).

I will be taking my Step 1 next week, last UWSA 1 score - 248, so i am putting in final touches by going thru More Biostats questions and Revisions.

However, given the fact tht i will finish my Step 1, so late, I will barely be having around 5-6 weeks at maximum for Step 2 CK. or else I loose this yr. ( I am done with CS already ).

So to pull of CK in 6 weeks flat, is seeming to be a little tough task in the limited amount of time. I am asking this question since you hv gone thru the same situation and I think you experience might be useful ..

Advice for CK please.

Thnx .


Hi there,

I think you will do great in your exams.

Everything is possible. If you have the will and you plan it well, I think you can do it. It seems like you have a very good knowledge from your step 1, so if you study right away for step 2 CK it will help a lot.

My advice is to take step 1, rest for couple days, then start studying for step 2 CK. While you are studying, start doing Uworld Qbank. The way I did Uworld as I said, was I did 2 blocks first thing in the morning as the real exam, mixed, timed, unused and at night I studied the explanations, and focused on the wrong answers. My study was very focused on my weak points, and by taking notes of the wrong answers, I knew what I was getting wrong and tried to know the material really well, and it helped. I saw an improvement all the way of my studies.

Try to take assessments, 4 weeks and 2 weeks before your CK exam to see where you are and according to that you will decide whether you will go for the exam or not. If you see you don't get the score you want just postpone the exam for couple weeks and study more.

I think you can do it, just believe in your self and pray and you will definitely do it.

I wish you best of luck. Please let me know if you need any thing.

Mohammed Al Fayyadh
edited by imghosty on 7/14/2012


7/11/2012 3:09:40 PM
HI doc, first of all thank you for sharing your experience in such details. I am also an IMG, I graduated Med. school in 2009 as you and moved to US in 2010. I passed step 1 3 months ago, with 243, and now after long pause I want to start step 2 ck, but I can't find a good start. if you don't mind could you please give me an advice where to start? I have some books, Kaplan lecture notes 2008-2009 and some videos but I don't know which year. I just want to know are there any differences compare with new books(2011) or I can just start with 2009. I am plannig to buy MTB by Conrad FIsher and FA for step 2 ck ( which I doubt to buy or not) and of course UW q bank for 3 months! so, I will be so thankful if you give me an advice how to start with wich books, and so on. thanks in advance! Good luck! God bless you!


7/12/2012 9:10:05 PM
marden2155 wrote:
HI doc, first of all thank you for sharing your experience in such details. I am also an IMG, I graduated Med. school in 2009 as you and moved to US in 2010. I passed step 1 3 months ago, with 243, and now after long pause I want to start step 2 ck, but I can't find a good start. if you don't mind could you please give me an advice where to start? I have some books, Kaplan lecture notes 2008-2009 and some videos but I don't know which year. I just want to know are there any differences compare with new books(2011) or I can just start with 2009. I am plannig to buy MTB by Conrad FIsher and FA for step 2 ck ( which I doubt to buy or not) and of course UW q bank for 3 months! so, I will be so thankful if you give me an advice how to start with wich books, and so on. thanks in advance! Good luck! God bless you!


Hi Marden,

Congratulations on your great step 1 score.

I think you are on the right track and you have a very solid knowledge base, you just to be push your self.

I don't know where you are located but If you want to call me. I will send you my phone no. in a private message.

Good Luck


7/13/2012 2:06:36 AM
thanks for your reply,I sent you a private message!


7/17/2012 12:19:23 AM
Hi MJ,
First and foremost congratulations on such great score.Also thanks a lot for sharing your experience which is very inspirational and very helpful.

I have been studying for few months now.I did kaplan lecture notes and uw at the very beginning and got low scores in 50s.I had read the explanations. After a gap of few months i started again with MTB step2 with uworld. This time uworld I got 69%overall correct. I finished it completely. I am doing uworld again , I have done 10 tests and my overall correct is 66%. I will give the exam end of august. This is my first exam, not taken step1.

what would be a good overall correct % that I need to get on uworld to get a score of 230 and above?
When should I take the nbmes & in which order?
Should I use any other book for pathophysiology?

I am very scared and stressed that my uworld score is not improving.I do not know what I need to change. Please Doc kindly advise what I should do.

Thank you very much. Your help is appreciated.


7/19/2012 11:06:00 AM
RaGo21985422 wrote:
Hi MJ,
First and foremost congratulations on such great score.Also thanks a lot for sharing your experience which is very inspirational and very helpful.

I have been studying for few months now.I did kaplan lecture notes and uw at the very beginning and got low scores in 50s.I had read the explanations. After a gap of few months i started again with MTB step2 with uworld. This time uworld I got 69%overall correct. I finished it completely. I am doing uworld again , I have done 10 tests and my overall correct is 66%. I will give the exam end of august. This is my first exam, not taken step1.

what would be a good overall correct % that I need to get on uworld to get a score of 230 and above?
When should I take the nbmes & in which order?
Should I use any other book for pathophysiology?

I am very scared and stressed that my uworld score is not improving.I do not know what I need to change. Please Doc kindly advise what I should do.

Thank you very much. Your help is appreciated.


Hi there,

Sorry for my late reply.

First, I know studying this exam can be very anxiety provoking, but keep in mind what your goal is from taking this exam, which getting the highest score possible and keep pushing your self on achieving that goal. Try to block negative thoughts and try to relax and manage your anxiety well. If you do, you will achieve more than what you thought you will be achieving in the beginning.

Second, Try to use Uworld Qbank as a learning tool not as an assessment tool. I did two assessments before taking my step 2 CK and I planned it so I did one before my review and one two weeks before the exam. The idea behind that is to know where I stand before starting my review(which was the best and more intense part of my studies) and then the one before the exam, I took two weeks before so that I will not stress out about the result days before the exam and I would have enough time to put my self together. Try to focus on your weak points and improve them.

My advice is to put two months to 6 weeks before your exam date and plan to read what you have read before and do questions as I described in the post to get a real feel of the exam. and do the assessments to see what score you might get and from there work on what you get. If you get a good score, then you are ready.

It is very important to focus on the weak points but also important not to make your strong points weak points by not studying them.

I hope this answered your question. Please feel free to ask any questions.

Mohammed


7/19/2012 1:41:45 PM
Hello!! thanks for encouragement,, congratulation for great scores.
i am also IMG passed step 1 237 in jan 2011.
step 2 cs passed first attempt in june 2011.
now going to give CK on 25th july,2012
need you advice,
done with UWorld twice ( first time subject n topic wise got 73% n second time mix got average of 83% , all in time mode) n read kap lecture notes once.
gave UW assessment got 254/690.... on 7th of july 2012
gave NBME 2 online got 232/510 on 15th of july,2102
so confuse n worried ....why so much difference between two.
can you advice me what i should do?
what score is more reliable NBME or UWSA?
thank you ery much for your advice.


7/21/2012 11:43:59 AM
sagu33022796 wrote:
Hello!! thanks for encouragement,, congratulation for great scores.
i am also IMG passed step 1 237 in jan 2011.
step 2 cs passed first attempt in june 2011.
now going to give CK on 25th july,2012
need you advice,
done with UWorld twice ( first time subject n topic wise got 73% n second time mix got average of 83% , all in time mode) n read kap lecture notes once.
gave UW assessment got 254/690.... on 7th of july 2012
gave NBME 2 online got 232/510 on 15th of july,2102
so confuse n worried ....why so much difference between two.
can you advice me what i should do?
what score is more reliable NBME or UWSA?
thank you ery much for your advice.


Hi There,

Great score and great performance. I think you will do great.

Try to relax and stay focused in the next couple of days before your exam. What I did before my exam, is that I said to my self: I will get the highest score that I got in the assessment and I worked on it. That really helped boost my confidence and I did well on the real exam.

I think you have a strong knowledge base and you have prepared well. Now there is no come back and try to ignore anything that stress you out and focus on what you have been working hard on getting, which is a great score. and I really think you can do it. USWSA in a good predictor.

Good Luck and try to relax, you will do fine if you do.

Mohammed
edited by imghosty on 7/21/2012


7/21/2012 12:04:06 PM
wrote:
Hello Doctor,

First of all mabrook for your success i am graduated from cairo university and i've decided to do USMLE and i feel like starting with part 2 CK...so actually i feel so lost i don't know from where to start..to sum up my questions:
1. How long does step 2 CK should averagely take?
2. The best books to get
3. A good study plan for me
Thanks a lot for your help.


Hi there,

Allah Yebarek Beek.

I will be happy to give you advice regarding the USMLE.

First, some have decided to take step 2 CK before step 1. When I graduated from Medical school I thought about doing the same, But things changed for me.

Now, I think If you start preparing for Step 1 is a better option. Many of the questions in step 2 CK are similar in concept to step 1 and your preparation time for step 1 will prepare you for the other exams in an excellent way. Step 2 CK will be a piece of cake if you take it after step 1.

I mentioned my experience and what books I used in the post in the forum, please check it out.

That being said a good study plan is a study plan that suits you and no body else. So try to read others experiences and take the good points from what they are saying and then make your own plan and work on it. You can start by setting your goals and find the ways to achieve those goals.

This exam needs determination, good planning and everything else will be easy.

I wish you best of luck and please let me know if you need anything else.

Mohammed


7/21/2012 3:12:40 PM
imghosty wrote:
sagu33022796 wrote:
Hello!! thanks for encouragement,, congratulation for great scores.
i am also IMG passed step 1 237 in jan 2011.
step 2 cs passed first attempt in june 2011.
now going to give CK on 25th july,2012
need you advice,
done with UWorld twice ( first time subject n topic wise got 73% n second time mix got average of 83% , all in time mode) n read kap lecture notes once.
gave UW assessment got 254/690.... on 7th of july 2012
gave NBME 2 online got 232/510 on 15th of july,2102
so confuse n worried ....why so much difference between two.
can you advice me what i should do?
what score is more reliable NBME or UWSA?
thank you ery much for your advice.


Hi There,

Great score and great performance. I think you will do great.

Try to relax and stay focused in the next couple of days before your exam. What I did before my exam, is that I said to my self: I will get the highest score that I got in the assessment and I worked on it. That really helped boost my confidence and I did well on the real exam.

I think you have a strong knowledge base and you have prepared well. Now there is no come back and try to ignore anything that stress you out and focus on what you have been working hard on getting, which is a great score. and I really think you can do it. USWSA in a good predictor.

Good Luck and try to relax, you will do fine if you do.

Mohammed
edited by imghosty on 7/21/2012



Hello!! thank you very much for boosting my confidence.
more Q should I do NBME 4 for more predictive score or not?
As i Have only 3 days left ...n preparing for weak points from uw.
thank you very very much,,
really apperciated....
Sandeep


7/21/2012 6:21:23 PM
[quote=sagu33022796][quote=imghosty][quote=sagu33022796]Hello!! thanks for encouragement,, congratulation for great scores.
i am also IMG passed step 1 237 in jan 2011.
step 2 cs passed first attempt in june 2011.
now going to give CK on 25th july,2012
need you advice,
done with UWorld twice ( first time subject n topic wise got 73% n second time mix got average of 83% , all in time mode) n read kap lecture notes once.
gave UW assessment got 254/690.... on 7th of july 2012
gave NBME 2 online got 232/510 on 15th of july,2102
so confuse n worried ....why so much difference between two.
can you advice me what i should do?



Hello!! thank you very much for boosting my confidence.
more Q should I do NBME 4 for more predictive score or not?
As i Have only 3 days left ...n preparing for weak points from uw.
thank you very very much,,
really apperciated....
Sandeep[/quote]

Hi Sandeep,

No, just go with your highest assessment score and try to get even higher, if you can't you will still be in good shape.

if you are going to take the exam in the next two days no matter what, then I do not recommend taking any assessment exam, because it will not add anything.

Good luck and try to relax and focused to get a great score.

Mohammed


7/23/2012 12:18:25 AM
i got 220 in 1st step. I wrote exam on 28th June 2012.I am an IMG.Can you please tell me abt my marks.is it average or below average..i am getting very tensed seeing ppl gettin very high score..please give me suggestions should i go ahead for CK?


7/23/2012 12:42:06 PM
Hi Mohammed,
Thanks a lot for taking time to reply.
Your reply is encouraging and also it is helping me with my planning.
I will be taking NBME1 on July 27th. I will also continue with UW questiosn and reading the MTB, doing the wrong questions and my weak areas.
I will be giving my UWSA and NMBE 4 2 weeks before my exam date.

Do you recommend anything for pathoshyiology as I have not taken step1?

Once again, Thanks a lot for helping me.


7/27/2012 9:00:03 PM
Asalamoalaikum Mohammad Al Fayyadh
congratulations..
i have just finished my MBBS in this month from Pakistan
as i have recently studied all clinical subjects so i wanna give step2 ck. first...
what would u like to advise me??
Kaplan notes n lectures are enough??
and how the exam schedule is for step2 ck.??


8/2/2012 8:28:13 PM
congratulations!!!!

how did you manage breaks during the test??


8/3/2012 6:27:52 PM
salaamz and congratualations Mohammed al Fayyadh


9/4/2012 2:36:37 PM
aj12 wrote:
i got 220 in 1st step. I wrote exam on 28th June 2012.I am an IMG.Can you please tell me abt my marks.is it average or below average..i am getting very tensed seeing ppl gettin very high score..please give me suggestions should i go ahead for CK?


Hi,

Sorry for the late reply.

You sure should go for CK and do better on it.

Your score is not below average, it's still good. and don't be stressed out if you see others get high scores, that means you need to do better on your second one and work on another things that will get you a residency position, which believe me, It's not all about scores.

Good Luck


9/4/2012 2:38:43 PM
RaGo21985422 wrote:
Hi Mohammed,
Thanks a lot for taking time to reply.
Your reply is encouraging and also it is helping me with my planning.
I will be taking NBME1 on July 27th. I will also continue with UW questiosn and reading the MTB, doing the wrong questions and my weak areas.
I will be giving my UWSA and NMBE 4 2 weeks before my exam date.

Do you recommend anything for pathoshyiology as I have not taken step1?

Once again, Thanks a lot for helping me.


Hi,

Sorry I can't advise you about pathophysiology because my situation was different.

Good luck


9/4/2012 2:41:07 PM
sanupari wrote:
Asalamoalaikum Mohammad Al Fayyadh
congratulations..
i have just finished my MBBS in this month from Pakistan
as i have recently studied all clinical subjects so i wanna give step2 ck. first...
what would u like to advise me??
Kaplan notes n lectures are enough??
and how the exam schedule is for step2 ck.??


Waallikum Al Salam,

It depends on what how you study and what works for you. You have to come up with a study plan that works for you. Listen to my experience and others experiences and take what work for you.

Kaplan Lecture notes, Kaplan videos, Master the boards and Uworld are what I used.

Good luck


9/4/2012 2:43:14 PM
MaAq70551961 wrote:
congratulations!!!!

how did you manage breaks during the test??


Thanks,

I took two blocks and then a 10 min. break, then another two blocks and a 25 min. lunch break and then two blocks with a 10 min. break and then the last two blocks.

You can skip the tutorial in the beginning and add 15 min. of break time to your 45 originally allotted time.

Good luck


9/4/2012 11:20:22 PM
I took CK today and I really struggled with this exam. I thought it was so tricky and ambiguous. I studied so hard for this exam I got over 240's on UWSA and NBME 4 and I feel like I did horrible on this exam. I was very confident walking in and felt like I got hit with a hammer. I looked up answers after the exam and found out that I was getting them wrong. Anyone feel like this exam was hard? All my colleagues acted so nonchalant "yea it wasn't bad, it was straightforward" What test were they taking?


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