USMLE Step 2CK – 258 Experience – Gausan Ratna Bajracharya
My USMLE STEP 2 CK EXPERIENCE
compared to step 1, my step 2 preparation was a bit different. First of all, as suggested by many, I thought step 2 would b a lot easier and different from step 1. My biggest hurdle was getting back on track after 5 wks of break from studies.
USMLE STEP2 CK in my view is a lot like step1. The emphasis on HOW? WHY? rather than what is still needed. Many of ur seniors may tell u that we need to memorize criterias, drugs and algorithms. Yes I did that too but everytime ending up in the dilemma while answering questions -“but the criteria says that!! / but the uworld algorithm says this!!”. Usmle step2 is not designed for postgraduate students first of all. And a lot of content is developed regarding the understanding of principles of disease, their diagnosis and management. We must not ponder about rigidly saying we were taught this way or this book says that. Usmle step 2 is a way of ideal and logical thinking. It is about what is the next logical step. Isnt that how algorithms are developed in the first place? So my advice, switch off ur short term memory and assimilate the text into recollectable conceptual matter. We must think in the way usmle wants us to think.
PREPARATION : keep it simple. Many of us like to read ready made notes that is easy to recall on a short term basis. Yes that may be a high yield in your final exam or final prof but not in usmle. They dont want us to write a short note on a specified topic. They want us to know things inside out. Why clogg our memory by memorizing things that we can conceptualize easily and recall efficiently. Consistency, determination and hard work are nonmodifiable prerequisites that every one wants to skip but there are no shortcuts. U might have heard from ur seniors that the view is better from up there. So buckle up one more time and start ur engines ladies n gentlemen.
TIME : this always has been a dilemma for many. I dont understand why people are always in a rush to complete their steps. Take ur own sweet time. Dont appear for ur exam unless u r sure you are ready. How do u know that? Assess urself with tests to see if there is any room for improvement and see ur progress.
MATERIALS : I suggest u stick to kaplan medical. If you have time see all videos. If not atleast see videos by Dr Conrad fisher in medicine and Dr. Shakala in OBG. Kaplan and uworld online are more than enough for step 2. Remember that MTB is a note from kaplan so if u are not in mood to make your own notes there is MTB for kaplan and tiki-taka notes for uworld. However it is best for u to read kaplan atleast twice. Kaplan is the best source for diagnoatic and management principles. Remember to look at a diagnostic criteria and think why it is placed there rather than just rember that it is there. Same thing for algorithms. Think why a certain step is done before the other not just take a picture and store it in ur mind. This comes in handy in exams because patients in the questions are having multiple comorbidities with polypharmacy. It is best for you to decide urself on what to do looking at the circumstances by keeping in mind the principles of the management.
PRACTICE MATERIALS :
Uworld is a must. It covers topics and depths that kaplan has not covered.
UWSA : different from uworld.. a lot like exam.
NBME : totally different from uworld. But I recommend you do all no matter what u have been hearing. NBMEs are tough n so is the exam. So get used to nbme type questions.
FRED : do 1-2 days before exam.
MY SCHEDULE :
1st ROUND KAPLAN +UWORLD (subject wise; write notes in kaplan) – 3 months
2nd ROUND KAPLAN +UWORLD (random mode – 8 blocks every tuesday) – 2 months
3rd ROUND KAPLAN – till last week before exam
NBME 7 – 3 wks before exam (258)
UWSA – 2wks before exam (264)
NBME 4 – 1 wk before exam (271)
LAST WEEK – revise some imp topics, revise heart sounds, step 1 first aid pharmacology only.
Exam – 258
EXAM DAY :
reached 15 mins ahead of time to make sure I was oriented. Questions were vague but a lot like fred n nbme (dont ask questions for ovbious reasons)
Had difficulty managing time. Less than 1 min left in each block. I had no time to see even 1 marked question so didnt bother to mark in the later blocks.
MY ADVICE :
TAKE TIME TO PREPARE
DONT LOOK INTO MANY RESOURCES
PRACTICE QUESTIONS IN TIMED MODE. PACE YOURSELF
DEVELOP STAMINA BY DOING 8 BLOCKS OF UWORLD ONCE A WEEK.
ALL D BEST !!
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