261 – Indian IMG – Deepak Kalbi

Hii Guys This is one of my frnds CK Experience. I hope we ll do much better than this ???
Full Guide to USMLE Step 2 CK : (Warning: Very long post – Skip to ‘bottomline’ to read the summary of it)

When one starts preparation for Step 2 CK, he/she will soon find that unlike Step 1, there is little guidance out there for Step 2 CK. So, I hope many of you find this post useful.

General things about Step 2 CK:
1. Do not underestimate Step 2 CK. You need a good 3-5 months preparation for it, depending on your speed. You cannot ace this test with a less than 2 month preparation.
2. Preparation for Step 2 CK is easier than Step 1 as it is more clinical.
3. BUT the exam is very hard. Harder than Step 1. Question stems are very long and answer choices are very close to each other on the real exam.

Materials needed:
Unlike Step 1, most books are either useless or only marginally useful at best.
1. UWORLD: This should be your most important study source. No other material comes close to its usefulness.
2. Kaplan notes: ObGyn, Surgery, Psychiatry are okay to read once. Others are optional. Do them if you have a lot of time.
3. The Internet: This exam is all about current guidelines. This is why books reading books written years ago won’t do you any good. Look up current guidelines from official websites whenever you have doubts in management.
4. MTB : I read MTB partially and found it to be okay at best. It may be useful as a starting point for your prep, but that is all. Do not swear by it because, as with any other Step 2 Ck book it has many errors and is incomplete.
5. First Aid : I did not use First aid. At my first glance, I felt the book lacked in conciseness and objectivity. Though many people use it, I do not recommend it.
6. NBME tests: As usual, very useful predictors of score. Warning: do not do NBME 3 – has many errors – not predicitve. Rest are useful.

Time needed for Prep:

Anywhere between 2-5 months. Lesser time is needed than Step 1 but not too less! A rough estimate would be – 70% of the time you spent for Step 1.

Finally, my experience with the exam:

Prep time : Feb1 to May28
My prep was rigged with lots of problems(personal and work related) along the way that chewed away many weeks of time. 3 months would have been enough if there were no other distractions.

Materials:
Books: Started with MTB 2 Internal medicine. Then did Kaplan ObGyn, Surgery and Psychiatry. I planned on doing MTB3 for all the non-internal medicine subjects but did not have time as I already spent 2 months on the above materials. I just rushed through its Pediatrics chapter and found it to be pretty okay.

UWORLD: I then started Uworld less 2 months before exam. This was a mistake. After starting Uworld, I came to realise how useless the books were. Uworld explanations are phenomenal. You absolutely need them for this exam. As I approached my exam date, I began running out of prep time. I had to go to exam without reading 6 Uworld block explanations. I regretted starting Uworld so late in my prep. I got an average of 87% at the end of uword.

NBMEs : Did all online NBMES. Did nbme3 when I was at 30% of uworld and got 248. Do not do this one, the answer key is wrong for some reason and not predictable ( at least for me). Then I did nbmes 4,6,7 at 50, 75, 95% Uworld completion and got 277,260 and 263. (Yes, I take nbmes during – not after uworld completion – as they help me monitor my progress).

Exam Experience: May 29th
DREADFUL. Im not trying to scare you, but you should be prepared. This exam WILL demoralise you. Questions were VERY long and I ran out of time in all but 1 block. I did not answer atleast 8 questions as I ran out of time near the end of each block and guessed a lot of answers as the options were very vague and close to each other. This exam is an hour longer than Step 1 and is immensely tiring. Picture yourself : 9 hours of full Adrenalin rush battling with question stems 10+ lines long. All concepts (atleast from the questions I attended) were from Uworld and books I studied. Got only 1 drug Ad question ( you will know what that means when you do Uworld) and it was doable.
I was anxious as I felt I bombed the exam but consoled myself that thats how anyone would feel after such a difficult exam.
After waiting for 3 weeks for the result I was pleasantly surprised to find out I got a 261! So my last 2 nbmes were predictive even though I left 8 questions on my exam!!

Bottomline:
Step 2 CK prep is very unclear unlike Step 1. Uworld and guidelines on the internet are the only reliable sources. MTB, Kaplan are only partially useful at best. Preparation is easier than step 1 but exam is very hard. Nbme 6 and 7 are very predicitve. Do not worry if you screw up exam. Every one screws up Step 2 CK and ends up scoring similar to NBME.

Wish you all the best.

October 11, 2019
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