Allie Kumar USMLE Step 3 Experience
Hello everyone! Wanted to share my Step 3 experience and give back to this group as it helped me persevere and learn. Before I begin just to give you some background, I am a US citizen, Caribbean school grad unable to match from the last 2 cycles. I took Step 2 CK 2 years ago. My biggest fall back was the gap between step 2 and 3. It’s a lot of step 2 concepts and knowledge that you have built on and struggled to remember those basics after the elapsed time.
I used to work part-time and study on my days off for 2 months. I noticed I was not able to focus much on studying so I decided to study full time and quit my job. I studied 10 hours daily for 2 months straight. I had a study partner for CCS, went through all the practice and interactive Uworld cases on Skype. I highly recommend practicing/discussing with someone.
Resources used: Uworld Step 3, Step 2CK personal notes, Uworld CCS, Biostats review, Step up to medicine book just for topics I had confusion on.
UWSA 1- 181. Time management was a big issue for me. This was about a month out from exam date, I got so depressed, I had only finished going through all of UW 1 time. I panicked and I postponed my exam date by 9 days. Because my permit was expiring at the end of July, I couldn’t push the date more.
I did min 1 mix block daily. Focused on all my weak areas, went over my CK notes for OB, PEDS, GI, ENDO, CVS, RENAL. I would look up qs on Uworld based on some topics that I had trouble understanding. I referred to old step 2 Kaplan books or Step 1 FA.
I read the offline NBME 4 that’s posted on FB in this group.
2 weeks after UWSA 1 I took NBME 5- Score 400. NBME questions are super vague but that’s how the real exam is. I focused on my weak areas again.
Took UWSA 2 6 days before real exam- score 210. I was relieved I passed. UWSA 2 is easier than 1 and completely like Uworld q bank with maybe a couple new concepts.
I continued to read the notes posted on this group, crash courses someone did for each system. I learned a lot just by reading peoples qs and comments.
My study partner took her Day 1, one day before my exam day and told me its 50% pharmacology. I freaked out and spent the last day reading step 1 pharmacology, listening to youtube videos when I had difficulty focusing on cholinergic, sympathetics etc. Took only the day 1 portion of the FRED sample test and scored around 60% in each block.
I had to drive 2 hours the night prior to get to the testing center.
DAY 1- A lot like the sample test. But only maybe 5- 10 total pharmacology questions. Random immunology, microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, oncology question from STEP 1 FA. Biostats calculations are doable but the drug ads are very time consuming that I could not crack them under limited time. I guessed on everything, I honestly felt like I’m taking the wrong exam because nothing was familiar. It was sooo much step 1 stuff that I didn’t remember. I felt so depressed after day 1.
I had 2.5 days before day 2 ( .5 day went into commute). I just read through my step 3 notes, reviewed Uworld CCS cases. I didn’t have time to practice with someone, also forgot to take the practice test for ccs on the Usmle website but took the second portion of FRED- got 70-85% in those blocks. I had read a couple of Crush cases earlier in my prep but didn’t finish the book and didn’t have time to review before day 2.
DAY 2- MCQS are all Step 3 related, the difficulty level was not horrible. I didn’t run out of time as I did with day 1 mcqs.
13 CCS cases- It was actually fun to do those cases. 2-3 similar to Uworld CCS, rest from your own theory knowledge. I had only 3-4 positive updates. One case I didn’t know the diagnosis as the stem was vague without any pertinent positives in physical. The lag is real though in the actual test. Once you type in your order it takes some time to click through and actually confirm your order so keep that in mind and do not order 10 things at once since it takes time. The 2 min screen felt like 1 minute because I always ran out of time to do all the counseling and end orders due to the lag. Overall day 2 was better than day 1.
I waited 3 weeks after day 2 to get my score. Real score- 223.
I hope this post can inspire, help anyone out there who feels discouraged or alone in this journey. I will apply again for the match and hope and pray for the best. Good luck to everyone who is studying and applying for this cycle. God bless you all.