Dr. Saminathan Anbalangan scored 251 USMLE Step 2 CK Experience
Hi ppl.. Secured 251 ? I’m an IMG from India. Since many ppl asked me to write an experience, here it goes..
POST UPDATED 09/19/17
Actually there are a lot of experience posts in the group which are excellent guides.. I actually went through many of them and took the one which suited me.. So I’ll first write about few areas where I felt difficult.. N then give the whole experience..
Actually I didn’t have proper guidance for the assessments.. CMS, NBME and UWSA..I didn’t know how to go about.. I guess many ppl are feeling the same.. So lemme give an overview..
You don’t have many assessments available for Step 2 CK as it was for Step 1 .. So we gotta be shrewd in using the limited ones.. We have only 4 forms of NBME currently available online.. My recommendation is that, after you’re done with the basic reading of resources, start with NBME 6; don’t try CMS or NBME 1(offline) before doing NBME 6 cause it has many repeated Qs from those.. IMPROVE the WEAK AREAS by doing more Qs and revising the subject many times.. Few days later, try NBME 7.. It will be tough but don’t lose hope.. 225-235 in that is a pretty good score.. Next do NBME 3 as its similar to 7.. Finally when you’re pretty thorough with all subjects, use NBME 4 for final assessment.. That’s the best one to accurately assess your final score.. If you’re not satisfied with the score, then POSTPONE the exam.. DON’T go for the exam with a low score on NBME 4.. N to simulate a full length exam, combine the UWSA & USMLE Sample Qs (totally 8 blocks).. Or u may combine UWSA + NBME 4 (if you hadn’t taken it earlier)..UWSA also predicts accurately.. ALWAYS keep track of the time.. Time management is THE MOST important factor..
My NBME 4 & UWSA scores were 256 ..
NBME 6 – 254 ..
NBME 7 – 235 ..
NBME 3 – 237
For those who don’t know what CMS is, Clinical Mastery Series(CMS) is a set of “assessments” given by NBME for each subject.. Each form has 50 Qs.. There are 4 Forms currently available online for each subj.. Make good use of these.. They are VERY HELPFUL & HY.. Just do one form per day without analysing the scores..(I did 3 forms/day x 4 days).. At least the latest Forms 3 & 4.. Especially Neuro & Psychiatry subjects.. These are mainly “extra Qs” rather than assessment of the subjects.. That’s how I see it.. Try to do it online.. But if you need to do offline & want answers, join this group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/514599772033839/ ; I’ve compiled the answers as correctly as possible..
Here are the other things which I did similar to others..
Main Sources: KLN (Kaplan Lecture Notes), MTB 2 CK (Master The Boards) and also MTB 3, UW (USMLE World Qbank)
References: UTD (UpToDate), Medscape, youtube videos
Assessments: CMS, NBME, UWSA (UW Self Assessment)
Breakdown of source:
Medicine – MTB 2 CK (Many said MTB has lot of wrong info but I didn’t find much. If in doubt, use UW answers/UTD as the final trustable info)
Surgery, OBGYN, Paeds – MTB 3 (mainly), but I just quickly went through MTB 2 also & found it useful for a start.
Psychiatry – KLN step 1 book
Ethics, Patient safety & Abstracts – KLN step 2 CK Psychiatry book 2016 edition (MUST DO)
All other minor subjects – MTB 2
UW is the ultimate source for all subjects.
Link to major resources:
I recommend that you guys do a quick review of Step 3 UW synopsis too. I found it highly useful. But don’t do it until you’re done with all other resources. Link: https://drive.google.com/…/0Bw2yuwUW7nEfVlFfdGVsWDBkY…/view…
Duration of study : 4 and half months, around 8 hrs/day
Make a plan of what you’re gonna do for the next few months. A schedule always helps by keeping you in track. This is a link to the rough schedule I used but I made changes as I went along.Tailor it according to ur needs.
As I read through the resources, many parts were vague.. Many were algorithms; know all steps thoroughly.. There’s no way around.. There ain’t absolute answers for each Qs and “next step in management”.. But we’ll get used to it and find the way out as we go through UW.. Dig deep into each topics.. You won’t get any odd topics out of the resources I mentioned but you need to know IN DETAIL about each topic. Be strong in each topic cause u wont have time in exam if you stumble and think for each Q.
TAKE NOTES from UW! It ll be damn useful and easy to revise at the end. Write it on a separate book or on MTB. I did most notes on a separate notebook.
My reading style: I usually start from the last line of the Q . Then will scan the options quickly . Finally will go through the entire stem. That way I know what they want from us.
Exam experience: It’s a 9 hrs EXHAUSTING exam. Be prepared for it. Utilize the break time well. I used 5min-5min-10min-5min-20min-5min-10min. Eat properly and drink enough fluids to keep up the stamina. Exam was tough. Especially the last 2 blocks. It wasn’t cause of exhaustion but literally many out of the blue “management” questions. Most questions were from UW, MTB, CMS only. Nothing else. So u ppl can rely on it.. Kaplan definitely helpful for OBGYN and Paeds.
Weightage: I’m not sure, but I felt all major subjects were tested equally..
Question Length: like UW only. With 3-5Q of whole page length in each block.
Time management: It was enough. Had 3-5 min in few blocks but not even few seconds in other blocks. On the whole it was manageable.
Qs Marked: 8-10 / block. Last two blocks I marked nearly 20 Qs !
Abstract/Drug Ad: I got 2 abstracts and it was doable. Always save it for the last; do it after you’re done with all other Qs..
Multimedia Qs: was doable. ECG, heart sounds, scans.etc weren’t that tough. But few dermat pics were tough. Had no idea. Please do web search on these Qs are they are HY.
Very good website for ECGs : http://lifeinthefastlane.com/
Sites for radiology: http://www.learningradiology.com/ or http://radiologymasterclass.co.uk/ or http://eradiology.bidmc.harvard.edu/
Biostats: it was pretty easy. Everything from step 1 only. Interpretation type questions were doabe.
Patient safety Qs: It’s a new topic added recently to the CK contents list. Had around 5Qs in the exam. Thank god I read that topic from Kaplan and it helped alot. MUST READ these topics & WILL appear in exam for sure.
Step 1 topics: should definitely revise the topics given in the “Files” section in the group. You’ll definitely get questions from step 1.
Last month preparation: just keep revising UW, MTB,CMS. Concentrate on weak areas.
PS – Changes have been made to the number of Qs/block. So keep yourself updated n be thorough cause you can’t make many mistakes.
This group was damn helpful throughout my preparation. Thanx alot guys ?
Good luck & best of luck ppl ? May the force be with you!
Kindly don’t comment asking me same things I’ve mentioned in the post. Thank you again ?
Link to my Step 1 experience (252):
Link to my Step 3 experience (223) :