USMLE Step 2 CK is difficult to prepare because of one big reason. Step 1 preparation is aided by a versatile high yield book First Aid USMLE but Step 2 has no proper book to follow. So if one has a habit of conversing all the knowledge by making a base upon one resource, Step 2 CK can be a hard job. The wide horizon of information you need, the subjects you need to cover and ever changing clinical medicine makes it imperative for one to remain up-to-date on resources.
Let me explain, how one for the doctors prepared USMLE Step 2 and score a good 260+ in 5 months. From the interview by Medchrome, here is what he has to say:
Resources I chose-
- UWorld USMLE – Make UWorld the basis for step 2 as well. Uworld not only teaches you how to solve questions but also tunes you with real subject matters. I started with 25 questions a day on study mode. Initial days were frustrating as I was not able to pick up my speed, but best thing I did was make notes from it. Notes were 3-4 lines and maximum a paragraph. The questions I made mistake and felt I needed to revise, I made short handout. I thought of making notes on UW itself online but I am type of person who needs hardcopy to memorize. So each chapters took 10-20 pages of copy. The notes proved vital for me in last month. I revised it 3 times in last month. Each and every algorithms are important, screening is important, vaccines are.
- Amboss knowledge base: I cant explain how Amboss can easily make a 20-30 marks difference in final score. I read the Statistics, Patient safety and communication theory part and solved around 400 questions related to those topics. Amboss was impressively helpful when I revised high yield topics. Searching was easy and there is rarely anything Amboss misses.
- Up-to-Date: Most students use uptodate for reference. For me personally, I did not rely much on uptodate except few protocols and recent advances. I followed the advice, Don’t go too deep.
- White Coat companion: I did quick review of White coat companion 2022 and found that it strikingly similar to UW info. So WC was good for quick review. I can replace FA for step 2. If you need a foundation to build UW upon, WC can be best.
- Medscape and CDC has been extremely helpful for US based resource.
- First Aid Step1 : What I did right was, revising first aid 1 during step 2. I did FA twice and it helped me boost my confidence. As mostly content of step 2 is still basic knowledge, FA is vital part of your preparation. I skipped Basic and mostly followed read pathology of each system.
- Divine Intervention: The pod cast accustoms you to content and what it says, remains in your mind. Write down the cues from Divine intervention so you don’t have to listen to it again.
- Revise with a Friend: You need to discuss algorithms with friends, screening and vaccines schedules, all those from UW
My Preparation period : 6 months
1 month: Rest after step 2 and deciding on resources.
5 months extensive preparation: 14 hours a day full time with break once in a week, half day.
3 months UW and Amboss, 1 month second pass , last month complete review and memorization.
I delayed my exam 1 month for final revision. It helped me prepare twice.
UWSA1 : 255
I did NBME 9,10,11 and 12
- Use limited but best resources
- Use 2 or more Qbanks- UW, Amboss
- Test your readiness with UWSA 1 and 2, NBME
- Revise with Whitecoat and First Aid step 1