USMLE World = My Only Step 2 CK USMLE Prep
Given my experience from USMLE
Step 1, I again turned to USMLE world for my USMLE prep for
Step 2 CK. Now, understand that my goal for this
particular USMLE test was mainly to pass, not to get in the
95th plus percentile like my goal was for USMLE
For this reason, I used only the USMLE world
question bank that I purchased for one month of study. I'll add a
few of the resources that some of my classmates used so that if you
need to score well on this test, you'll know some good additional
sources to turn to.
Also, if you struggle on standardized tests, private tutoring can be a good option. Med School Tutors, a newer group, is a good choice if you want to go the one on one tutoring route. You can read my full review here and see their site here.
One of the big USMLE Step 2 secrets for
USMLE Step 2 CK is the score on this test is not
nearly as important as your score on Step
times, our advisors have told us:
"You can drop 15 points or more from your Step 1 score
and programs won't really notice or care."
"Schools will not be waiting for the results of this
test. If you fail it, that would cause a problem, but other than
that don't put too much stress on it."
This really is a relief because your USMLE review and
USMLE prep can be much less extreme than for USMLE
Step 1. One of the sayings in medical school is:
"You spend two months studying for Step 1, 2 weeks
studying for Step 2, and a #2 pencil for step 3," meaning that you
don't even need to study at all for Step 3. I wouldn't personally
advise that, but keep in mind the relative importance of the test
when studying. That's one of the best USMLE step 2 secrets.
That being said, if your Step 1 score was not
as good as you would have liked, try to make up for it on Step
Also keep in mind, I am
going into psychiatry, where these scores are not particularly
important. Other specialties may look at Step 2 as
something more important. Check with your advisors about the
importance of Step 2 for you.
What is Step 2 About?
Step 1, Step 2
CS and USMLE Step 2 CK are much more clinically based. This
goes along with the medical
school curriculum, which is more book-based your first two years
and much more clinically based your third and fourth year.
In some ways, your best USMLE prep for this particular
test is going to medical school your third year. Here is a sample
question from the USMLE official website:
A 32-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes mellitus has had
progressive renal failure over the past 2 years. She is not yet on
dialysis. Examination shows no abnormalities. Her hemoglobin
concentration is 9 g/dL, hematocrit is 28%, and mean corpuscular
volume is 94 m3. A blood smear shows normochromic, normocytic cells.
Which of the following is the most likely cause?
- Acute blood loss
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Erythrocyte enzyme deficiency
- Erythropoietin deficiency
- Microangiopathic hemolysis
- Polycythemia vera
- Sickle cell disease
- Sideroblastic anemia
- ß-Thalassemia trait
Now, if you haven't been to medical school yet, this
question probably seems really hard. But, if you have been to
medical school, you understand that erythropoietin is generated in
your kidneys. If you have renal failure, then your kidneys aren't
doing what they're supposed to, including making erythropoietin (the
substance that tells your body to make red blood cells). The other
clues here that tell you that the patient doesn't have a problem
making red blood cells is that the cells are normochromic and
normocytic (in other words, normal). But, you'll learn all of this
through medical school. Your USMLE review and USMLE prep really
starts when you start medical school and continues through your
third and fourth year.
You will also get solid USMLE prep from your shelf
exams, which you will take at the end of each rotation during your
third year. In fact, you could think of USMLE Step 2 CK as a
combination of all your shelf exams. Shelf exams have clinically
based questions about specific areas (internal medicine, pediatrics,
etc.) You can find the books
I recommend for those tests. Mainly I recommend the Case
Files series and the PreTest series for each specific rotation.
You'll find high quality teaching and questions that will be great
USMLE prep for the USMLE exam.
a few different types of questions on this USMLE exam that
USMLE world helps prepare you for:
This is probably something you haven't done before on a
test. There will be fake advertisements on this USMLE exam and then
questions about the advertisement. Something like "what was the
lowest risk of using this drug compared to placebo" or "were the
authors justified to make this statement?" USMLE world will help
you get used to this type of question. This is one
of the USMLE step 2 secrets.
Listening to heart
sounds. You probably saw this on Step
1 as well, but at times you will be asked to listen to
heart sounds in order for you to answer a question (is this mitral
stenosis or aortic stenosis?). So, Blaufuss
might be a good resource
for you to review heart sounds.
I take USMLE Step 2 CK?
I took the test on December 27th,
which was very late. I would recommend taking the test soon
after you finish your third year of medical school. Maybe in August
or September of that year. You will still be fresh from all
of your shelf exam prep, making your USMLE prep that much easier.
Also, depending on your specialty and school, they may want to
see your Step 2 score before they start interviewing you.
For psychiatry and for UCLA, it was not important to have
the Step 2 score before interviews.
How is the test set up?
There are 8 blocks of
42-44 questions. You have one hour for each block. You also
have one hour of break time
that you can split up as you wish. I took
breaks after every 2 question sets, with a longer break after
the 4th to eat some lunch.
This is another long USMLE exam
and your USMLE prep might include a few long stretches of questions
to get used to sitting and answering questions for so long. However,
, you'll be
used to this sort of thing.
As you can tell from my Step 1
page and from here, I highly, highly recommend USMLE world. When
I came to USMLE Step 2, I felt that my USMLE prep had really paid
off. I felt as if I was taking just another practice test from USMLE
world. Here are some reasons why I like USMLE World for Step 1 and
The same USMLE exam program. USMLE World gives you the
opportunity to take tests on the exact same program that you will
use on the actual USMLE exam. This was comforting to me since I knew
how to mark questions for review, how to look up lab values and do
the other tasks that might have been foreign to me had I
not used USMLE world.
Questions very similar to questions on the
USMLE exam. The thing that impressed me most about USMLE
world was how similar the questions on the USMLE review were to
those on the actual USMLE exam. When I came to the USMLE exam, I
really felt as though I was just taking another set of questions
from USMLE world. In this way, I felt that it was the best USMLE
prep that I did.
Great explanations for question
answers. What you should look for in any USMLE prep program
are good explanations for the question answers. USMLE world gives
detailed explanations of why the right answer is right and why the
wrong answers are wrong. This is invaluable during your USMLE prep.
You can learn five or six important concepts that will be tested on
the USMLE exam from one question and its explanation through USMLE
world. This makes USMLE world an incredibly efficient study tool for
your USMLE prep.
Practice tests and timed tests.
One of the big things you
need to remember about USMLE Step 2 is that it is timed. You
won't have all day to think about the answers to your questions. This means
that you need to practice taking the test timed. USMLE World gives you
several options to do this. This is something you
must do as part of your usmle prep.
What I bought from USMLE World. I purchased a 1
to the USMLE World QBank for my USMLE prep. Again, I
was not shooting for the stars on this test and so
if you're trying to score higher, I would recommend either a longer subscription
or at least making sure you get through all
the questions in your month. I only got through about 40% of mine.
My study strategy with USMLE World.
As I said
before, USMLE world was my only study material for USMLE Step 2 CK.
First Aid USMLE
First Aid for the USMLE
Step 2 CK is a book that some of my classmates used to prepare.
First Aid USMLE is always a go-to for
any of the tests. They have a great reputation and this
book would be a good source for your USMLE prep.
Step Up to Medicine/ Step Up to Step 2 CK
These books were again
recommended by my classmates as good sources for USMLE prep. Step Up
to Medicine is a great resource for your Internal Medicine rotation
during your third
, as well as a good resource for Step 2 CK.
It's clinically oriented, which is what you need for the test. Diagnosis and
USMLE Step 2 CK is another step
on your way to becoming a doctor. The stakes are quite a bit lower
on this USMLE exam, but you still need to pass it and for some
specialties you will need to perform well on the exam. Stick to
USMLE world, these resources, and the books on my book
page and you'll do great. Good luck!
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