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How to Pass the USMLE Step 2 !

Discussion in 'USMLE' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor  Moderator Verified Doctor

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    With Step 1 behind you, the last thing you want to think about is studying for another board exam. If you were like me, you likely still had nightmares of studying for Step 1 long after you took the exam. Well Step 2 is quite a different test, and for that matter, a much easier beast to tackle.

    Timing

    You should begin to think about when you want to take the exam at the end of your third year of medical school. Some students choose to take it before even starting their fourth year, thinking that those third year clerkships are fresh on their minds. Others wait until April of their fourth year and scramble to take it prior to graduating. I would suggest taking the exam no later than October of M4 year. Although some may argue that residency programs don't look as closely at Step 2 scores, I did have a few programs that waited to extend an interview invite until my scores were received. (Thankfully, I had already taken the exam.)

    Some students figure if their Step 1 score was amazing, why bother with Step 2, when it may only hurt their application. Personally, I disagree with this statement as consistency in exam scores always improves an application. Also, Step 2 is overall an easier exam than Step 1. You are likely to score better.

    Studying

    You will have plenty of time during your fourth year of medical school to set aside for the Step 2 exam. Take a free month, a research month, or a non clinical month to devote most of your time to preparing. No, you certainly don't need to give up your life to study for the test as you may have done for Step 1, but it is nice to have free days where you can focus on practice questions and not worry about clinical responsibilities.

    Schedule a set amount of time each day. Take the weekends off. Remember, a good score will increase the likelihood of matching in your specialty of choice.

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    Exam Content

    Step 2 tests your ability to apply medical knowledge and emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention. Unlike Step 1, it requires less memorization and more understanding of disease processes. If you've had a solid third year curriculum in medical school, it is very likely that you would pass the exam without studying. However, putting in the extra time will be essential for scoring well on the test.

    Test Day

    Schedule your exam early, as slots do fill up similar to the other board exams. However, keep in mind, depending on where you live, it is easier to re-schedule this exam than it may have been to re-schedule Step 1. When you apply to residency programs, you will be asked if you want to automatically release your Step 2 scores on ERAS. Do this! Here's the thing, if you don't release your scores, the residency director will ask for them anyway. Be confident that you will score well and that your score will reflect your overall medical knowledge; it usually does.

    Study hard, but take time for yourself too. Best of luck!


    References :
    www.Orato.com
     

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

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