USMLE Step 2 CK Experience (264) by Dr Usama Bin Tahir
Date Exam Taken: 3rd April
Preparation time: 25th December to 3rd April (3 Months)
NBME 4: 254 (18 days out)
UWSA: 264 (8 days out)
First time : Avg 75 percent (Offline)
Second time : 92 percent
Step 2 CK in 3 words,
UWORLD, UWORLD, UWORLD
Step 1: September 2013 .
3 Month House Job to relax.
I had previously done all the kaplans/MTB with the lectures during my Final Year Prep in January 2013 except Paeds and Surgery.
December 20th 2013 (1 Month)
First Read: Just a quick read as I knew from my Step 1 Experience that studying for steps exam is useless without questions.
MTB for IM = 12 days
Kaplan for Surgery = 7 days
Kaplan for Paeds = 10 days
Take it lightly. Listen to Kaplan videos at 1.5x for gyne and med.
You can give time to subjects if you don’t have a good grip.
Don’t cramp now. Just get the concepts and move on because lots of things have changed.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about subject.
BASELINE: YOU GOT TO MOVE ON MAN.
January 20th 2014
Second read: (UWORLD PLUS BOOKS)
Purpose: To get the knowledge necessary to ace the exam
WELL THIS READ IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOUR EXAM. THIS READ WILL DETERMINE WHERE YOU GONNA LAND IN YOUR MOCKS like in 230s, 240s and 250s. . FOR ME THIS READ IS THE ‘HIGH SCHOOL’ OF USMLE. ONCE YOU ARE DONE YOU ARE DONE. YOU CAN’T FORGET UWORLD QUESTIONS.
The way Second read works is that you open up particular System in Medicine and you read it from MTB 2 if you have good command or quickly through Kaplan if you don’t like the subject. And then you do its UWORLD, if you are scoring above 65-70 percent do the next block.
If you mess the block up, go through the mistakes and see what’s bothering you. Open Kaplan again. Open MTB2, MTB 3, MTB IM. You need a good grip. And then attempt the next block. It’s like reward system. It’s like an evaluation. DON’T DON’T MESS THIS UP.
Once you start this you have decided your exam to be in 2 months and now you can’t take big breaks, gaps or anything. You are officially cutting your social life. You will eat with books, go to washroom with books, and sleep with books.
I had a study partner. We used to open one system and either of us read to the other. In a way we keep on reinforcing each other. And then we set a timer and do one block of offline Uworld. After that we read and discuss the explanations. Consult book if necessary and read the stuff again if we mess up the block. We used to study one system a day. And next day we used to do 2 blocks.
I would highly recommend Offline Latest Uworld.
Read all the explanations, high light, just cramp it up.
Find a partner for this read. Highly recommended unless you are suffering from social phobia.
Don’t cramp the question because you have to do Uworld again. Just read the question once while attempting, other while reading explanations.
No need to make notes now that is for the next read.
Don’t waste too much time. Time is crucial. The more time you spend in this read, the more will be the gap between the start and the end, causing serious troubles in the next read.
BASELINE: THE MOTHER OF ALL READS.
February 20th 2014
THIRD READ: (UWORLD)
Purpose: To learn how to attempt questions and time management
You have to attempt random timed online Uworld questions. Try to make as much notes as possible. For me this read jumps 10 score always if done in a right way. Right ways is read everything and make notes of stuff you don’t know if it’s in other choices. And do it as quickly as possible. The earlier the finish the more you link the stuff and more you jump in your mocks.
I bought 2 Month online Uworld subscription, I used to make a random-timed question and then I get question lists and share with my partner and then we start together. We try to finish each block in 45 mins. And after that we discuss/ read each word in that. And make notes of stuff which we think we don’t know or had forgotten. We had created separations in register for each section and we try to write under one heading of each topic as we carry along. We started from 87 and jumped to 92 by the end. We used to do 2 blocks in first 10 days and 3 blocks in last 10 days. I didn’t opened MTB or Kaplan during or after this even before the exam. After Uworld it’s obsolete. TOTALLY.
Try to make a multi-dimensional approach. Try to pick up how usmle is going to ask stuff. Try to recognize things.
Try to highlight important stuff in question as you are attempting it. Learn how to find important details in questions
Mark all 'to do later' questions.
Learn time management.
Now UWORLD is going to be your questions and UWORLD notes are going to be your book.
Learn time management right from the second read. Try to attempt 10 questions in 9 mins, 20 in 17, and 30 in 30, 40 in 40, 44 in 45. Same with the exam. Don’t spend more than 1.5 min on any questions. LEARN TO MOVE ON IF YOU DON’T KNOW.
(UWORLD NOTES revision)
Purpose: Getting ready for mock exam
Revise all UWORLD NOTES as soon as possible. Get comfortable and give a mock exam. And take the date.
I revised all my notes alone. Try to find a partner as well. It took me 3 days and then I took my NBME exam. Got confident score and took my date.
Purpose: Stamina building and setting the routine.
I started doing All Uworld Questions again. 5-6 blocks a day and reading their explanations again. I also tried to do 8 blocks one day reading some explanations the other day. I added new / updated questions in respective block.
UWSA to get in touch with new questions as well and give some confidence boost. Normally you score high even after getting many questions wrong. Try to squeeze UWSA in between your final UWORLD questions. Normally you remember all the questions and it will take you 30 mins to attempt. But it’s a sort of revision.
I give UWSA and took me 2 days to read the explanations. I also made notes.
I read all the Uworld explanation notes again in 3 days.
Just looking at random stuff. List of forgettable, heart sounds, research questions, drug ads. Just the stuff and chilling.
Relaxed most of the day. Tried to study but couldn’t.
Woke up at 8, went shopping for the next day, hair cut, spent time with family, took a shower, loads and loads of prayers, took a sleeping pill at 8 and slept right away.
Woke up at 7, took a shower, light breakfast, reached exam center at 8:15, they let us enter at 8:30, and started the exam.
Freaked out in the first block, had to mark lot of questions because of stress, but I had no issue with time management. Made an educated guess in lots of questions
I took break after every block
1st break: 7 mins
2nd break: 8 mins
3rd break: 7 mins
4th break: 8 mins
5th break: 10 mins
6th break: 10 mins
7th break: 10 mins
MATERIAL I USED:
MTB 2 for IM, Kaplan for paeds and gyne (BASIC)
MTB 3, MTB IM (reference) not used much.
UWORLD notes by Waqas Nawaz, it reduced my work to half.
Research Notes/ Drug adds by Furqan Sherazi.
How is exam?
EXAM IS UWORLD, THERE’S NOTHING BESIDE UWORLD. If the exam has something which is not from Uworld then it wouldn’t be anywhere.
What if UWORLD isn’t covering any topic much and it’s in Kaplan or MTB?
Must be low-yield. Do what is in Uworld.
Good luck and Godspeed