For some motivation and hope at this dark time

For some motivation and hope at this dark time…
Alert - it’s long :grimacing:

Step 2 CK score 255 :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Alhamdulillah, with the blessings of Almighty, prayer and help of my family and friends, especially my husband Asad Ali, sisters, brothers who prayed and supported like parents and my kids who suffered with me.

Old IMG, mom of 2 boys, wife of a fellow, with very little help at house chores.

Step 1 score 228

If I can do it YOU can do it!!!

Exam date 14th feb 2020 ( Friday )
Result : 4th March 2020
( on 3rd Wednesday)

Total focused study duration: 7 months

Materials: Kaplan, UW, UW, UW, biostat =UW review FA,

UWorld done 2.5 times

UW 1st pass percent : 67%
NBME 6 - after 1st pass UW, 3 months before exam- 215
UWSA-1 : after 50% thru 2nd pass UW,
4 wks before exam- 251
UWSA-2: after 2nd pass UW, 1 wk before exam -238
UW 2nd pass 81% overall

Details of prep:

  • Total study period around 15 months off & on in which 3 months of focus study max 6 hrs/day, last 3 months 8-10hrs/day with 1 day of break, 4 wks before exam studying max hrs of day with no break.


  • My step 1 was 6 months back when I started prep so wanted to refresh my knowledge, as I used Kaplan for step 1 I decided to go with that in CK too, did videos quickly and lecture notes once.
  • Then started UW subject wise 20-40 Qs max/day, made notes in flash cards, after finishing 1 subject I used to revise from UW notes( downloaded and printed form file section of this group). This whole one read took me around 4 months( taking out long breaks ).
  • Did CMS 3&4 offline in one wk, was getting around 75-80% in each.
  • Took NBME 6 with 215, I felt it’s okay score for first round but I realized my mistakes are silly and easy to overcome.
  • Then i reset UW in dec 2019 and did it random timed mode, initially 1 block/day increased to 2 blocks/ day.
  • Took UWSA-1 at 50% done of 2nd round and got 251, it was more than what I was expecting, it gave me hope and I was trying not to be overconfident.
  • Last few wks did 3,4 blocks.
    In 2nd pass UW I was revising my flash cards from UW only subject wise but Qs random mode.
  • Did UWSA-2, as I had heard it’s very good predictor of real scores and hard, I was very nervous and scared to do that, Aaaanddd it happened… I performed bad, stoped cried restarted- got 238. I had mixed feelings at that time, like it’s okay to get bad score right now than in exam, or 238 is not that bad, or I did bad when I was in home relax environment I’ll definitely fail in real deal :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
  • I had 1 wk at that time, no options for extending of even a single day, I thought of doing amboss, CMS, NBME to boast at that time but then thought there is not enough time for trying anything new- and that was my best decision!!!
  • I did wrongs and marked (did 50%) very quickly, like 5-6 blocks per day in last wk and eyeball flash cards.
  • I tried Amboss, 100 cases of ethics by Conrad Fischer- in the middle of prep but did not complete anything
  • UW biostat review was good but many Qs are included in qbank
  • I totally forgot CMS, biostat review Till the end so I did not feel if it helped me or not.

took full 8 hrs sleep after, went fresh in the morning.

  • Exam felt vague and just touching the concepts what I learned, not complete scenarios, not usually seen option choices.
  • I made wise guesses, Did not overthink and tried to ans common things, excluding options method where I had time or it was very confusing.
  • I heard many times exam is similar to UW but tbh I did not found it similar but yes the concepts they were checking I was able to solve after doing UW well
  • Only found 10% Qs very familiar and easy
  • Took 2-3 min break in 1st and 2nd block closed my eyes but sat there, I went out for 5 minutes in alternating blocks only, took lunch break 15 min after 5 blocks.
  • At the end of exam I was tired but not like deadly exhausted, very very unsure of what I have done.
  • dragged the prep- do it focused in max 6 months.
  • Was studying at night- keep your sleep cycle straight from the start
  • made flash cards of every single thing in Uw which I was unable to revise all at end- keep it comprehensive than detailed

Tips :

  • Exam is pretty much doable!!!
  • Keep going forward do not get distracted, you have very bright future ( In-Sha-Allah )
  • UW is enough, do it very very well, learn all the concepts and memorize Important figures.
  • You can make your knowledge foundation with any book, Get extensive knowledge from other sources but DO NOT stop doing Uworld !!!
    -don’t do UW notes before starting qbank, you know the answer than learned
  • Must do UW twice or at least your wrongs and marks after 1 round
  • Do it quickly, it’s very extensive knowledge, you WILL forget if you drag, just learn quickly and revise again and again
  • In last weeks of exam DO NOT try anything new just revise what you have done
  • Try to find your weaknesses yourself in prep as well as behavior and work on those
  • I Was doing necessary cooking, cleaning etc even till last wk, I made my schedule instead of getting stressed on stuff
  • After step 1 I learned it IS difficult exam, raise your threshold of exhaustion.

RESULT DAY :pleading_face:: I was in a wedding when I saw the email of score availability, waited whole day and when saw the result I could not believe it, it was beyond my expectations, with Almighty’s blessings Indeed!
Would be glad to answer any question in comments so that it help others too, pls don’t send msgs
Stay safe and Best wishes !!