Exam date: 6 Sept 2019.
This post will be a long read
Hey guys👋! I received my step 2 CK result today and wanted to share my experience with you. First, I would like to thank all the people here who helped me throughout my exam preparation🙏. The experiences that people share here was so valuable and the crash series organized by Hesham Salem were simply outstanding. Special thanks to my friends Bella Rose and Locus Ceruleus for their amazing contribution throughout this journey.
Time preparation: On & off more than a year with last 3 months dedicated.
- Uworld 1st pass -avg. 65% - timed mode. Random
- Uworld 2nd pass - avg 75% - timed mode. Random
- UW3 offline - did only Neuro, Psychiatry, Hemat, and Infectious. Wanted to do more but ran out time.
- CMS forms - CMS 1-4 and some forms of 5 & 6 (ran out of time), avg ~ 80%, discussed all with SP thoroughly. -IFOM 1 & 2
- Pestana’s Surgery
- Hesham Salem crash course - did only in starting of my prep. Should have done it more.
- First aid Q&A: not very helpful .
- MTB Step 2 Ck & 3 - read before starting Uworld. Not very helpful .
- Didn’t do any of it - Amboss, Onlinemed videos, UWorld notes, Kaplan videos, Anki cards, Biostats subject review.
- NBME 6 - offline, 77%, 42 mistakes (4 months before the exam)
- NBME 7 - offline, 80%, 37 mistakes (4 weeks before the exam)
- NBME 8 - 252 (10 days before the exam)
- UWSA 2 - 254 (5 days before the exam)
- Fred 120 - 83% (2 days before the exam)
A little background on prep:: My step 1 score: 221 , which is on the lower side for me, so I decided to do better in Step Ck no matter how much time it would take. Unfortunately, it took a long time than I expected. I started my prep in early 2018 and when I was done with ~80% of 1st round of Uworld, one of my family member met an accident. Deep in coma for 10 days, then paralyzed for a few weeks, eventually with a lot of efforts from rehab doctors, family and friends he came back on his feet after 6 months. Not the baseline but enough to do the daily activity of living (things are near normal now). At the end of this period, I was back to square one. Finished whatever was left in Uworld, reset it and then started 2nd round (which was quite similar to 1st round as I forgot most of it). Initially, it was very hard to concentrate after such a long gap, but things started to get back on track, thanks to my study partner aka my life partner.
Uworld was my main resource of study and I made notes in the Uworld only. Started 2nd round and 2 months before the exam started CMS. Study partner gives you boost and the discussions made things easy for me. Plan and simulate exam with breaks starting at least a 3-4 weeks before the real thing (and be flexible with it on real exam day according to your needs). I did this with my NBME’s.
Exam day: Exam is lengthy and it will test your stamina. Blocks & break time 2-2-2-2. Questions were mix of Uworld (mostly) & CMS style and yes there were some WTF questions, but I was expecting that so I didn’t panic, mark them with the best answer possible, move ahead and concentrated on the other questions and then at the end of the block came back again to rethink, if time permits:hourglass:. There were 2 blocks with drugs ads (38 questions block) and drug ads were same as usual stuff - WTF:face_with_symbols_over_mouth:. Biostats was not that hard but needs some practice, no complex calculations though. I divided my hour into 4 parts (each part 10 questions) so that I have 3-4 minutes for marked questions. Last 2 blocks were the real test as, the energy was down, fatigued and concentration was poor. At the end end of the day, it was hard to guess whether the exam was easy or tough as I have no ideas what I have done whether I’ll pass or fail:man_shrugging:.
Things which I think should be done on exam day and the day before:
- Take adequate rest 1 day before.
- Prepare food for exam day - light snacks, sandwich, energy bar, whatever you like, but don’t eat in one go rather take little in every break to keep a constant flow of energy.
- Stay hydrated.
- Stay focused from block 1 .
- Reading & understanding the question on 1st read is very crucial.
- Bring sweatshirt or a pullover, ac vent was right above my head, so just in case.
Things I could have done differently:
- Started prep immediately after step 1.
- Simultaneously revision of Uworld notes and flashcards every day.
- Should have done Uworld Biostats subject review.
- Early and continuous participation in crash course by Hesham Salem.
- Took less time for whole prep, as more time passes in the prep more things started to build up and pressure eventually reach sky high.
- My coffee intake was more at the end of prep and it backfires on exam day. I wish I could have controlled that early on.
Overall I’m happy😀 with my score. Plan well, work hard, and go for it. Wish you all the best of luck🍀!
If you have any questions, please don’t PM me. Ask me in the comment section, I will try to answer every question there.