Satish Advani - Pakistan -271 USMLE Step 2 CK Experience!

My Background:
Not so good. i was never serious about my studies in medical school. If you had read my step 1
experience you would know.
Scroll down at the end to read my step 1 experience in this post.
Check out all the resources used by Satish. See the relevant books which helped
Satish get a 270+ score.

  1. Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CK Lecture Notes – ob/gyn, surgery, medicine.
  2. Master The Boards Step 2CK and Master The Boards Step 3.
    3.Step 2 Uworld
    4.Step 3 uworld.
    5.CMS all forms.
    8.Kaplan qbank only obgyn, surgery, peds and some medicine.
    9.Rapid Review Pathology by Edward Goljan few chapters like female repro system, male repro
    10.Step 1 uworld for genetics, ethics, psych and some pathophysio portion
  3. Miscellaneous : cardiology questions on , blausfuss, Medscape, google for
    images, BRS biostat, harrison’s self assessment book.
    10 months
    So with very weak background knowledge of CK subjects, i had to work really hard to build the
    basics , mug up the crazy criterias, and comprehend the mind boggling concepts.
    Like any RPG, You got to have 3 things when you are preparing for steps :grinning:
    1-strength- how hard can you hit, how good you are at the studies, how hard you are willing to
    work for it !!!
  4. defense- how vulnerable you are? are you able to face the upcoming hurdles, the personal
    problems, the failures and the frustration of not being able to reach that target mark
  5. agility- how quickly can you do things eg. reading the books, memorizing the stuff, solving
    the questions in time !
    I took step 1 in october 2014. i started studying for ck from december 2014.
    At the start, my stats were:
    Strength: 9/10 because i got good score on step 1 i was quite motivated and had confidence that
    may be i can do it again in step 2.
    Defense: 4/10 – i get affected by things quickly, i can’t study when there are any distractions, i can’t
    concentrate when i am having even minor blips and hitches in my life.
    I finished UW CK, uptodate(online), step 3 UW, and MKSAP during this time and i kept writing
    anything i found interesting on my notes(those printed uw tables n charts).
    Stats at this point: Strength= 7/10 i was tired, felt less confident. Defense= 4/10 i was too anxious
    that if i messed up on this everything will be ruined. you can not afford to get lower score on CK
    than step 1 score, you have to improve. Agility: 4/10 i had not worked on time management yet.
    I came to know about CMS 12 forms and before i had even started those i came to know about
    another newly launched 12 forms of cms and I felt like i had wasted so much of my time on
    making notes and going for the extra stuff that is not even made for ck. I was overloaded with so
    much information and so many sources to study. and first read is never enough for me. It’s like a
    quick scan , i don’t remember much when i read anything for the first time (not like those genius
    masterminds with photographic memory) so doing step 3 uw and MKSAP once felt like a time
    waste as i didn’t remember anything . I had 2 options either to revise all this again or to go for ck
    UW and keep assessing myself with CMS forms.
    TIP: Do cms forms from the begining of your preparation. there are 24 forms with 50 questions
    each. so 1200 questions. takes a lot of time to learn all of it.
    TIP # 2 : If your exam is near and u haven’t done cms yet, dont be worried. find time to do cms of
    only those subjects that are your weak areas and skip others.
    2 months jan and march 2016: i dindt study in month of Feb.
    i chose to do ck uworld and cms forms and some portion of step 3 uw. i took nbme 3 i didnt
    calculate score as i was doing offline and offline score calculation is never reliable but i consider
    anything close to 90% as good.
    Stats at this time = Strength:9/10, defense 9/10 and agility 8/10 (the key factor in my performance)
    now because i had done almost everything i knew nothing more could be done and i had to take
    exam. i could not go on anymore. but i missed the date in april and i took my exam date in may.
    1.5 months from april till 10th may: i did ck uworld, step 3 uworld, some cms forms revised, uwsa,
    and nbme 6 and 7 .
    Uworld step 2 ck : 1st pass 76%, 2nd pass 86%, 3rd pass 98%, 4th pass that was in april i didnt
    fred step 3 : 85%
    fred step 2 : 91%
    nbme 4 : 254 long time back
    nbme 7 : 85%
    nbme 6 : 92%
    REAL DEAL : 271 !
    Exam Day: I studied till the very last minute before leaving for prometric center. exam was
    unfortunately not similar to uworld. i was quite disappointed.
    i had done all i could, i studied the things that aren’t even made for ck but a major portion of
    exam like 60% of it was the stuff that i didnt study before. some of it was new topics and some of
    it was very conceptual where you had to apply concepts (step 1 and doing different questions
    helped a lot with this because this forces your mind to think).
    I had no time issues, i marked about 10 to 15 questions in each block and i had about 8 to 10
    minutes left to review them.
    If you are done with step 1 then jump to uworld and stepup to medicine book. if step 2 ck is your
    first exam then i think you should read goljan book or FA step 1 ( yes step 1 stuff, just skip the
    mechanisms of drugs, pathology basics and immunology basics)
    MEDICINE: major portion of exam. stepup to medicine is a good book. i didnt study it but i went
    through it for some topics. i liked it but didn’t have time to do it. Master the Boards Step 3 &
    Master the Boards Step 2 CK is not good.
    Ob/Gyn: Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CK Lecture Notes is good but i think uworld is enough. you can do
    kaplan to have some basic concepts if you aren’t done with step 1.
    Pediatrics: Uworld is enough.
    Psychiatry: I was comfortable with this subject. but many people find it difficult so i think you
    should do it well from Uworld.
    Concepts will help you, Cramming the criteria of diseases will help you, and Pharmacology will
    help in this subject. On a lighter note, watch woody allen movies eg. Blue jasmine, i find a lot of
    psychiatry in these :wink:
    Preventive medicine: Uworld is good.
    Biostats: You have to do step 1 stuff for this as well as step 2 stuff. but unfortunately i didnt get
    any formula based question or any bias, p value, confidence interval etc. Mostly i got questions on
    data interpretation. Anyway you should know the concepts cold in this. This will boost your score.
    The more you do , the better it will be. Doing new questions will train your mind to use logic and
    by that you can easily rule out 2 to 3 options in unheard of questions. Works like magic but
    requires practice. It feels like a sixth sense when you have practiced so many questions you
    spontaneously get the feeling that it cant be C , it cant be E :grinning:
    UWORLD CK: obviously
    Uworld step 1: only for biostats, pyschiatry, and ethics. its always nice to work on these because
    they are very very conceptual.
    Uworld step 3: for the same as above. also you can do your weak areas from this one, because its
    always smart thing to work on your weak areas, isn’t it? :wink:
    CMS: i had nothing from CMS in exam but if you plan to do it , do it from the beginning of your
    preparation. personally i liked old forms more. if you are short on time and still want to do it, then
    just do CMS of subjects that you find yourself weak in.
    Kaplan Qbank: i solved very old one that was of 2011 or 2012. many thing have changed now so i
    think you should go for latest one. I remember that when in real exam i had some unusual topics
    cms because qbank gives you explanation as well and personally CMS didn’t suit me i didn’t like its
    questions. don’t do both, it will waste your time.
    NBMES: dont do nbme 1 and 2 . do all of others. do in the order of nbme 4 (easiest i found) then
    nbme 3, nbme 6 and finally nbme 7. and aim to get 90% if you doing offline or just do online if you
    got the monaaayyyyyyyyyy :wink:
    Every new question helps you if you try to understand the concept. Just cramming the correct
    answer for a question won’t help you. Know why its right and more importantly why other options
    are wrong.
    Knowing ‘WHAT’ will make you pass, Knowing ‘WHY’ will help you ace the exam.
    How to approach new WTF questions?? RULE OUT Method. keep ruling out options that you find
    unlikely to be right. u can easily cancel 2 or 3 options with this method.
    If you have questions , please post in comments, I can’t reply everyone in inbox. many people
    have similar questions so it will help everyone and it will be easy for me also.
    I also want to talk about something that i have noticed during these steps is that there is a lot of
    selfishness in this world. I understand that competition is tough but nothing is achieved from
    belittling others.
    Be nice to people who are endeavoring to get something and talk to them the same way you do
    It is easy to be a part of someone’s happiness but if you are sad in their sadness and support
    them in a difficult time you carve your name on their hearts and that is what you will be
    remembered by, so let’s be more understanding to each other and aim to be at a level where we
    are able to help more and more people. Because that is what being a doctor means.
    Good Luck for exam.
    -Satish Advani, Batch 34 CMC larkana, Pakistan.