USMLE Step 2 CK Experience
Dr. Dhriti Gupta
My take on CK
& recent changes
Reasons for my
score -drop of 11marks.
Resource needed: Uworld Uworld & only Uworld!!! Round 1 (40 Questions/day in random & timed mode; 4months)→ UW’s tables→UWSA1→incorrect and marked questions→UW’s
Prep time: 6 + 2 months due to COVID-19 postponement
Start date: September 2019→Originally planned test day: March’2020 Test day: 24th August 2020
[Step 1: 252, test day May 2019. I graduated in 2019.]
1. CLINICAL APPLICATION OF BASIC KNOWLEDGE &
There is no course. It’s all about how well you can apply your concepts to real-life multifactorial clinical situations and question-solving skills.
Therefore, Uworld is the only resource you need in addition to a strong step1 foundation. Do it as many times as you can. You can never remember it all. Sticking to one resource is the secret.
I postponed my exam / At last minute
99.9% of seniors will tell you to never postpone your exam at the last minute, historically it’s related to a decrease in your score. Let me tell you why you think that you’ll be more conﬁdent and get a better score. But in reality, it’s total bullshit! Practically your mindset should be 75% conﬁdent & 25% anxious. You need that rush from anxiety to think faster. I’m telling you this because that was my status in step1 and I got 252.
I didn’t revise UW’s table / At last minute
Before step1 I revised UW’s table in the last two days & personally I think not doing that for step2CK was my greatest mistake. Just glancing at tables before the exam, refreshes your memory by building more neuronal synapses. It helps you to recall your concepts quickly in the exam & in turn increases your speed in each block. You don’t have to read each and every word since you would have read it already many times.
Too much gap / Between step1 & CK
Here my luck ran out! I faced lots of hurdles in this step and had to postpone my exam 5 times, which led to a very long gap of 15 months. My mother (an OB-GYN specialist) believes that this is the main reason that led to a decrease in my ﬁnal performance. So, take this recommendation from my experience: GIVE CK WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF STEP1. Your preparation duration will also shorten.
Inactive on Facebook Forums /
Again I was very active on FB forums before but stopped for CK prep. Being active on forums is deﬁnitely time-consuming but it has two huge beneﬁts that can’t be overlooked. Answering others’ doubts reinforces
Things I believe led me to get 241.
Real exam points
your concepts and it helps you understand where you stand among the crowd.
My method of solving UW / Ask yourself 1st why this is incorrect?
Question-solving is a skill. Before looking at the Uworld’s explanation, I ﬁrst try to answer it myself: “ why is this option wrong?”. Then I compare my explanation to Uworld’s.
Schedule / I followed it very strictly
My day started at 5 am, I worked out for an hour and made my plan for the day. At 8:30 sharp I would be at the library & solve one block of Uworld in random & timed mode. Then for the rest of the day till 6:30 pm, I focused on learning Uworld’s explanation. I read each and every word. Took a 20minutes lunch break in the library itself.
Compulsory break / 6 days of studying & 1 day off
Step2Ck’s preparation is very boring and therefore takes time. Uworld for step1 takes 2 months but for CK it’ll take a minimum of 3 months even at genius level. Hehe! So, taking a break before getting burned out helped me break that monotonous streak. I have realized that when I used to take breaks after my body wore out, I took a longer break (2-3 days) but when I began taking a scheduled break well before I felt fatigued, I recovered in one day only.
Had step1 style 2-3 questions per block. There were moments when I seriously felt like I was giving step1.
Atypical! weird! You think it’s an easy question but it’s not. Read many questions twice or thrice because I couldn’t believe how simple it was.
ECG, heart sounds, and biostats were doable.
Drug Ad: for me, it was super lengthy and confusing. I really should have left it for last.
For more detail, read my exam day experience in the forum by searching “dhriti usmle” or on my [email protected]
Experience in detail with Uworld, NBME & UWSA scores
Month1 / OME videos
Four months after step1, I started with OME videos, did it for 15 days but found it unnecessary and I couldn’t retain the knowledge. Started doing Uworld in timed mode and random order. I prefer this because it duplicates the real exam scenes and subject-wise mode has a huge drawback: you get a higher percentage than where you actually stand. I was able to do 20 questions per day and got 50% on average.
Month2,3,4 / Uworld & 1st NBME
I reached my goal of 40 questions per day and I was able to follow my schedule strictly. I started at 50% and by the end of month 4, I was at 70%. This is where I gave my 1st NBME-6 and got 230. I had ﬁnished 2/3rd of Uworld only. This is not advised! I gave it just because I was anxious.
Month 5 / Finished Uworld
I’m a slow reader and it took me more time to ﬁnish the uworld. I was at 75 – 80% and I ranked 74th percentile in the end. Then I started revising UW’s table and simultaneously did UW’s incorrect questions.
Month 6 / UW’s table revision & NBMEs
I was midway in tables when I gave NBME-7 and scored 238. After ﬁnishing the tables, I gave NBME-8 & again got 238. In the last days, COVID-19 happened and my exams got postponed.
Lockdown / Dealt with hopelessness
Now I want to include this because our journey is the tough and
every-once-in-a-while you feel lost and unmotivated. I experienced the same and dealt with it by avoiding people, who told me negative things and wrote a journal for the whole 3 months. I realized in the end that: If I’m capable, only my dream matters and anything or anyone else who says otherwise is a waste of my time & needs to be excluded from my life.
Month 7 / UW’s table revision
Month 8 / Uworld & UWSA
After tables, I did the new Uworld question. Gave UWSA-1, 14 days before the exam. I got 258 but I was slow & missed a few questions. I felt I needed more time so postponed my exam for one week (Mistake #1).
Gave UWSA2 seven days before the exam and got 256.
2nd last day / Eat well & Relaxed.
Last day / Read my notes
I ate a very heavy dinner and went to sleep at 8 pm.
Exam day / Heavy breakfast & milestones.
Got up at 5 am, read milestones. After a heavy breakfast I left for the center. To know what happens next, read my exam day experience in the forum by searching “dhriti usmle” or on my [email protected]
Tada!! Thank you & good luck. Let’s conquer COVID!
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