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  1. #1
    Anonymous is offline Unregistered Guest
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    My experience and advice

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    Hi everybody in the forum. First of all I want to thank all people whose advice about the Step 2 helped me to improve my performance, and I am sorry that I couldn’t write before about my experience in this test.
    I will try to be the most objective and honest with you. I got my score a few weeks ago: 96/238; however in the Step 1 I got 80/198. So, after my Step 1 I realized there were some mistakes in my preparation method and I will tell you about this and something else.
    The Step 2 is not an easy exam and I don’t want to scary you, and when some people in the forum say “ You just need to read a couple of months, do questions and ..bla, bla bla….”come on !!!. I was studying for this test for almost 5 months, and in the last 4 I was not working, so I had the necessary amount of time to study. I used to study between 7 and 9 hours a day, or at least 6 sometimes. This is maybe the first difference between my prep.for Step 1, when I was working full time and studying at the same time.
    Another important point in the preparation was the books .For Step 2 I used. the Blueprints, good books, however 3 months before the test I got the Kaplan Lectures, and definitely I think these Lectures are the best source for your preparation.In addition , I got the Q-Book and Q-bank…more than enough!.
    The test it is an endurance one, I can’t tell you a specific % in each area, because you will find many questions with concepts of medicine plus pediatrics, or medicine and surgery, but of course if you read very well Medicine and Trauma, you have a good chance to succeed. I think THE MOST IMPORTANT part of your preparation is to do as many questions as you can. For the Step 1 I used to do questions, but not in the amount enough, 2 months before the test I used to do 40 to 50 per day, and the kind of questions I did was not similar to the real Step 1…, so I learned the lection. For the Step 2, while reading the Blueprints I did the questions of the PRETEST , which are o.k some of them, however the style of questions in the real exam is a little different, but like a complementary source of questions is o.k. During this time I also did the NMS questions, and I think it is also a complementary source for questions. Definitely THE BEST SOURCE FOR PRACTICING QUESTIONS ARE THE Q-BOOK AND QBANK…
    I did for the last 3 months of my preparation 50 questions per day. It is advisable to do these questions while studying the Lectures Notes. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU DO THE QUESTIONS TWICE..I prefer to do the questions twice than read the books two or 3 times…YOU DON’T HAVE TO MEMORIZE THE BOOKS!!!!..IT IS A WASTE OF TIME!!!!!, just the main concepts. Another good source for questions are those at the end of the Blueprints series(like a 2nd option, after Qbook, Obank)
    2 weeks before the exam I recommend you do at least 200 questions per day, trying to getting used to the real test. This is the time for reading the well known book “Crush Step 2”, which is the best way to remember all the basic concepts you have learned during your preparation. AGAIN, you don’t have to memorize this book, it is just to put all your knowledge in the best shape.I strongly recommend before doing the Crush the Step 2, to take a fast review of the Pathology of NMS for the Step 1. It will help you remind important concepts and refresh some diseases you don’t review in the Step 2 books….but a really fast review, maybe in 3 or 4 days!!!!
    The questions in the exam are very similar to those in the Qbook and Qbank, although some of them are longer. They are gonna ask you a good number of questions about the physiopathology , for example you have a typical case of Marfan disease, however they don’t ask you what is your diagnoses, but what is the physiopathology.It is very important to have the main ideas in managing the most common diseases, for example you will have a diabetic patient plus hypertension, and a lot of useless information, at the end, the question is what anti hypertensive medication is the best…in this case, you only have to know the main idea in managing an hypertensive diabetic. Please read carefully the management in trauma, you will find this in the Surgery Lecture Notes. In my exam I had a lot of questions about trauma: diagnosis of flail chest, what imaging study to ask in motor vehicle accidents, etc, etc…..The
    easiest questions I got were of Gynec, and the most difficult of Psychiatry. Some of Preventive medicine, I got a case of bias , and the rest similar to Step 1 Epidemio. and Statistics.I had only one EKG, which I could hardly understand, but the history and symptoms were cahracteristics of Wolff-Parkinson.
    In short, I can tell you that THE MAIN STRATEGY THE DAY OF THE EXAM IS TO THINK AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE IN EVERY QUESTION AND READ CAREFULLY THE WHOLE QUESTION!!!!, for example, there was a case of a patient with pnemonia who was found with beers bottles around him…..o.k until now evrybody knows that the agent in an alcoholic with pneumonia is Klebsiella….however, they didn’t mention that the patient was alcoholic, and at the end of the question they tell you the x-ray shows bullae formations..So now the main agent changed completely, and the most probable is staphyloccocus. Take your time reading carefully the questions, in this case you can get excited with the first 2 lines and mark Klebsiella..but read the whole question, and try to get the main idea of the question.
    This is what I can tell you about my experience, and each experience is unique, maybe some of you only need 2 or 3 months to study, or other 9 months, maybe this is boushet for some people, ..but this is my experience…., The idea is to be honest with yourself, study hard and do lots of questions..I mean the RIGHT questions. By the way, I did the Qbook and Qbank twice, the first time I got 70% aprox, and the 2nd one 80-85%.
    I hope this to be useful for you, I really will be happy if you have questions for me, a few months ago I was in your side, and I know how many of you feel about this exam, so now I would like to help you.
    Please go to bead early the day before the exam, do something relaxing…DO NOT STUDY, you will need a lot of energy the day of the exam, you will feel extremely tired at the end of the exam, and maybe a sensation that you did wrong, like what happened to me, but don’t worry..it is just the fatigue.
    Take care all of you, and good luck in your preparation and in your test..

  2. #2
    ramindermd is offline Junior Member
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    HI THERE!!!

    I just want to thank you on this most excellent phenomenal advice here.. my question is, did you have any experience at all with this USMLE world Qbank? I am using it now and I think that its really really good.. and my exam is in a few months. of course I do intend to use Kaplan Qbank and Qbook (Qbook I have already done once actually).. I do realize that those are must dos before the exam.. so I am doing about 50 questions a day.. hopefully I can increase that.. but I want to carefully read all questions and be thorough with the explanations.. well congrats to you.. many many congrats.. and my question to you is.. is Kaplan enough for Medicine, or all subjects for that matter? or should I supplement some topics with say Current Medical Treatment and Diagnosis (cmtd).. well as of right now unfortunately I am a little busy.. and can only afford 4 hours a day of studying.. but I will get a nice stress free time a few months before my exam.. well congratulations to you again, and thank you so much for youre awesome feedback..

  3. #3
    Anonymous is offline Unregistered Guest
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    Hi !

    Hi ramindermd, thanks for your mail. It's nice to know the information was helpful for you. Well, I didn't have any experience with the Kaplan series before. For the Step 1, I used other sources, and as many Internacional Medical Graduates, I didn't even know that I could get this. Try to keep doing the questions of both Qbook and Qbank, and to read carefully all the explanations, even if you answer was correct, read all the explanation. Doing this, you will reinforce your knowledge and will review important concepts when they explain you why the other alternatives are wrong. This seems to be useless, but it's very important.Of course, it will take you time to read all the explanations, but you will notice that in the final process of your preparation, you will review the questions quickly.
    The Kaplan I think is enough for Medicine, only if you have doubts in important topics :diabetes, hypertension, etc you can take a look of other source.The cmtd(although I just read a few about diabetes) I think it is a good one, but mainly because I have friends that found this book very reliable....but only if you have doubts..and most importantly :if you have time!.
    Finally, I forgot to tell the people in the Forum about one book, which I think is very good while studing medicine : The Schwartz Family Practice.It is an excellent book, because you have a clinical case(similar the style of Step 2 questions), then questions, explanations and a summary at the end of each clinical case...it is amazing!!.This book has everything :from medicine to statistics...but I think you can read at least the part of medicine.
    O.k ramindermd, I hope the best for you, and take it easy if your time to study now is limited.For sure, that time you will be free before the test will help you a lot.
    Thanks again , and the best for you, and all in the forum.

  4. #4
    Anonymous is offline Unregistered Guest
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    correction

    the correct name of the book is :Swanson's FAMILY PRACTICE REVIEW, and no Schwartz...., sorry about that....

  5. #5
    Anonymous is offline Unregistered Guest
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    hey

    first congrats for yor score, just a q, have you done the ccssa q?? people told me that its a better correlation with the exam thanks a lot

  6. #6
    ramindermd is offline Junior Member
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    hi!!

    thank you so much for youre advice!! thats great.. and I wish the best for youre futures success.. thanks again!
    Raminder.

  7. #7
    Anonymous is offline Unregistered Guest
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    hi !!

    Hi perudoc, what does ccssa mean??..by the way, I am from Peru too, so I'll be so glad to help you.

  8. #8
    kris2c is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Sanfer

    Congratulations Sanfer, you got it!

    Regarding your post, what is this "Schwartz Family Practice", I have heard about this one "Swansons Family Practice" but not about this guy Schwartz

    Thanks for your posting
    best of luck,

    Kris2c

    ps: by the way why don't you register on this forum

  9. #9
    omaly is offline Newbie
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    Hi Sanfer

    Quote Originally Posted by kris2c
    Congratulations Sanfer, you got it!

    Regarding your post, what is this "Schwartz Family Practice", I have heard about this one "Swansons Family Practice" but not about this guy Schwartz
    u probably missed the next post that said

    Quote Originally Posted by sanfernando
    the correct name of the book is :Swanson's FAMILY PRACTICE REVIEW, and no Schwartz...., sorry about that....

  10. #10
    clara is offline Newbie
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    step 2 Q bank

    hi sanfernando! congratulations on your exams! i am taking my step 2 this april 28 and i need help if you can extend it it to me. do you know where i can get Qbank that is not so pricey as the ones online? after reading two good posts (yours and another one from ani) that the Q bank really helps, i need to get hold of it but when i looked at the links. it costs a lot! i hope that you can help me. if you can, my email is [email protected] . thanks and more power.

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