hi guys
first of all THANK YOU one & all for your helpful comments and posts. Now is the time to pay back.
first the books
I read mainly the Step 2 kaplan lecture notes. gave surgery 2 days n OBGYN 4 days in all. rest of the 4 weeks that I prepared I read peds n medicine.
STEP 3 DVD lectures from kaplan: i found the medicine ones particularly helpful ( can recall at least 2 Qs from exam that he tells in the DVD ), OBGYN is OK sorts, surg is also fine and peds is no use watching cuz nothing is new in them. I kept my notes along with the laptop and jotted new points, this helped a lot during revision from a ONE "master book"
SWANSON: I wud say a must do for all sections. Personally I did not do it all, but the sections I did like geriatrics, peds, the first chapter and ** ( these r must dos ) were so great that the rest of the book does merit attention. The Qs are easy but it gives u a fair IDEA of what conditions n diseases to expect in the exam. I wud advise to read ALL the explanantions in FULL. they teach a lot, for the sections I could not read, I read the summaries ( that is 70 pc of explanations covered ) I would highly recommend the book if one has time.
now for the practice materials
U-WORLD Q BANK: all in one word: EXCELLENT, excellent Qs !!the actual exam is very very similar to their Qs, writing more wud be diluting the importance of their course. SO GO FOR IT.
KAPLAN Q bank: I used it as a study marterial n lessof practice ( had them as word file ) they fill voids in the study material. did the respective subject immed after I fin the notes etc. give u a fair idea of how u can go wrong and on what line to think ( UW teaches what NOT to think, realtively more important )
KAPLAN Q Book,step 3: I did only the **, some Med and OBGYN n some tests of medicine. overall good but practicing on computer is better.
NMS book: I would not recommend it, neither the Qs nor the content match the real exam.
must dos: geriatrics times 3, fever wid rash, derm slides, pharma interactions, medical ethics, Pul Emb in addition to the usual imp stuff for step 2
exam blocks: office blocks are cool( I think, they are the ones who get u to a pass) , cases are d same ones u get in any FP out pt setting, common ds with a little twist in history PE or labs. Overall cool. emergency one also manageable, I found it easy as I had prepared well for emergency medicine, be prepared for emergencies of common ds like DM, HTN, Autoimm ds, arrythmias, DVT, PE, dehydration, burns, ARF and all pediatric emergencies. INPT is the one which sweats you out. completing a Qn in 72 secs was tuff for me. you have to work on a lot of aspects--interactions, age, prev meds, regime to be followed and then chose b.w a test/procedure/treatment all in 72 secs WHEW !!!
CCS CASES: much has been said abt the way to prepare on this forum, I practised a lot on the CCS software but did little UW cases. ( I had helped my friend for his CCS a month ago ) I think being comfortable with the software and knowing how to "get things done" is more important on the CCS than reading text on "what" to do. I got 9 cases, all very easy, diagnoses was very suggestive from history or I got it from the first set of investigations that I ordered. overall 6 improved, 1 could have improved ( but I did not administer a imp drug ) and 2 remained stable. Time is NOT a prob in CCS, I was done with most in 13-15 mins when the 5 min window appeared. just DO LOGICAL things, and "do" things u need to manage.
I myself studied for 4 weeks in march ( 6-7 hrs a day ), had helped my friend for 2 weeks in Feb.
I had a 57 in UW, and 75-80 pc in FSMB CD, Q book, average 70 pc ( in the ones I did ). so u can assume that scores near those mean a PASS, I ll post my score when I get that mail.
in summary: get d content of the exam from SWANSON, read text from kaplan step 2 notes, add to it using DVD & Kap Q bank, test urself on UW and enter the Prometric center.
GOOD LUCK to all of you, you have been wonderful
always do

pls address any Qs to ameloblastoma@rediffmail.com