Studying successfully for Step 2 of the USMLE
As you get ready to study for USMLE Step 2, have no doubt in your mind that it is going to be tough and that you will be under immense pressure. The pressure may not be to the extent that u faced when preparing for Step 1, but there will be some. Some study procedures that might help you score the marks that you expect are given for your benefit.
First Procedure : First of all you have to have a plan of study. Ensure that there is sufficient time to study so that you do not finding yourself cramming at the last minute before the exam. You must have heard of some kind of scheduling that is required. You may also have heard that though it requires 2 months of study for Step 1, 2 weeks would be sufficient for Step 2. Take it to heart but do not stick to this plan as you will require more than two weeks for preparing for Step 2. Two weeks just will not do.
Second Procedure : The First Aid book is an absolute necessity for Step 2, if you want to get off on a flying start and be successful in getting through its examination. If you are used to the First Aid series for Step 1then this will be the format that you will also get for Step 2. You can get the most of the book by reading it a more than a couple of times. Schedule yourself a plan of study and try to extract all the information that you can get in the first read itself. Utilize the same kind of methodology of studying in the subsequent readings as you are bound to leave out some information in each read.
Third Procedure : Make it a point to consult a number of sources when preparing for an exam or for anything else for that matter. Every time u read another fresh material, you will find that there is something new that u did not get in the previous source. Once u have gone through the First Aid for Step 2, you can move on to the next Crush Step 2 material. As u read new material from different sources u will find that the presentation is also different so that you will not get bored with repetitions. The Crush Step 2 will be a fresh format.
Fourth Procedure : Step 2 Secrets will definitely complement your study for the USMLE Step 2 exam. You will not be learning anything new, just that you will be reviewing what you had already studied and finding out the stuff that you had missed out. Step 2 Secrets is excellent resource material since it permits you to test yourself. It is also perfect for a fast recap prior to the exam, that is if you really get the top 100 secrets correctly.
Fifth Procedure : You have only two choices when it comes down to databases – the Kaplan Q-Bank or the USMLE World. Which are you going to choose? Even though the choice is yours, many people who have passed out successfully swear on the USMLE World. The reasons are that a. It is only a one month $60 subscription and b. The questions are more deep. If you want to guarantee yourself a success and have the means to do so, then purchase both. If you do not mind the expense, then also purchase both the databases.
Even either one of the databases might just overwhelm you. To make it easier for you set it up in sections of 46 questions each to be done in the timed mode. By doing so you are setting up a mock exam session and so there will be no surprises on the real exam day. Don’t try to go into the tutor mode and cut down the 46 question format just to relieve yourself. You have to get used to the atmosphere of the exam that you’re going to sit for. But whichever database you use, make sure that you use it completely and thoroughly.
Ensure that you review all the material, both the ones that you got right and the ones that you got wrong; with more concentration on the wrong ones. This is the only way by which you can identify the reasons why you gave the specific answers to the questions.
As you go through the First Aid for Step 2 book, make marginal notes. You’ll find that these notes are really helpful when you do the review just prior to the real exam. Use all your resources.
If you conscientiously followed the five procedures spelt out and reach the end of your study, there is little doubt that you will get through the Step 2 exam and come out with flying colors