Step 1 and 2: 'What I would do differently'

Posted on January 21, 2020 by Carol McPhail
Carol McPhail

Medical students hold a sign encouraging those taking the Step 1 exam.  data-lightbox='featured'

We asked upperclassmen at the USA College of Medicine how they would prepare differently if they had a chance to take Step 1 and 2 again. Here’s what they said:

“I would have taken more practice tests and practice questions!”

“I would have done more practice questions.  I did one entire practice bank twice -- and my missed questions a third time -- but I would have dipped into other practice question banks more. I think I spent too much time doing what we commonly refer to as “reviewing content” in the form of PowerPoint review, review book reading, etc.  I think I do best by seeing the information that is bulleted, listed, outlined, etc. in the review sources in the form of a clinical vignette/question rather than simply as a bulleted fact of information.  For me, this creates a clinical scenario that I can use to help better remember the learning point/fact of whatever that particular questions is based around.”

“Practice questions, practice questions, practice questions, especially since you have upwards of two months of dedicated study time for this exam.” 

“I would most importantly advise those preparing for Step 2 CK to do as well as possible during your third-year clerkships.  Studying diligently and well over the course of third year is the key to being successful and feeling prepared for Step 2.”

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