Step 2 CK Experience: Giving back time (long post alert)
Hi, friends I got my CK score this Wednesday. I took my exam on Sept 15 and got the result on the 30th, exactly in 2 weeks. I know in the era of 250s -260s, this is an average score but then, I am also an average student with severe anxiety issues. Thanx to all the experiences posted in this group which helped me a lot in my prep and if my experience can help anyone, I will be delighted.
Step 1: 236 (April 2019)
Step 2 CK: 242 ( Sept 15,2020)
🎯 NBME 7: 221 (July 14)
🎯 NBME 6: 245 ( Aug 4 )
🎯 UWSA 1: 243 (Sept 5)
🎯 UWSA 2: 234 (Sept 10)
🎯 New Free120: 73% (Sept 10)
✨ UWorld 2times,
✨ All UWorld notes,
✨ Self-made flashcards,
✨ FA Step 1,
✨ Divine Intervention podcasts.
Prep Time: Approx 8-9 months with interruptions.
I started preparing for CK in September 2019. Started directly with solving UWorld system-wise tutor mode and made flashcards in Uworld itself. Completed the first round by January 2020 with the First pass percentage around 73%. Then I had my CS and rotations lined up so I left CK and prepared for CS. After my CS I did rotations from March-May 2020. During that time I only revised my flashcards, couldn’t get much time to do UWorld.
I then started UWorld again after a break of four months and did the second round subjectwise in random timed mode and completed it by the end of August with 81%. Sometimes when I got bored of solving questions I read all world notes. After that, I took UWSA 1. In the next few days, I revised my weak areas and took UWSA2 and New Free 120 the same day with Mask on, simulating exam day conditions. I panicked after seeing a score of 234, as my target was >240 and I was following the scoring trend for the past few weeks where there were lots of instances of more than 10-20 points score drop from UWSA 2.So I thought of postponing the date but then I talked to my SP who convinced me that instead of postponing I should focus on weak areas and mistakes. When I reviewed UWSA, I realized I did a lot of silly mistakes as I was anxious and panicking the whole time due to extremely lengthy questions. So in the last 4 days, I reviewed uwsa2 and free120, quickly went through FA step 1, and listened to Divine Intervention podcasts.
Exam Day Experience:
The night before the exam I slept around 3-4 hrs. On the exam day, I had a light breakfast, took propranolol 10 mg, packed energy bars, a sandwich, and water. I took 5 mins break after 1st,2nd,3rd block. Took 20 min break after the 3rd block had lunch and relaxed a bit. Then I took 5 min break after every block, after the 6th block I was very tired and my mind started to block and Mask was only adding to it. My center was strict and didn’t allow me to keep the mask below the nose. But taking a break after every block helped me refreshing my mind.
The exam was a good mix of UWSA 2 and the new free 120 in terms of length with few 2-3 line questions and like new free 120 in terms of vagueness. Unlike UWSAs, Time is manageable in the exam, just don’t dwell on any question. There will be a lot of questions where you will be stuck in 2 choices, mark whichever you feel is most correct and move on. I had 2 abstract questions. I felt UWorld is sufficient for concepts but we have to do it thoroughly, even paying great attention to the other options. The new questions added in the UWorld are a lot similar in terms of vagueness.
Few bits of Advice:
- This exam is a beast, there will be times when you will want to give up but Hang On and trust yourself, you can do it. You did not come this far to only come this far.
- After the exam, everyone feels horrible but trust your preparation. Celebrate, Keep yourself busy, and don’t look for answers.whats done is done. You survived this exam, you are already a warrior.
- If possible try to avoid interruptions during the study period. Always take frequent breaks.and reward yourself.
- Try to study with SPs, they form a huge support system.
- Simulate exam conditions at least twice.
- During the last phase of prep, try to solve 2-3 blocks of UW together to build stamina, as this exam is all about endurance.
- Not postponing the exam worked for me as maybe I was at my peak but situations can differ for everyone so decide accordingly.
For saving me at the last moment when I was about to give up. God bless you guys. I know my scores are just average but I’m satisfied with it because when I came out of the center I was convinced I failed. I’m cordially thankful to the Almighty, my family, and my amazing study partners who supported and guided me in the tough times. A special thanx to Priya Shenwai, Garima Singh, and Usmle Steps for saving me at the last moment when I was about to give up. God bless you guys.