How Developing a Sixth Sense Can Add a Lot of Points to Your USMLE Step 2 CK Score

As I sat there, I knew something had to change. While I had done well on my shelf exams, and knew my stuff, my first NBME score was nowhere near the average for internal medicine. Worse yet, when I looked over my exam I realized that the mistakes I made were stupid and not even stuff I didn’t necessarily know. I asked myself howl I could avoid such mistakes. So, I went back to the drawing board and asked, “What exactly makes a good test taker?”

How To USMLE Study Guide

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The Greatest Discovery in Learning History, and You’ve Probably Never Even Heard About It

It’s ironic, the post-bacc class that had the least to do with medicine ended up being the most relevant to medical school. That class was called Learning Strategies, and it began with a graph, with memory on the Y axis and time on the X axis. What it showed was if you do not review a subject, your memory of it will tend to fade by 80–90% after around 24 hours, after 7 days, and after 30 days without proper review.

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The Limits of Human Intellect: How Reading Less UWorld Can Get You a Higher Score on USMLE Step 2: CK

It was the 1970s, and along with Disney World opening and the Dolphins going undefeated, a machine was invented that would change the face of medicine forever. This machine was the MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine. While this would go on to be one of the greatest things to happen to medicine, there was an unintended consequence to all this extra information now being presented to doctors.

Back surgery rates went up significantly, but patient outcomes did not to change much. The reason was that this new MRI information was helpful, but it also overloaded physicians with too much information, making them rely too heavily on these detailed pictures over their clinical knowledge. This wasn’t something specific to doctors, but rather an inborn error in thinking. We, as humans, are awful at sorting information for appropriate relevance when presented with too much of it.

 

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To Push Back or Not to Push Back Your Step 2 CK Exam Date: That Is the Question

So you booked your USMLE, you’ve been studying using the top resources, and you think you might be making progress, but then this silly guy named Dr. Steve comes around and gives you this great method *cough humblebrag cough* and you’re wondering what to do. To answer this, we have to think about why we take USMLE in the first place… to get a residency.

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The Method to My Madness: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love USMLE Step 2 CK

Okay, so you now know my story (awful college student who climbed to the top of his medical school class by using odd but effective tactics); you know why the USMLE Step 2 CK should be treated as just as important as the USMLE Step 1 exam for residency (has greatest correlation with board pass rate); you understand the importance of making a schedule and sticking to it (because time is your most important resource); you know how to use UWorld correctly (Tutor, by section, taking one minute to do the questions then 2.5 minutes for review after every 10 – 15 questions completed); you know how spaced repetition can make even the biggest scholastic disasters into model medical students (because you retain information so well); and you even know how to train your brain into becoming a good test taker (through doing UWorld 1 minute per question, asking what you could have known to get an answer correct when you review, then going in super confident on NBME’s to ensure that exam-taking sixth sense is being fine-tuned correctly); but you want it all in one nicely edited piece.

Well, after the most epic run-on sentence in blog history (hopefully it served its purpose), I’m about to give it all to you. And I’ll even put it in bullet form!

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You’re Likely Using USMLE World for Step 2 CK Wrong, and It’s Costing You a Lot of Points

At this point, it’s pretty darn unanimous that USMLE World is the best question bank out there, and for good reason. It has realistic questions, it’s updated constantly, and it has detailed answers that cover a large breadth of information. For this reason, people often correlate higher UWorld %s with higher USMLE scores and do the question bank multiple times. They have even gone so far as to make a correlation list online about what score you can expect depending on your UWorld %.

While I can see why this logic is so alluring, it is that same allure that makes it so dangerous. Read more

The Most Important Resource for USMLE Exams… and No, It’s Not USMLE World

So, you booked your USMLE exam, and you have your resources that everyone has told you are the best: a book that covers the information and a Qbank that is just like the test with high-yield explanations. As you start reading the book, you realize there is a ton of stuff you don’t know, and you work your way through it, in order to remember as much as you can. When doing the Qbank, every so often you hit a question that makes no sense, frustratingly slowing your pace to a halt until you finally get it.

You look at the calendar and think “Where did the time go? I have so much more to do still.”

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USMLE Step 1 vs. Step 2 CK: Which Matters More, and How Are They Different?

I’ve heard it many, many times: “Study the most for USMLE Step 1, it is the most important exam of your life.” Reading through forums, blogs, and listening to advisors, I came to the early conclusion that Step 2 CK was easier and less important than Step 1.

That is, until the program director of my surgery rotation called all the medical students in for a talk.

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Started From the Bottom: The Uncommon Things I Learned Going From the Bottom of My College Class to the Top of My Medical School

In college, I was a scholastic disaster. I had a science GPA below 3.0 and an MCAT in the mid 20s. I applied to an overseas medical school and was put in a post-bacc program, with entrance contingent on receiving a 3.5 GPA on five nearly medical school level classes.

Fast-forward to the end of medical school and I graduated magna cum laude, the president of my medical school’s honor society, and with 250s and 260s on the Step 1 and Step 2 USMLE, respectively.

All because of the study strategies I developed.

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