NBME Explanations

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NBME Explanations

2015 Scores and Experiences Thread

Discussion in 'USMLE Step 2 CK' started by orthopod, Jul 23, 2015.

  • by orthopod, Jul 23, 2015 at 8:14 AM
  • orthopod

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    May 7, 2015
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    Hey everyone,

    I wanted to create a thread where people can post some of their study plans and experiences with Step2. It would be great for others to see how you studied, what materials you used and what you thought of them, and of course, how you felt about the exam itself.

    Please remember that posting exam specifics is prohibited.
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Discussion in 'USMLE Step 2 CK' started by orthopod, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. wiseone
    Hey, I found the rest of the forum pretty useful and wanted to share an exam experience (not mine):

    MOST HELPFUL SOURCES and the ONLY 5 sources I recommend:
    1.) FA Step 1 & Medical School Step 1 knowledge material as reference.

    2.) UW2, do that 2-3 times. Read ALL explanations AT LEAST TWICE. Read ALL educational OBJECTIVES AT LEAST 3 times.
    This is coming from someone who is not a genius. So if you can read it once or twice and get it, more power to you.

    3.) Clinical Mastery Series and Self Assessments.

    4.) MTB 2 CK (Since all of my UW, NBME, Clinical Mastery Series, and UWSA notes were in it) and MTB 3 was also helpful for me a tad since I am a relatively new to clinical rotations. Also throw in Pestanas Surgery Notes.


    Sources I used:
    1.) MTB 2 & MTB 3
    2.) UW qbank
    3.) Rx qbank
    4.) USMLE Step 2 Secrets
    5.) First Aid Step 1
    6.) Pestana's Surgery notes
    7.) Clinical Mastery Series
    8.) NBMEs & UWSA

    How I studied:
    1.) Read MTB 2 twice, finished Rx qbank, and then took my first NBME and failed it.

    2.) Started UW along with reading MTB 2 third time and reading MTB 3 for the first time. Made notes on anything I did not know and anything I found important. Read ALL explanations even for the ones I got right I put all notes into MTB 2.
    Took my second NBME, score went up 25 points.

    3.) Read MTB 2 third time and MTB 3 second time and repeated UW again without taking notes and just reading explanations. Took third NBME score went up 5-10 points.

    4.) Did all Clinical Mastery Series questions 100 qs a day in 6 days. Took a picture of all questions and made notes directly into MTB 2. Took another NBME score went up 5-10 points.

    5.) Reviewed all educational objectives in UW and then took UWSA.
    6.) Reviewed weak areas and took NBME 7 five days before exam, and Free 131 from USMLE website day before my exam.

    Exam experience:
    - Only had 1 drug ad with 3 questions, super long and super hard. Was in my 7th block of 8 and felt like I got uppercut to my face. But I was thankful it was just one drug ad.
    - A lot of immuno. Review FA Step 1 immuno chapter.
    - Know how the presentation, management of diagnosis, management of treatment, and pathophysiology of stress, urge, and overflow incontinence.
    - Know the rinne and weber tests for conductive and sensineural deafness and know examples of things that can cause the two different types of deafness.
    - Know all of the leukemias
    - Know the childhood bone disorders of congenital hip dysplasia, osgood schlatter, and leg calves perthes disease.
    -Know guidelines for PPD & HPV.
    - Know all options for contraceptions and in which scenario they are indicated.
    - NO BIOCHEM questions on my exam.
    - 1 or 2 Chromosome Genetics questions on my exam.
    - A LOT of biostat questions with number needed to treat, bias types, and study types.
    - Xray differentiations of pneumothorax, from pleural effusion, etc.
    - Know the effects of maneuvers on the heart sounds.
    - Felt harder than all NBMEs, but felt closest to a mix between UWSA and NBME 7.
    - Know risk factors and preventions for major types of cancers such as ovarian, endometrial, lung, thyroid cancers.
    - Know the difference between basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma location on the face.
    - Know the bone tumors such as osteochondroma and how it looks on xray vs how osteosarcoma looks on xray.
    - Know the side effects of ALL drugs of abuse and drugs in the psych chapter of MTB. Lithium, Cocaine, Benzodiazepines, Marijuana etc.
    - Know how to manage acute HAV infection, is it supportive care? Immune globulin, or HAV vaccine as a 1st step?
    - Know how to manage aneursym rupture. Do you do immediate surgery or give drugs to decrease blood pressure first?

    Do you elevate head first or do you put the airway first in a person who has difficulty breathing?
    - If person has facial trauma with gurgling sounds? You do cricothrotomy first.
    - If a person has aspiration pneumonia then you elevate head first.
    There are NOT that many questions that will ask the difference between most accurate vs initial.
    So remember you need to know what do you do next from the first thing all the way down to the day the patient gets better and goes home.
    In short I recommened:
    1.) Use MTB 2 and MTB 3 to help build the skeleton of a foundation which is necessary to build upon.
    2.) Do either Rx OR Kaplan qbank before you do UW, IF you have the time. This will orient your mind to the kinds of questions Step 2 CK expects you to know.

    3.) IF you have 2-3 months to study or are very low on time, or second qbank is to Focus on UW2 and go through all of it 2-3 times before the exam. Know all of the scenarios and managements in all of the given scenarios. Read ALL explanations even if you get it right and make notes. I felt my exam was very close to the scenarios and concepts of UW.
    4.) Do all clinical mastery series and do nbmes to monitor your progress. Save UWSA and NBME 7 for last since they are the closest thing to the exam.
    5.) Should probably be listed as number 1, but believe in the work that you've done have faith that the preparation you do will help you get the score that you are shooting for.
    rotatory and vanib like this.
  2. orthopod
    Thanks for the post, @wiseone

    Can anyone else comment on their resources and/or how they felt about the exam?
  3. vanib
  4. orthopod
    A post from @cbokman7 a while back, that I've copied here:

    High Score Study Plan: Total study time = 4 weeks

    •Basic plan outline: Most people have only 2‐4 weeks to study. It is very much possible to score a 250/60+ with 2 weeks. Also, please note that I had already run through Uworld once during third year when I would study for shelf exams – but I remembered very few questions, however, there was still some familiarity.

    Goals in 4 weeks (or 2 weeks) include: All of Uworld for step 2, taking notes on wrongs; Books: FA for step 2, secrets for USMLE Step 2, Master the Boards (MTB) Step 2; Practice Tests: practice NBMEs online (about 3-4) + Uworld practice test; Step 1 stuff: there is very little step 1 on step 2, however, in the fall of 2014 they changed step 3 and made it more basic science, so step 2 may be like that now, but I am not sure. I made sure to know micro, metabolic/storage disorders from biochem, and drug mechanisms from step 1 – otherwise, I rarely picked up FA Step 1 except to study these topics. Someone I know read only step 1 and 2 FA (which got him a 270+) plus uworld. I also know people who just did uworld and got 250+ (after scoring low 230s on step 1).

    •Week 1: 3 blocks of Uworld per day while taking notes on wrongs in word doc separated
    by organ systems. This takes a lot of time at first, 3 blocks a day pretty much fills up the
    whole day because reviewing the tests takes so long. I would only use books for reference. End of week 1 I took a practice NBME and scored a 238.
    •Week 2: continued 3 blocks of Uworld, note-‐taking, and started reading 10 pages of secrets daily, sometimes would be able to read FA for step 2 or MTB. Took another NBME practice test at the end of the week and scored a 250.
    •Week 3: same as week 2, except was reading more of FA because I wanted to get through at least FA for step 2 once and secrets. Attempted MTB because it’s a great resource, but it was too much(I would choose either FA or MTB, but both is too redundant). At the end of week 3 I had finished secrets, FA
    (almost), and took a practice test at the center –scored a 91% overall. I wouldn’t recommend taking a test at the center unless it helps you calm your nerves because I think taking another NBME or doing more uworld blocks would have been more beneficial. I took that test on Saturday and didn’t feel like I learned a lot so I took the uworld practice test on Sunday and got a 265 –I really should have just taken the test at this point.
    •Week 4: Finished uworld by the first couple days of this week. Started to do blocks of wrongs (only 1-‐2 each day), read over my uworld word doc, and reviewed highlighted information from FA and secrets for the rest of the week. Also, during this week, again I should have taken the test since I ran out of things to do, I did NBME practice tests in surgery and internal medicine (two forms for each) since surgery was my weakest and medicine is so high yield. This was actually really helpful because some of the same questions were on my actual test.
    •Day before test: Read over uworld notes, did one practice block, and tried to relax before test day.
    •Test day: I had a pretty difficult test –which is good for the curve –but not for my stamina during the test. It was very clinical and there were very few basic science questions. They often asked ‘next step’ questions in diagnostic tests and management for which I could narrow it down to two answers but would have trouble picking because it seemed when I studied both answers were okay. So I would make sure to know the one diagnostic test and management plan for each major disease/disorder/emergency. If I had to do it again I would have taken it a week earlier, but I don’t think the last week hurt me in any way.
    vanib likes this.

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