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 My USMLE step 2 CS experience  

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I PASSED the USMLE Step 2 CS. I found out that I passed on March 2, 2016. I am Soooo happy. This was my second attempt. My USMLE Step 1 score was 238 (first attempt), and step 2 CK was 243 (first attempt). I took Step 1 in October 2012.

I studied 6 weeks the Kaplan in Chicago. After taking Step 1 three months before, I jumped to take Step 2 CS before Step 2 CK. I regret that I made this decision. My first attempt with Step 2 CS was in February 2013, when I was one week pregnant with my miracle baby. I was bleeding when I took the exam. Horrible experience. Looking back, it was my fault that I underestimated this Step 2 CS. I studied with my study partner only, and was not really well prepared. I failed both SEP and ICE. Sad, shocked, disappointed, all these made me down for a while.

I gave birth to Kevin, my miracle baby, in October 2013. I kept studying for Step 2 CK when my little one was a newborn, until he turned one year old. I took step 2 CK in January 2015, after taking a few Kaplan live lectures and doing a lot of questions. I got 243 with Step 2 CK. This gave me encouragement to re-take Step 2 CS. Given the fact that I failed the first time, I promised myself I would study for this step seriously.

First was the SEP part. How could I make it? I searched online. I went to some pronunciation classes in San Diego, but I didn't feel that I was ready for this part because the classes didn't focus on teaching me what I needed. I kept looking, and one day, I found this website, I sent this instructor an email and heard back from her the same day about her program. I began to make a schedule to make my English clearer, and to pass SEP. I met her once a week for 1 hour. She recorded this hour and sent the recording to me, so I could listen to myself and to the lesson for that particular week. It was extremely helpful. I can say that my English is much clearer, and even my co-workers are surprised about that. Dara, my instructor, was very strict on my pronunciation. She listened to me carefully, and taught me how to make myself clearer to the ears of English speakers. Every week, I recorded myself, anything I spoke in my normal life, and she pointed out which words I needed to work on to improve so people could understand me better. I had a total of 12 lessons with her before I went to take the Step 2 CS exam. On the real exam, I passed the SEP part with a high performance score.

About ICE, this is a long story. In July 2015, I went to Chicago and studied at the Kaplan Center for one week. It was too expensive, but I didn't feel that I was ready for the exam. I went back to San Diego and studied by myself. I found the website of Dr. Mary June, and studied for one month. It helped me with the ICE part. My favorite part of her website was the part that helped me to document my patient's history findings and physical exam findings to support my differential diagnosis. However, her website was lacking of the hands-on practice, face-to-face, with the SPs. I knew that I could practice online, but I really needed the SPs to practice with, because that mimics the real exam.

At this point, I felt that I needed a class to help me to prepare the last steps before I took the exam. I went to this wonderful class, which is called goldusmlereview. I was there for 5 days. I learned everything I needed to pass the exam from this class. When I was in class, I was extremely satisfied with the main instructor, Dr. Thomas, and with all the SPs. They were extremely helpful in helping me ace this exam. Dr. Thomas is an amazing instructor. He can even stay to study with you until 10 or 11 pm, and makes you practice with your classmates until it becomes habit You don't even have to think about that when you are in the exam, because it already has become your habit, your routine. He grades your patient notes carefully, and suggests whether the notes will pass, or not. After I studied there for five days, January 8-12, 2016, I requested two more days to learn with the SPs, January 13 and 14, 2016. After that, on January 15, I took the exam at the Houston center, and passed.

A little bit about myself, I am an old US citizen IMG, who graduated in 2003. I have been working as a Cardiovascular Anesthesia Technician from 2010 until now, and am going to be an RN this December 2016. I am planning to take Step 3, and to apply for a match in 2017 in Family Medicine.


Congratulations , I'm also a IMG, graduated 2002. I'm going to take CS 2 in July in Chicago. My first language is spanish. I passed Step 1 and Ck2. I'm going to take the ximedus review in June. I have a 10 months baby. I been studying and trying to type the patient on time, but it difficult .Im trying to study and get prepared for my review. I hope the review help me to get ready for my test.

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