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Another friend of mine who took the exam:

Fresh (2010) IMG, applied for Residency this year.

Step 1: 99 [Sep 2009]
Step 2: 99 [Jan 2010]

UWorld: Cumulative 61%

Master the Boards: Used it for S3. Worked really well.

NBME: 4 days out. Scored 390.

Did not do UWSA.

Exam taken: 2/8 and 2/9
Result date: 3/2

Score: 91/217 (Yes, we had identical scores! grin)

Good luck to all preparing! The exam is doable.


Prep Time 2 months with the first month being busy in residency interviews and the second month out in studying 10 hours a day.
UWSA: one week before exam; scored 235-99
Used UW, MTB only
Did CCs cases from UW
Final Score: 99/233. Got a star in CCS


just finished my exam. Worst exam ever.
Everybody swears by UW CCS cases but my exam only 1 of the 9 was from the 52 and the rest not even from the printed 41. Horrible.

I did Kaplan and UW MCQ with 58% but after failing 3 CCS cases(time ran out and did not know what to do and ot did not improved) (maybe 4) I dont have much faith that I will pass.

I dont know if the recently updated bank of step 3 is the reason no case was from UW but beware for the ones that are about to take it.

I guess I'll start preparing for the second time.


Prep time 3 months.
Used MTB (twice), UW bank (twice this includes CCS twice), and some areas of Kaplan step 3 IM

I'm a PGY 2 IM resident and thus had to study in between wards and ICU nights:/

NBME 3 wks out 490
UW was scoring 60-70's tutor mode timed

Exam felt really tough and tricky thought I did terrible walking out
Exam march 31st and April 1st.score reported April 20th

USMLE step 3 score ..... 231/99!!!!! Yayyy!!! Thank god!

Peace out USMLEs!!!!


I received my score yesterday......and I passed!!!
I was sure to fail, you can read my experience in a previous post. I messed up 4 ccs cases.
Anyway I got 207/86, good enough for me.
bye bye usmle.........


Thanks to Allah!!!!!smiling facesmiling facesmiling facesmiling facesmiling facesmiling face got my score back today 207/86sticking out tongue.

Even I thought I was going to fail since I could'nt do the uworld Qbank and cases for the second time to strengthen my weakness.

Feeling soooo soooo relieved since i prepared for step 3 during my residency. gringringringringringringringringrin
Prep time- 2 1/2 mths
Exam date- 5/5/2011
Score Date- 5/26/2011
1.MTB -oncenodnodnodnod
2. USMLE world Qbank (tutorial mode- 68%)and CSS once(made notes of orders missed during each case review)nodnodnod
3. FA cases (read through on day of exam and night before) and few topics,
4. Dr Arletes notes for revision(day before day1) nodnod
5.10 mths residency experience in internal medicine.nod

I am writing this post to specially to thank Dr.Arlete for her excellent notes, which helped me revise some of the important concepts on the last day,since i was on medicine floors during that mth and had very little time to study. Hope god blesses you and you excel in whatever you do. You are just awesome.


So I've reading these forums since I started my USMLE journey in 2006. I'm an IMG, 2005 graduate and I'm finishing my 2nd year in FM residency.

Step 1-->10/06=78
Step 2-->04/08=85
Step 3-->08/08=69
Step 3-->02/09=71
Step 3-->03/11=91

I feel that experience is definitely required to pass step 3. After 2 years of FM residency, I breezed through the test, finishing blocks 5 minutes earlier and killed CCS.

This time around?
1. MTB-- Be careful with this book as it has A LOT of mistakes
2. USMLE CD 71%, 63%, 61%
3. UWA- 208, I don't remember the actual score they gave me.
4. UW- I did 2x when I had failed and decided to not even do it.
5. UW CCS-Great!, I managed to finish around 40. It's really important to get a great handle on this. My CCS was in the higher region for sure.
6. NBME step 3. I got in the lower 300's both times I failed.

I have been reading and American Family Physician throughout residency and this helped.

Do not give up hope. Look at my story! Feel free to ask me any questions.


I've been following this forum for a long time since I began my prep for USMLE Step 1. I can now say that this USMLE voyage is finally over. I studied using UW Qbank for MCQs while skimming though Crush Step 3 (I never even read through the whole book once to be honest) and I studied for CCS with the UW CCS software. I also subscribed to and watched about half of the Premier Review videos for CCS as well but my primary study material was UW.

I scored around a 52-53% on UW (first time, unused, tutor mode). My score went up to about 65% after completing the incorrect questions.

UWSA = 500/217 (10 days before exam)
NBME = did not complete

Step 3 = 210/87

No more USMLE for me. Feels good to be done with it all!


hey all

First of all, I would like to thank everyone on this forum and also one other forum that i closely follow. I was not very active here but some amazing people here helped me a lot with my preparation. I did not know how to proceed with this exam after getting only 84 on step 2ck. I was very concerned about my step 2ck score. People here helped a lot on what to study, how to study and every single thing in between

I took a long break of 6 months before my step 3. Step 2ck reduced my confidence levels.

I have always taken live courses , i took kaplan course in my country for Step 1 and then did Pass program for step 2ck. My step 1 score was 99 but the drop to 84 on Step 2 still worries me about the prospect of getting a residency position. With the Step 3 score , I hope my situation has improved and may be i can argue that my clinical situation is not that bad as shown by
step 2.

In short, I prepared for 5 months and used First Aid, Archer review course, Kaplan and Uw qbanks. Short books are not an answer to this exam but ironically, I started with First Aid for Step 3 because I felt it was good for Step 2ck. In my opinion, FA was good but I had to know them by-heart with out really understanding why they chose one option over the other. I started kaplan qbank there after and my average was humiliating , was scoring 42% . At the same time I was doing Archer lectures also . I would listen to them two to three hours a day and make my own notes. I would then read my own notes, FA portion in what I listened that day and did kaplan qbank . I slowly started seing improvement . Though my scores did not improve immediately I could understand why things are done the way they are done. I finished one reading of FA and listening Archer lectures. Then I started moving to CCS. The best decision I made was doing workshop early on and practicing the cases from FA. FA has some very good cases , two of those was on my test.

In the last 2 months, after finishing kaplan I moved on to UW qbank and did it once. I scored 72% on the first-do. Some of you here were recommending to do NBME one month before exam so, i went on to do it though I was very scared of discovering myself and what my NBME would be. My NBME score was relieving ( 510). This score gave a big boost to my confidence. I did this only because most ppl recommended to do it. From then on, it was just CCS and I listened to archer ccs and some of the lectures once again and went for the big day.

It is a tiring exam and feels like the energy is being drained out by the time u reach the last block. Though I timed myse;lf very well, I still had to rush in the last three questions each and every block. I think you can overcome this problem by doing more and more MCQ and timing yourself on practice tests. Second day was a big relief. Finished the exam one hour in advance because all the CCS are the cases that I knew. Half of the cases are from what ppl are discussing on many forums. Two were from FA and five from dr.Red CCS. Half were strange but I could get the diagnosis and patients were better. I got maximum on CCS because it showed a right side star. And this score of 99....tells me what we can make for ourselves with hard work. I am now concentrating completely on match and interviews .

if any one has any questions, i can give you my two cents and hope you do very well too.

good luck to u all


finished step 3 exam today
1-4 hours daily for one month
master the boards: read once then browsed quickly for highlighted sections. the book has lots of mistakes, and in some sections you feel it is extensive. i think one should better use a smaller review book that could be more comprehensive but direct to the point. (i read crush once and it was good). pocket medicine is also a good comprehensive short review for such an exam.
Usmle world: solved all questions once. overall 60-61%
started 54% then improved to high 60s low 70s; cumulative of 60%
CCS: usmle world solved all cases and read the additional practice cases.
usmle CD: average 67%

day 1: 7 blocks, 48 questions each, 60 minutes time. very tight. i was finishing 0-3 minutes early only, then the last 2-3 blocks the questions were shorter or I was skipping stuff. you lose all concentration grin
so i went home with a headache and slept directly to wake at 11pm then couldn't sleep till 4am next day grin
then woke early for day 2 of the exam (today)
very smooth flowing
4 blocks, 36 questions each, 45 minutes per block. the questions were shorter. more direct and more clear 'right' and 'wrong' options
the time was relaxed. finished 5-7 minutes earlier for each block
then 9 ccs cases 27 minutes per case
cases were ending in 8-12 minutes) they were all direct to the point, and you could know diagnosis easily from history. i only got one case in which the history was not coherent, the symptoms were vague and the patient did not improve all through.

so basically.. feeling good bec it is over.. score expected to be out sept 7.
i was reading the thread during my preparation and now it is my turn to benefit others.. hopefully smiling face

and the score is finally out gringrin
231/99 alhamdulillah

Edited by akuka on Sep 06, 2011 - 8:10 PM


I had my first day of exam today. Jezzzzuz christ is all I have to say...and holy frickin crap!!! I would rather sit on a frickin cactus and move side to side!!!!. It was so bad I almost passed out when I left for a break...I just had to sit down and breathe!!!!!...and I thought uworld was hard!!!! I think uworld is more straight forward to be honest!!!!

Tomorrow, OMG!!!! Day 2!!!!! I hope my experience will be like akuka's tomorrow.

Edited by meddiva on Sep 08, 2011 - 8:06 AM


OMG the questions were forever long especially in ER blocks... I prayed to see a short stemmed question in one of my blocks and there was just one which was 6 lines long...the rest, you had to scroll down the page to get the options, thats how long!!!! I finished the blocks with like 3 seconds and just had to read and choose, no time to think!!!! c'mon this is medical boards shouldn't the doctors writing these questions remember what it was like when they sat the exam and go easy on the length.. It's not like the exam day is 3 hrs ... Okay let me not ruin this it's for people who have passed and need to report their scores!!!confusedsadraised eyebrow


score 218/92
studied for 23 days
MTB 1 time
ccs cases in 3 days 1 time
uw cumulative 62%
FRED cd 82%

step1 249
step2 247



UW Qbank first time in timed and mixed: 67% average.

Besides UW Qbank and CCS, used MTB and random topics from Kaplan CK lecture notes. Messed up on one CCS case because patient did not improve till time ran out but performance on CCS was better than expected.

Also took the UWSA a week before the test, predicted score was 245.


Okay so my turn. Goodbye USMLEs.

step 3: 202/83

Prep time: 6 weeks
Based on my step 2 experience of headaches and hunger during the exam, I trained myself not to eat anything heavy ( just light snacks) between 830am and 5pm ( I lost 5 lbs). I also popped 2 pain killers BEFORE sitting the exam, just incase....

All I had was 6 weeks and therefore I read MTB in everything but psychiatry. I used only uworld for psychiatry. I also did not complete peds in MTB so I relied on uworld.

Since IM is the badboy of the exam I gave alot of my time on it, starting with my weak areas first. Never touched biostats and never read ethics...I guess I see why my exam experience so such a terror. read above.

My strategy was to be able to do well on the high yield areas first and complete the others last but I ran out of time to do the low yield ones.

uworld: 68% once...had no time to do over all of my wrong ones.
Book: MTB3 once
ccs: did 52 cases once ...just read them, I ran out of time.
Kaplan qbank: did only 2 blocks: scores 58 and 60%...ran out of time to complete.

I would say I completed 75% of the material required to know for this exam and I do NOT advise this....

Exam above.... headache and hunger was never a problem. Insomnia was, as it was throughout my 6 week study.
Regained those 5 lbs today....sadly lol

Day 2 of exam was better than day 1 and all my patients improved in cases ( I am not saying the cases, u know why)...none of the cases were from uworld though!!!!

I am happy that I passed. My initial aim was to get over 200 and I am frickin floating on cloud 9.

This is my last post here.

Goodbye USMLEs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I did not take nbme or any other tests... I was afraid to do so.


meddiva wrote:
I did not take nbme or any other tests... I was afraid to do so.

Thanks for the detailed info!
Congratulations... ENJOY!

HOw many hours per day did you dedicate for your prep┬┐


Studied for about 4 months while working full time.

Books: Ayala's Boards and Wards, some Crush, a bit of First Aid, and the wonderful Arlete's Notes.
USMLE World: 57% cumulative after completing all questions then repeated about half of the wrong ones.
USMLE World CCS: All 52 interactive cases, and almost all the written ones. I glanced the rest.
NBME: 300 shocked (5 days before original exam date)

UWSA: 440 raised eyebrow (4 days before original exam date)

After thoroughly pooping my pants, I managed to postpone the test 2 more weeks

Final score: 192/78 confused (arrived 3 weeks after test)

THANK YOU to all that have posted in this thread. If it wasn't for the info here I wouldn't have postponed it and surely would have failed.


Karime I studied for 10-12 hours a day.


I satrted preparing since march but it was on and off because I have a baby girl.But during the last two month with the help of my wonderful hausband,my sister in law I spend more time on preparation.I read Kaplan step 3 for internal med,almost three time,for peds,ob gyn and surgery and psychiatry,I am myself confused ,some from CK book and some topics from Kaplan step 3.Because I got my kaplan 3 books late.I reviewed MTB almost 3 time,Uw almost 3 times and some topics from jason,and kaplan q bank.
UW first time was around 58
2nd time was 63 ,and then I just reviewed the wrong Qs
UWSA 460,predicted my score around 207
Then I did my first review,and took NBME,Surprisingly it was 207 again.
I decided to take the exam,But the only days available were in the next 10 days .
And i Took the test.First day the first 4 blocks were pretty good,but I was getting more tired and the Qs more difficult.2nd dayI had both very short and very long Qs.Most of CCS cases were straight forward,UW is enough for this part.
And here I am,done with usmle ,my score is not very impressive (213,89)but I feel happy.Ihope it helps me to get a couple of IVs. 

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