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 Steps 1 & 2CK - my experience  

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Hi all! I got my Step 1 result 1 week ago and I thought I would share my experience in case it is of any help to anyone...

I graduated from a UK med school 5 yrs ago. I decided to take the USMLE exams in June, starting with Step 2CK on Sept 15th. I started work on Step 1 on the following day and took the exam on Dec 2nd, studying for 8 hrs a day every day.

1. I covered the Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Review books twice. I believe they are a good source for physiology and microbiology, too detailed for pharmacology and behavioural science and not enough for biochemistry and anatomy. The most important problem is lack of diagrams and pictures.

2. First Aid for USMLE Step 1: Although tons have been written about it, the value this book cannot be overemphasized. I read it twice and I think it is a good idea to know everything it covers in detail.

3. Kaplan Qbook: I believe these questions are as close as it gets to the real thing in terms of topics, but probably more difficult than the actual exam. I did 850 and got 70-75%.

4. USMLE 150 questions: 80-85%. These questions are exactly the type and difficulty you get in the exam.

1. I finished every block about 5 minutes before the hour. I took a 15 min break after blocks 3 and 5.
2. I can assure everyone there WILL DEFINITELY BE questions you will have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. I had at least 10 of those. Read the question twice and if you still have no idea, pick an answer and MOVE ON. Come back only if you have answered all questions and still have time to spare. This is the most useful advice I was given and it made me worry less during the exam.
3. Bring your own earplugs if you are used to wearing them and noise is a problem.

Other advice:
1. As I said, I took Step 2CK first because I had heard it was easier and I was more familiar with clinical stuff (5 yrs after graduation). I was a bit scared that a poor Step 1 result would be a bad way to start. I believe the
difference in difficulty between Step 1 and 2CK does not really exist.

2. There is a huge overlap between the two exams, esp. behavioural sciences and microbiology. So, no matter which one you chose to do first, start preparing for the next one immediately.

3. Take some time every day to exercise, as a break.

Step 1: 254/99
Step 2CK: 264/99

Good luck to everyone!


Great scores, and well done and all the best for match


awesome man your scores were awesome.....i just started a medical student ; been preparing for a while...will appear on step 1 somewhere in july....


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