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 passed and my tips for the exam  

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i checked my oasis, saw the red screen and was very happy that finally the results were out and i passed.I gave my cs end of september and it has been a long wait.a big thank u to all in this forum who were very helpful.I think of all the exams this was very difficult to predict as a no of variables were involved in the scoring and added to that the fact that they had made changes to the scoring pattern.i had also heard of many people failing the it was really a period full of tension as one had to think abt the application process also.

I had lots of questions on how to prepare for this exam ,what to read and to be frank only once u give the exam u realise if u have read the correct stuff and know what is expected.So for those starting prep this is what i will advise.

1.uw is the best and it has everything.First aid is also good but everything it has is covered by uw.

2 First read thru the initial general stuff in first aid such as the qs for each symptom and that will give u an orientation on how things shld be done.If u have given ck then thngs move faster.

3.Just do a decent read thru the d/d given in first aid and at the same time download videos from uw and keep watching all the videos takes abt 1hr 30 min to see all of them at one slowly u will be able to pick up the language used to ask qs...

4. before u start cases just prepare a general proforma on how u will do ur cases such as the intro,pe summary conclusion which will be the same for all cases.this u can get by reading digidocs website and uw and with the two make one for urself and write it down in a paper so that u cover all the points

5. now begin with the case in uw.Start doing the cases one by one and do all of them.I took print outs of the cases as i was comfortable reading from the the end of each case try and go over it twice and see how much u remember.u can mock the exam by just talking to a soft toy so that u start doing each of them as a case.asking all qs including ones on ur proforma.if u have a study partner it would be great but u can do it without one also

6.then with each of these cases u could do one of the sample cases in first aid.and see how the patient note is written in first aid

7.key thing here is to try and retain as much in history of each case.

8 Now in the second read arrange all ur cases in system,subject and symptom order so that u have all the chest pains together and u have all cases in sets and then start revising that way and practise with a sample case from first aid.for eg if u do chest pain read all the cases from uw and focus on d/ds as that will give u the qs to ask and then practise the first aid chest pain case with someone to mock the real exam.Thsi way u will remember more,be more confident and u wont leave out any system or subject as all subject cases are in the exam.

9. i think with 3 revisions u shld be set for the exam and these can be done easily in 20- 25 days as with each read after the first the speed increases.only the first read is slow .

10 last few days bfore exam just pick up uw notes and focus more on symptom and d/ds as knowing d/d will help u ask the exam u are just going to see the age ,symptom and write d/ds and ask qs to rule out each D/d....Also rememeber to study it as for eg young female with chest pain,elderly male with chest pain and the D/d s for that,it will be useful in the exam.I think once comfortable with the qs in history towards the end just focus on symptom and D/d memorising from uw.

11. From the exam point just try and control ur nerves in the first few cases and if u have done uw well u shld be fine as it covers all the stuff one needs to know in the exam.Just do the uw stuff well.Even if in the exam on seeing the symptom on the door u re not gettin D/ds just relax go in and start talking and ask all the symptoms going from head to toe and u will find out whats wrong.i had a few cases i didnt know what was wrong and i just went on asking all the qs system wise and finally i got my answer.

12. patient note write the history well and the d/d , ix and u can read digidocs website it has lots of useful stuff

Finally u need little bit of luck and gods grace to do well in this exam on that particular day.Thank u god for being kind to me.All the best to everyone taking the exam.Now i just so badly want to get into residency,just hope it works out well.I hope this is useful to those preparing for the exam

Edited by gv5 on Feb 02, 2007 - 8:36 PM


thank you dear for your suggestions, best of luck for the match.grin

where was your exam. center?


i took my exm in philadelphia and i liked the center and the exam staff.All of them are very nice helpful and friendly and try to decrease the exam stress. Abt the exam once it starts it goes real fast and u dont know how time passes.there are two breaks and sometimes i felt if the breaks werent there i could have continued and finished faster .AS i think taking histories and exam isnt as tiring as the computer exam.....If u all have any other doubts regarding exam prep plz feel free to ask.


Thanks for valuable advice
GOOD LUCK for exam


dear gv5

do you think UW and first aid is enough as far as exam cases are concerned? or we need to read anything extra study material.


i think uw has all the cases u need for the exam and first aid has the same cases but presented in a more exam kind of format so that u could easily practise and evaluate urself with those cases...there are also some cases like counselling and explaining std lab report and other extra stuff which i am not to aware of how commonly they ask and u could see that up in the digidoc advise would be to read up uw,first aid cases,uw videos and check out few websites and forums like digdoc and u shld be fine.........

Rest i think is upto staying calm no matter what the chief complaint is on the door and just doing a proper history,d/d,ix summary and counsel...they are checking if u can ask all the right relevant qs and communicate well with the patient,u dont have to be perfect with ur diagnosis u just have to be close to it...all the best


hi, first let me tell congrats. i have few doubts about many lines the counceling should be..and does it includes the summary of pt history? and actually i dont know how to will u help me in this regard...


here is what i did during my exam....i started with the introduction,draped the patient,cc and history then wash hands then p exam......once that was done i told the patient that i was summarizing all she said and then followed that with possible D/d and ix.....once that is done asked if she had any qs and doubts...and answered if any.....then depending on the case u counsel the patient....

it doesnt have to be a big story....just as u re taking a history if u pick up she smokes alot,drinks too much u could advise abt that or if she is diabetic u could advise on lifestyle and diet changes,for depression,abuse avdise on how u could help them out ,all this stuff is given with the cases in uw what u counsel depends on ur cases and just think that in real life u see such a patient then at the end what advise u would give to them and u will know what to tell...If u still arent sure there are websites like the one by digidoc where there is a separate section on cunselling but i would say in the exam it would be difficult to say all that but instead if u just have a rough idea of what is required in ur mind then u could adjust and say a few lines for each case on ur own.See in the exam its abt trying to do as much stuff as u can in that limited time period and u may well end up doing abt 1 min of counselling but that is better than not doing it.

if u have any doubts feel free to ask.cheers


I remembered that prior to starting prep i was asking everyone abt which prep course to join and also searching online for cs courses.Abt these courses i think they are too expensive and feel that with uw and if lucky a study partner one could easily achieve more than the classes.

i never believed initialyy when people said u could do prep on ur own but now i also endorse their view.u just have to follow uw and first aid and as u prepare u can formulate ur own study pattern and u will pass.Boottomline is keep reading the cases over and over again and if u have a partner practice with them or else practice with ur relatives and friends at home

all the best




what is digidocs? can u please post the website link?



Please what exactly is uw and how can one get it?


Oborovo, UW is the USMLE world, go to


uw is as said in the previous post usmleworld where u can subscribe for the cs package and i personally feel it has all the stuff in it to pass the exam.

Digidoc is a website by user digitaldoc who answers stuff on this forum and has a website usmletomd where he discusses the cs stuff in detail


Congrad, gv. thanks for sharing the experience. good luck for the match smiling face


thanks dragonfly.i know that everyone during the start of prep have qs regarding how to go abt studying for a particular exam and i have seen that once u re done with a step u realise what the best way to prep was....i hope these posts are useful to those preparing for the exam


Congrats and very good advice.

I have my CS in 1 month. Just started yesterday .. I plan on doing only UW.

1 question - I visited the digidoc website but found it to be very clutered and full of ads. Is there any particular section that you would really recommend going thru in addition to UW?

Thanks in advance for your time.



i m happy that u found the advice useful.1 month is good time for prep.uw is very good,just try and go thru the videos as u prepare as many times as possible aand if u can get hold of first aid u could use the practise cases given in it for exam simulation...

the digidoc website...most of the stuff will be covered by uw but what u can do is towards the end of the day u could just read up the links on the left side of the page upto maybe cases,exam and mnemonics...also just go thru the counselling section so it gives u a rough idea on what to say...just use it as a guide but prepare ur own protocols depending on ur style such as for introduction,history.counselling ,conclusion

all the best


hi friends...iwanted to know theperfect site it or something else?plz reply me...can we prepare in 1.5months if i am IMG and ofcourse dont have spoken english proficiency as local students?thanks..and wish you all the best..


The main problem in passing step 2 cs is that i think we don"t know what are the criteria on which we are monitored.

my experience is that i studied for 2 weeks and the last 7 days made me pass when i met a friend who had taken the Usmlesource course. We also practiced together and found out and corrected our mistakes. so practcing is the key.

there are a few points and sp marks u
bad average good excellent

history of chief complaint (1-5 point for this depending on the cheif complaint)

pamhugsfoos each carry 1 point (so around 7 points for them)

so we have to place a lot of importence on pamhugsfoss. Usmle Source uses this approach using PAM HUGS FOSS in all the cases which is very useful

now on ur manners
1 point for knocking on door
1 point for behaviour in general ( was he nice)
1 point for washing hands
1 point for draping
1 point for asking permission before examination
1 point - were u able to understand him

and finally 1-4 points for proper physical examination( which i doubt sp knows a lot abt)

finally there is a q like do u like the doctor and will u like to visit him again

so guys u have to practice according to this. sp has to be happy with u and u should cover his points rather than being an excellent doctor.

this may sound an exagerration but i think even a non medico can pass thsi exam becuz it is not a test of ur medical knowledge but ur behavior. The Mnemonic based approach can really make the difference since most people fail in data gathering! Best of luck for you guys!

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