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 Exam date: July 28th 2007  

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I took the exam yesterday (Saturday July 28th). I only ever saw this forum last week and at that time, I was looking to see if anyone took the exam in July so that I can get a feel for what the exam was life for them. So, I am returning the favor by posting my impressions of the exam,

The exam was fair and was based on the commonly studied material for Step 2CK. The majority of it was Internal Medicine, with a fair distribution of the other subjects,

Questions were pretty straight-forward and were based on very common disease that you will see in daily Hospital life i.e. diabetes, etc. There were not many "zebras" at all. You will recognize what they are asking you on most every question. Some of it was tricky, of course, but most of the material was exactly whay you would expect.
There will be questions where you simply will not know what the answer is, so just click and move on. Nobody gets 100% correct, not even the 99ers.

If I had to do it again, and I hope that I don't, I would make a list of all the common diseases and make sure that I know everything about them, including common presenting signsd and symptons, diagnostic tests and treatment options.

If you are like me and had a hard time with Step 1, this exam is NOTHING like Step 1. It is a lot less stressful and you will see many more questions that you will recognize and be able to think through.

If you have the exam in a week or so, I would suggest sitting with a review book like First Aid and knowing 90% of the book at least.

Do not freak out. This exam is not a monster.


All the best to you all.


congratulation rastaman and good luck for your score. i did step 2 on july 20 and my experiance was different from yours but i think it was also from the common diseases but with too much information , history and lab. results . what was your sources?
good luck and thanks for sharing your experiance


good luck with your score rastaman.
no offence but, what exactly do you mean by common diseases, because this whole step2 material encompassing five specialities is all about common diseases...please be specific.
all the best


Congrats and good luck with your scorewink
Also will like to know more about the common diseases....thanks.




GL rastaman...

thanx for sharing ur expsmiling facesmiling facesmiling facesmiling facesmiling facesmiling facesmiling face


Thank you to all the well-wishers. Your thoughts mean a lot. USMLE is a stressful time for all of us.

As for common diseases, well let me break it down like this:

Diabetes - DKA and treatment.
Coronary artery diease: treatment
ECG: Recognize and treat A.fib
PE: recognize and know how to treat
DIC: recognize and treat
Lung cancer: recognize type and how to treat
Gastric carcinoma: treatment
Crohn's and UC: recognize and common complications

Recognize and treat DVTs
Carotid embolisms
Stroke treatment after recent head trauma
Testicular cancer
Pancreatic CA
Hepatic encephalopathy

Placenta pravia: recognize and treat
Placental abruption
Causes of symmetrical vs assymetrical IUGR
Diabetes and pregnancy
HELLP syndrome
Neonatal sepsis

Chronic Granulomatous Disease, Fragile X and every diease of that nature. Know everything about them like you know your own name.
Rashes, rashes rashes
Slipped cap femoral
Avascular necrosis of femoral head
Ewing's Sarcoma
toxin ingestions

Sensitivity and Specificity
Narcissistic vs Histrionic vs Boderline personality
Rx for OCD
Side-effects of anti-psychotics

So basically, what I am saying is that the questions were based on stuff that you will see in the Hospitals and on the Wards. The exam itself was very tricky, and I generally had to choose between two answers. But like I said, overall, you can figure out what the questions will be since it is more or less based on more "horses" than "zebras".

I suggest writing down all the sub-headings for each Speciality eg under Int Med write down Cardio/Renal/Pul/Endocrine/HematOnco etc and write high-yield facts for each thing, diagnosis and treatment for each disease. For example, take Obsessive-Compulsive Disease. You can recognize it from the history with ease (as you will probably recognize most disease), but make sure you know exactly what to use to treat it as well as potential side-effects.

Well I hope that I was able to help at least one person with this post anyway.



I used the following sources:

Blueprints Medicine
Kaplan Medicine Notes

Kaplan Surgery Notes

Blueprints OBGYN and some Kaplan notes

Kaplan notes

Kaplan Notes

General review books:
Boards and Wards by Ayala: this book was AWESOME for rapid review in the final week
First Aid for the USMLE Step 2CK - used this all through studying

Practice Questions:
USMLE World - best source and found the exam questions to be slightly less difficult than this source. Learn all the answers that you find here.
NMS Review for USMLE Step 2: I thought that these questions were pretty good though easier and shorter than on the exam.
Kaplan Q-Book: Waste of time i.e. too easy
NBME: I used this as a learning tool and not as an assessment guide as I felt that I learnt more that way

I found it useful when doing questions to not only figure out the correct answer but to also figure out why the wrong answers were incorrect. It took a while at first, but then it became almost second-nature and I felt that I gained more from each question by studying that way.

The high-lighting tool on the exam was of tremendous use to me. If you highlight key points in the question vignette and high-light abnormal lab values, you can glance at the question again if you can't figure it out, look at your high-lighted stuff and thereby quickly try to figure out what the question wants from you.

Everytime I had a long question, I would read the last line of the question first and glance at the answers so that when it came to reading the actual question, I already knew what they were going to ask so I was better able to focus on important points in the question's stem.


Thanks for sharing your experience. Good luck on your score!
smiling face


Congrats, Really a good job
would u please guide me a little more as I am taking my step 2 Ck on 24th sept.2007.
I dont know about NBME. I dont know how to take that, how much is that worth taking it?
what i m doing is Kaplan Notes for all the subjects + Kaplan Qbook + Q bank.
Pretest for some subjects.
Planning to take USMLE world during last month.
Is that sufficient or do u recommond something more?
I appreciate ur suggestions.
Thanks again


Hi drdt,

Many people on this forum recommend the NBME practice test. You basically go to their webiste, sigh up, pay $50 and take a 4-section exam. Your score there is supposed to correlate with what you will get on the actual exam. I didn't like the NBME and I don't recommend it. But that's just my opinion.

Kaplan Q-book is a waste of your time. It's too easy. You can do it just for questions if you'd like, and you should be scoring around 80% or more on that as it's the easiest source.

USMLE World should be done througout your study and not just in the last month. It is an excellent question source that mirrors the real exam, though I found that the real exam was easier.

Some people like to study the entire course first, then do questions after. I followed the study style recommended by one of the Kaplan instructors which was to, for example, study the chapter on say Pulmonology in Int Med then do all the questions in USMLE World in Pulmonology only. I liked this menthod but everybody is different so you have to do what's best for you.


Dear Dr,

questions!!!!!! Not seen trauma under surgery and no systemic staffs under Pediatric?? Are they not common? Or they are too easy to mention ?? Anyway, your post is very nice and great and made me feel that , I can do that if those come in front of me. Thank you very much.

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