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With regards to step 2, everything I mentioned for step 1 still holds. You must still lay down a good foundation by studying throughout the year, you must plan things out, and you must try to do all the question banks as well as a few mock exams. Again, I can't say I aced step 2 so I'm no guru, but I can offer you some good advice. Also, word to the wise: unlike what you may have heard, step 2 is not a pushover test that you can just pass. Take it seriously.

 

The problem with step 2 is that unlike step 1, you don't have alot of time to prepare for it (at least in our school thats the way it was). This means you will have to attack step 2 in what's called a "rolling war". In short, you will have to start preparing for step 2 from the first day of third year (the clinical rotations year in our school) to reach test day ready for battle. During our year we had about a month to fully study for step 2. That's a good amount of time but only if you have laid down the foundation first.

 

One of the best ways to preapre for step 2 is to start doing test bank questions for each of the rotation shelfs and throughout the rotation itself. This will not only prepare you for the shelf but will put down that foundation you need to do well on step 2. Of course, you will have to read the books as well so you wont have lots of time, but do try to do all the test bank questions for the specific rotation.

 

Also, every once in a while (based on your schedule) plan in a review of your previous rotations and, if you can, redo the questions in the question banks. I know there is no extra time, but I believe its actually necessary of you want to do well. There are a lot of little details in Step 2 and the only way to remember them is repetition - this is a good way to do those reviews and keep things more or less fresh in your mind.

 

Of course, before the exam itself use that free month (or however much time you have) to review everything from A to Z and do more questions. If you've already done step 1 by this point you're already a seasoned pro and so all of the above will be much easier this second time around.

 

Finally, the proper book for the USMLE Step 2 is either "First Aid for the USMLE Step 2" or "Step up to the USMLE Step 2". If you use these books, do all the question banks, and follow the above instructions you are very likely to succeed on the exam.

USMLE Step 2 Exam Tips

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