USMLE Step 2 CK study tips

Study tips for USMLE Step 2 CK Test

This is the test taking experience of USMLE Step 2 CK submitted by a USMLE test taker. You can read other USMLE takers’ experience HERE.

Firstly, I am grateful to for their help during the last three months of my test preparation. I have recently received the results of my USMLE Step 2 CK test and my score is 255.

Preparation time:

I did two and a half months of intensive study. I began preparing for the test soon after I completed the Step 1 test, in which I scored 230.

Practice tests attempted:

  • NBME-3 (1 month ahead of the test) = 221
  • NBME-4 (16 days ahead of the test) = 248
  • NBME-6 (7 days ahead of the test) = 233
  • NBME-7 (2 days ahead of the test) = 229 [This is a tough test.]

Study plan:

Books = MTB-2 and First Aid (2014) for Step 1

Question banks = UWorld [I practiced from it for 2 months. It is most important for Step 2 preparation.]

Videos = DIT (2015) for Step 2 [This is not very useful.]

Notes = I made personal notes from question banks that covered the high-yield concepts and new areas.


I began studying section-wise—I studied a chapter from MTB-2 and then attempted the related questions from UWorld. I made a note of the new concepts in the question bank along with the question numbers so that I could review them, if required. I reviewed my notes occasionally and went through First Aid (2014) for Step 1 twice.

Study tips:

  • Try to complete UWorld as early on in your preparation as possible and learn the principles involved in the questions and the answer options.
  • If you have already written the Step 1 exam, then you can use MTB-2 and First Aid (2014) for Step 1.
  • You should review the answers to the NBME practice tests.
  • The question stems are long but clinically-oriented. So you can read the entire question first and then go back to the question stem to locate the correct answer quickly.









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