Read about how I prepared for the USMLE Step 2 CK test

An Account of My USMLE Step 2 CK Test Prep and Experience

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.

It took me three weeks to know that I passed the USMLE Step 2 test. I was able to get a month off from rotations in order to study and I planned an intensive schedule. If you don’t have as much time, you need to study a bit every day.


  1. UWorld: Attempting practice questions is the best way to prepare for Step 2 CK because you learn about the types of questions asked and you discover your weak topics. I maintained a SmartBook to keep track of this information. During my M3 year, I tried to complete UWorld subject by subject as and when I did the corresponding clerkship. I couldn’t always do this so I planned to complete the whole question bank during my preparation time and have time left to review it.
  2. Master the Boards: I reviewed MTB when I got overwhelmed by the questions. This book has high yield information and is concise while covering all the important topics.
  3. SketchyPharm: This helpful program has visual memory aids and word associations to retain important concepts in pharmacology. I wish I had started earlier so that I had enough time to review everything.


I spent 6 weeks studying for Step 2 CK, in which I had to give up 1 week to taking Step 2 CS. I made a rigorous schedule for the portions I would cover each day in order to stay on track. Before I wrote Step 2 CS, I made a timetable for the daily cases I would read from First Aid for Step 2 CS.

You can make a flexible timetable for each week if it works for you and you need more time for certain topics.

General tips:

  • Trust your gut instinct: I was influenced by the way my peers were studying for Step 1 but I realized that it didn’t work for me. For Step 2, I knew that I couldn’t read a book for hours so I focused on answering questions along with reviewing material.
  • Plan ahead: Before you start preparing, make a workable plan and stick to it so that you can cover all the important material.
  • Don’t hesitate to change your test date: I thought I could prepare for the test comfortably with a month off from rotations, but the week that I spent on Step 2 CS messed up my preparations. So, I rescheduled my Step 2 CK test for a date three weeks later. This helped me complete studying properly and write the test with confidence.

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