Step 2 CK: Like the round 2 to Step 1, right? If you were hoping for a higher score on Step 1, you may be dreading going through the process all over again. How and what should you change? Should you study longer? Or study differently?
History is not doomed to repeat itself, and even if you may have been hoping for a better score on Step 1, that should not hold you back from confidently tackling this next exam.
First, completely eliminate from your memory the adage “2 months for Step 1, 2 weeks for Step 2, and number 2 pencil for Step 3”.
While considerable emphasis historically has been placed on Step 1, the dynamics are changing and increasingly underscoring Step 2 CK performance. It makes sense since understanding the next step in management, for example, is far more applicable to what you will do as a resident than the tricarboxylic acid cycle.
This is a good thing if you are not thrilled with your Step 1 score.
Use this opportunity to demonstrate to admissions committees your resilience and ability to self-improve, and let us show you how.
Can Step 2 CK make up for a bad Step 1 score?
It depends. There's actually no clear-cut answer, with specialties and specific residency programs placing emphasis on Step 1 over Step 2 CK and vice versa, and there's not a real consensus across the board either.
If you did poorly on Step 1, can you actually improve on that score?
Also, even if you did really well on Step 1, are you just gonna “go sit” for Step 2 CK and put that awesome Step 1 score at risk of being next to a mediocre Step 2 CK score? Probably not. In fact,chances are that if you did well on Step 1, you are still going to want to do well on USMLE Step 2 CK.