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Cracking the CCS Cases: Preparing for USMLE Step 3
Med School Tutors by Med School Tutors on Dec 14, 2020 in USMLE, USMLE Step 3

Dr. Christopher Carrubba, Sarah Godfrey, and Dr. Patrick Curtin contributed to this post. 

When it comes to Step 3, it turns out that in between the 80 hour work weeks and general adjustments to life as an intern, you’re expected to find the time to study for not one, but two days of the USMLE.

And while this is finally the light at the end of the tunnel, for most test takers it is a significant source of anxiety added to their intern year.

What’s more is that while you are a seasoned veteran when it comes to the standard USMLE questions, the CCS component of Step 3 is a whole new ballgame. However, there is some good news: With a little bit of practice, you can easily turn this unknown entity in to an opportunity to excel and boost your exam score.

So I Failed USMLE Step 3: Now What?
Med School Tutors by Med School Tutors on Nov 16, 2020 in USMLE, USMLE Step 3

Dr. David Sola-Del Valle and Dr. Taylor Purvis contributed to this post.

After surviving medical school, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS and possibly even internship and parts of residency, you have just failed the last test standing in your way of obtaining a permanent medical license: Step 3.

After so many years of studying and so many exams passed, you cannot fathom how on earth you failed Step 3. Let me assure you that you are not alone.

Many people fail Step 3 every year, especially after new changes were made to the exam format and content in recent years. There is now more emphasis on statistics and the inclusion of Step 1-esque material. If you recently failed, take a deep breath and assess the situation by asking yourself the following five questions:

Your USMLE Step 3 Study Plan

“Two months for Step 1, two weeks for Step 2 CK, and a number 2 pencil for Step 3, right?” Not exactly.

You cannot bring your own pencils into the testing facility nor would you need them. And more importantly, Step 3, though not the most crucial of the three USMLE examinations, is not an exam to disregard. It is an expensive and grueling exam that you would only wish to have to take once and is being increasingly used in the fellowship match. This outline will breakdown how to plan for the exam and what to expect as you prepare and take the test.

UPDATED – USMLE Step 3: 6 Tips to Help You Ace Exam Day
Med School Tutors by Med School Tutors on May 8, 2019 in USMLE, USMLE Step 3
Congratulations! If you are reading this, you are likely preparing to take the third and final (yes, the END is finally in sight!) United States Medical Licensing Exam! 

The two examination days are divided by content, with Day 1 focusing on basic science and Day 2 focusing on clinical science. Although both are part of the same exam, each day requires different sets of skills and preparation to successfully navigate it.

Below are the top tips and tricks pertaining to this final USMLE Step exam.

How I Scored a 258 on USMLE Step 3 While Figuring Out How to Be an Intern

By now, you’ve probably heard from everyone around you how challenging your intern year is going to be. Learning how to put in orders, dose medications, stay awake for 27 hours at a time, and just how to function when working 80 hours a week is a steep learning curve. So how are you supposed to study for another Step exam at the same time? Believe me, it can absolutely be done! You just might need to be more proactive in planning out your study time in advance.

Four Steps to Tackle a USMLE Style Question (Without Any Special Effects)

The day has finally come. You’re about to click start on your first question on the USMLE. Your breathing is rapid and your heart is fluttering, but you try to stay calm. The first question appears and you jump right in. It's a long case, which you start reading from the top... but by the time you finish, you realize you were so nervous you don’t remember anything you just read! On the next question, you try to compensate by reading with extreme attention to detail. You focus on the vital signs and lab work of a sick infant girl, trying to diagnose her illness, only to get to the end of the case and realize it’s an ethics question and the diagnosis doesn’t even matter. Now you’ve wasted more time!

If this sounds familiar, it may be time to refine your question-taking strategy on the USMLE. The following steps provide some helpful tips for best tackling a case-based question on the boards or any medical school exam.

Power Through Those USMLE Step 2 & 3 Questions in a Flash – Part Two

In my last post, I gave my first four secrets on what to look for to solve any Step 2 CK or Step 3 question stem. Now, with rotations finishing up for many students and Step 2 CK looming on the horizon, I can’t think of  a better time to share the rest!

Power Through Those USMLE Step 2 & 3 Questions in a Flash – Part One

So you’ve got Step 1 under your belt and you should be feeling pretty good about yourself. However, now that you’re preparing to take Step 2 (or 3), you may be wondering how Step 2 and 3 questions differ from Step 1, and whether you’ll need to change your approach. Not to worry! In this post, I’ll cover the techniques I teach my students for tackling question stems.

Studying for the USMLE with Friends is Not Evil!

It was January of MS2 year, and here after Christmas break, excitement for Step 1 was starting up. Within a few weeks, our administration laid out a calendar, involving one-on-one meetings with faculty to discuss our Step 1 study plans. They wanted us to have calendars built with our daily study plan for every day of our 6 week study period. While this seemed intense at the time, in retrospect, it was a necessity. After our last class in April, it was time for everyone to part ways with one another, and work through their calendars day-by-day. It was time to become very well acquainted with our new best friends, First Aid and UWorld.

4 Fool-Proof Ways to Incorporate Accountability into your USMLE Studying

I know this is a medical school blog, but I think it’s about time we talk fitness. No, I’m not about to start telling you how to get into shape. Let’s be honest, I’m still working on that myself. In fact, in recent weeks, I have found it harder and harder to accomplish my fitness goals and it got me thinking. Preparing to ace the USMLE is a lot like trying to get into shape. Both have a relatively straightforward “formula” for success. Most people know what they “have to do” for both of them, and both can be very frustrating, emotional, and full of setbacks. Let's talk about them and then go over 4 foolproof ways to hold yourself accountable while studying.

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