I sat for my last exam of medical school yesterday–the Step 2 CK. Unfortunately all the rumors were true. That was a tough exam. Not only are they testing your clinical knowledge, but also your mental stamina. For those who are unfamiliar with the layout of the exam here are a few details. It’s about a 9-hour exam with 45 minutes of break time incorporated. You can score an extra 15 mins of break time if you skip the tutorial, which I highly recommend if you’ve taken practice NBME’s in the past. The only thing I’d recommend performing in the tutorial is the sound check to make sure your audio works.
The test itself is broken down into eight individual blocks with 40 questions per block. You get roughly 60 mins per block. This is a recent change that occurred within the last few months. Some blocks will only be 38 questions due to longer literature review questions. If you see a block of 38 Q’s expect a literature review, and make sure you’re spending your time appropriately. These are definitely time drainers. Some helpful advice when tackling these questions are to read the question first, then go to the article. Sometimes the question can be answered without even reading the literature. If you’re in a time crunch, answer the questions to the best of your ability, then return to them for closer examination if you have time at the end. This will definitely save you some time on this block, and help you get to those easier questions.
More tips to come in Part 2.