This time last year, I was anxiously trying to figure out how I was going to study for Step 2. I asked for advice from upperclassmen, consulted review books, and scoured the internet about resources and such. Yet, I felt that I still hadn’t structured my time well enough and I was still scrambling in those last few days…knowing me, I’ll be having these step exam flashbacks again once Step 3 rolls around. Here are some tips to hopefully make your Step 2 studying go more smoothly!
- When to Take It: Unlike Step 1, you will probably have a lot more flexibility in terms of when you want to take the test. Most likely, you and your classmates will be taking it all at different times, based on acting internships/sub-internships schedules and other personal factors. When deciding when you want to take Step 2, figure out how much time you plan on studying for the test and work from there. Also, keep in mind that it takes some time for scores to come back. In fact, residency programs are becoming increasingly more competitive and more and more of them are using Step 2 scores as a part of the decision-making process. If you know what programs you want to apply to, check and see if they have deadlines on when you must submit your Step 2 scores either to be interviewed or to be ranked. Whenever you take it, don’t put it off! It gets much more difficult to study for an exam after a lot of non-clinical rotations, interviewing, and just the general fourth year malaise.
- How to Prepare: There is no Bible resource for Step 2 and instead, there is a huge multitude of resources. I found it really helpful to think back to Step 1 and remember what worked for me. Consequently, I didn’t focus too much on reading and instead, I watched more video lectures and used questions as my primary mode of studying.
- How to Stay Sane: If you’re like me, you’re probably not a fan of tests. Just think of the two tests as a necessary evil and you can even make taking Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) a mini vacation. Remember, to not sweat the small stuff! You’ve definitely prepared with a year of clinical clerkships. You’ve got this!