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Hello everyone!

I just got my CK score and I want to share my experience with you.

I am a non-US IMG from Europe. I couldn’t attend the Crash series because of the time zone
difference but I read most of them the next day and I want to thank everyone that made them
happen, they really stimulated me to pay more attention to details.

Step 2 CK: 260

NBME 6: 256 (590 – 2 months before exam)

UWSA 1: 273 ( 3 weeks before exam)

NBME 8: 262 (620 – 2 weeks before exam)

UWSA 2: 267 (1 week before exam)

CMS: all forms 3&4 – around ~90% on all of them

UWorld 1st pass – ~75% , 2nd pass – ~90%

Step 1: 260.

Preparation time: around 5 months – first 3,5 on and off, last 1,5 full tryhard.

Resources: UWorld, OME videos&notes, UptoDate, Step 1 FA, Pathoma, Sketchy microbiology,
Boards and Beyond for ethics and healthcare system, Step up to Medicine (not helpful for me)
I had a really rough period before starting to study for CK. I had some health issues and family
problems after getting my step 1 score, then I had illness anxiety disorder and I was depressed
for quite some time. I’m trying to say that our health and well-being should come first. It is way
more important than getting a gunner score or matching in the best hospital etc. You need to be
healthy yourself in order to be at 100% and help your patients.

1st phase of my study - ~3,5 months : 9am-6pm on and off (I didn’t study continuously, took 1
day a week off during which I did nothing related to studying.

I started by watching OME videos and reading their notes for each subject and then I did the
uworld questions system-wise + flashcards with concepts, algorithms, tabels (basically notes). So
for example I watched OME cardiology videos and then I did all Medicine – Cardiovascular
questions from UW + flashcards. At the beginning (for the first 4-5 subjects) I also tried reading
Step up to Medicine after watching the videos but I felt like it doesn’t help and that I’m just
wasting time so I stopped doing that. For Infectious diseases I used my sketchy microbiology
book – it really helped with the fungi and parasites. I also used Pathoma when I felt like I need
more information on the pathology of a system – Ob&gyn for example. After I finished my 1st
round of UW, I had around 3000 flashcards divided system-wise and subject-wise (so as I said
these were my own UW notes, I can’t study somebody else’s notes). I took NBME 6 online,
searched for the concepts of the wrong answers and took notes. After that I started the review –
2nd phase.

2nd phase of my study – ~1,5 months: 8am-8pm, sometimes even until 9-10pm and I stopped
taking days off (if you’re the type of person that doesn’t get anxiety when you’re taking days off
then I would recommend you to take a day off every weak).

1st part of the day – 8am until 2pm or 3pm.


I reset UW and I started each day by doing around 3 blocks of 40 questions. I read the
explanations of those I got wrong or marked and I made flashcards for them (the folder was
called 2nd Pass so I didn’t mix them with my 1st pass cards).

2nd part of the day – 2pm or 3 pm until 8,9 or even 10pm.


I started reviewing my OME notes and my UW flashcards (notes) - subject-wise. I tried to do a
subject each day for the shorter ones and 2 days for the longer ones – Peds, OB&Gyn. This is
when I started using UptoDate (Summaries and Algorithms) for things that weren’t clear or I
wanted more info on.
I finished 2nd pass of UW in about 25 days, I took UWSA 1 and read all the explanations.

After that I started doing CMS forms instead of UW questions and kept revising my notes
(OME, UW flashcards). I took NBME 8 after another full review and searched for the concepts I
didn’t know wherever I could.

I used First Aid Step 1 for the biochemistry zebra diseases (glucose metabolism, aminoacid
metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, lysosomal storage etc). I did a last full review of my notes
and took UWSA 2 – read all the explanations.

During the last week I reviewed the notes for my weak areas.

The day before the exam I only watched the Boards and Beyond ethics and healthcare system
(insurances and stuff) videos.

This kind of sums up my experience.

All this period I had illness anxiety and I wasn’t able to give nowhere near 100%. Maybe I
wouldn’t have studied until such late hours if I could just focus properly but it is what it is.

Things I would have done differently:


There is only one that comes to mind right now and that is UptoDate. I for sure should have used
UptoDate from the beginning. I’m not saying it is a mandatory source but it clears some gray
areas. Their algorithms and the antibiotherapy management for different diseases and surgeries
are really helpful. I know it has a lot of information but you can search really specific stuff so use
it wisely.