Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support! In this post, he provides his top tips on how to study, prepare, and pass the USMLE Step 2 CS exam which students take towards the end of medical school.
And even though you can take it again if you fail, clearing it the first time around gets closer to your goal of a medical career! Familiarity with the scoring system and pattern for Step 2 CS can help you plan your study effectively. This assesses your command of the spoken English language, measuring clarity, pronunciation, word choice, and how easily patients can understand your questions or statements.
This assesses your skills in terms of collecting and interpreting data during physical exams, and rates the content on the Step 2 CS patient note you feed in after the physical exam. This assesses your communication and soft skills, including how well you provide information to patients, whether you put them at ease, helped with making decisions, etc.
Relying on too many study resources will just leave you overwhelmed. The only primary resources you really need are mentioned in the following tips! This book includes detailed sample test cases for every major disease in America, perfect for practicing with other students. Get it here. Rather than practicing over a video chat or phone call, work on sample test cases in person with other medical students, family members and friends.
This way, you can try out your communication and interpersonal skills before facing standardized patients during the actual test. Since the official test will be timed, with 15 minutes allotted to interacting with the patient and another 10 minutes for typing your note, practice with the same limits. Using a timer to simulate the real exam will help you develop a focused approach, manage time better, and beat stress. Instead of skipping mini cases, read them as often as possible and go over them again a few days before the exam.
Create a template and use it with every practice case, and either search for Blue Sheet mnemonics online or create your own to help you memorize which details need to be recorded. During physical exam practice sessions, ask your partner to wear a hospital gown or robe so you can seek permission for lowering, untying and shifting the gown. Treat your practice sessions the same way you would the official test, by building a doctor-patient relationship during each case.
Typos and errors will be penalized, so use the official USMLE note template and a timer after each case to practice typing patient and case details. To prepare for the real thing, select 12 sample cases you found most difficult and perform them a few days before the exam, with the same time limits and allotted breaks that you would face on exam day.
There you have it! Comment below if you have any questions. Below you can learn more info about Eric and how you can get in contact with him for more assistance.
He has a BA from a liberal arts college in the northeast, where he majored in the theatrical arts and business he credits the first for his ability to simulate real patients.
When the Phillies are in town, Eric considers it his duty to support his home team. Design by TheMDJourney.Our step 1 course will excite you. Then, it will enlighten and empower you!
How To Study and Pass The USMLE Step 2 CS On Your First Try (Top 11 Tips)
We completely review the basic medical sciences in an organ system based format. More importantly, we show you how to apply them to endless clinical situations. Our Step 2 program is not like that of any other program. We understand that in order to reason out the abnormal, you first have to understand the normal.
We teach you how to take that information and apply it to the abnormal, from making the diagnosis to understanding the management of the illness.
USMLE™ Step 2 CS
You will sit through the same lectures and learn the same information with the addition of a few provided OMM resources. Both tests are primarily compromised of all the basic medical sciences so mastering this information is the key to passing both. The Board Certification Program is done on a case by case basis. However, the areas of medicine that we are willing to accept include Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and Emergency Medicine. Any physician who is interested in assistance with board certification will be referred to Dr.
He will then contact that physician, discuss their needs in passing their exams, and then outline what PASS Program will do to help them succeed. The PASS Program is now willing and able to offer a service that it had not been able to offer in the past. We will provide the faculty and staff.
What Makes Us Different. Number of Students Helped. Please call our office for more details.
Our Partnerships.However, now that more residency programs require students to record a passing score, many US medical schools recommend students take Step 2 CS in the fall of their senior year.
The USMLE Step 2CS exam consists of a series of patient encounters in which the examinee must see standardized patients SPstake a history, do a physical examination, determine differential diagnoses, and then write a patient note based on their determinations.
The topics covered are common outpatient or Emergency Room visits which are encountered in the fields of internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. Examinees are expected to investigate the simulated patient's chief complaint, as well as obtain a thorough assessment of their past medical history, medications, allergies, social history including alcohol, tobacco, drug use, sexual practices, etc.
Usually, examinees have one telephone encounter, speaking to an SP through a microphone during which there is no physical exam component. Examinees are allowed 15 minutes to complete each encounter and 10 minutes for the patient note for a single patient encounter. The patient note is slightly different from a standard SOAP note.
For the exam note, the examinees will document the pertinent facts relating to the history of present illness as well as elements of the past medical history, medication history, allergies, social history, family history, and physical exam. The examinees will then state up to 3 differential diagnoses relating to the simulated patient's symptoms, and tests or procedures to investigate the simulated patient's complaints. Over the course of an 8-hour exam day, the examinees complete 12 such encounters.
Examinees are required to type patient notes on a computer. That was considered a double standard in the US medical licensing process. Each of the three subcomponents must be passed in a single administration in order to achieve a passing performance on Step 2 CS.
This exam can be taken in the U. However, the test garnered criticism for its high exam fee and need to travel to one of five testing sites. Even before the exam was rolled out, the American Medical Association raised serious concerns with the exam, both because it failed to provide students feedback and room for remediation and because there was no proof the exam actually accomplished its mission of protecting the public.
This process was to be guided, in part, by an analysis of information gathered from stakeholders, and was to result in recommendations to USMLE governance. The CEUP worked from to early The CEUP's final report states that "none of the feedback received from other stakeholders seemed to indicate that USMLE is broken, but there was considerable interest in enhancing and improving the program. On the issue of mechanics and costs, CEUP recognized that USMLE must be very attentive to the burden put on examinees by this testing format and that the impact on examinees must be considered when proposing future directions.
Concerning the skills measured by Step 2 CS, there seemed to be legitimate concerns about content. Many people wanted to see the exam begin to assess whether the examinee can detect and interpret abnormal findings and handle challenging communication issues. There was a frequently expressed sentiment that this exam was ripe for enhancement and that many of the more advanced communication skills and other competencies could be assessed through this vehicle.
It is also recommended that the administrative challenges and costs to examinees as-sociated with related testing formats be given substantial weight in the consideration of future changes.
Inan article published in the New England Journal of Medicine raised concerns about the value of the exam. They fail to fully consider the long-term effect of this assessment program on patient safety and satisfaction, societal expectations, and effective medical education.
Since the petition opened, it has collected over 19, signatures from medical students and physicians from all over the country. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Retrieved Clinical Skills CS.Every medical professional seeking to obtain a residency position in the United States must demonstrate their ability to provide safe and effective patient care under supervision similar to the work of an intern during the first year of residency. Of the 12 standardized patient encounters, only 10 predetermined stations count toward the final grade.
A failing score in any of the components will result in Step 2 CS failure! No numerical score or graphic representation of your performance will be shared with residency programs. While USMLE Step 2 CS traditionally has very high pass rates for US medical students, the exam recently underwent a change in performance standards that affects examinees taking the exam after September 10, Under the new standards, the overall pass rate has dropped by approx.
Plan ahead! Test dates fill up very quickly, especially in the summer months, and score reporting can take up to 3 months.
After August 1there are often only a few test dates available before the rest of the year! Unless you have a good reason to delay your application, apply early for your scheduling permit and book an exam date. Rescheduling without any charge is possible up to 15 days before the exam. It is absolutely normal to feel a little nervous and uncomfortable on your test day. Stick to your usual routine to minimize distractions. After every third patient encounter, you will get a break and the opportunity to use the restroom.
During the lunch break, the test center will provide you with food, drinks, and snacks! Do not talk to your fellow examinees about any of the exam content during breaks! Do not speak any language other than English! During the exam, every examinee sees 12 standardized patients who simulate common medical conditions seen in various healthcare settings e.
No physical examination is possible. The physical examination section of the patient note can be left blank. Caregiver scenarios The examinee interacts with a patient caregiver e. Skill demonstrations Tasks include performing sensitive physical examinations on models or mannequins e. Tablet encounters The examinee is presented with a digital image on a tablet e.
Communication scenarios Tasks may, e. Score components Of the 12 standardized patient encounters, only 10 predetermined stations count toward the final grade. The exam is graded based on three core components. Score report Scores are released during a 4—5-week reporting period following each testing period. Depending on the date of the exam ;scores can therefore be reported up to 13 weeks after the test date.
The score report will feature a graphic representation of the performance range for all three exam components. There is no numerical score. Only the information about passing or failing the exam will be shared with residency programs. Almost all residency programs require a passing score by the time candidates start applying for residency September 15 th of each year. Take the exam before July 15 th of the year you intend to apply for residency.
Register with the right organization see table below. Dates are often booked out up to 6 months in advance. Look for an appointment about half a year before your desired test date and reserve it. Appointments can be rescheduled free of charge up to 15 days before the exam.
If you are studying with another exam candidate, take turns playing the standardized patient. Write the patient note after every encounter. You must now leave the room.It is structured around three components:.
To pass the Step 2 CS exam, you must essentially get through all of these components separately. Therefore, balanced preparation is crucial. This is how she prepared for the exam. One of the main things that helped me was to study with a partner. While preparation time is different for each individual, my study partner and I spent around 15 hours per week for weeks studying for the exam.
Finding the perfect resource was difficult because all of them had drawbacks. The First Aid and Kaplan books posed some problems, since my study partner and I had to look up additional information elsewhere, and neither resource included multimedia materials.
UWorld did not offer an app, which was problematic when I wanted to get in some extra study time on the go. It is important to time yourself while practicing. If you practice all of your cases with a timer, you will have one less problem to worry about on the day of your exam.
How to (potentially) find out your USMLE Step 2 CS score early
After I practiced all of the long cases with a partner, I made note cards for my second round. Once I completed all of my note cards, I shuffled them and had my partner pick cases randomly.
Writing down some mnemonics for the most important questions and jotting down differential diagnoses related to the chief complaint will make you feel more organized and confident in front of the patient and will save you time when you write the patient note later on. On the day of the exam, you have tons of information to transfer from your blue sheet and type it up within 10 minutes.
Right after you complete each practice case, I recommend timing yourself while typing up the information as quickly and accurately as possible.
This will help you get acquainted with the positions of punctuation on the keyboard e. The possible causal factors are then narrowed down through a systematic collection of information, which makes some diagnoses more likely and rules out others. The goal of differential diagnosis is to systematically collect information on the pattern of symptoms to allow you to accurately diagnose what is causing them. Having someone else quiz you on differential diagnosis tables or challenging yourself by covering up part of the information is really useful.
Study differential diagnoses from the very beginning of your Step 2 CS prep period, and follow up days before you take the exam to keep them fresh in your mind. Because the Step 2 CS exam is most closely aligned with the role that medical students actually fill during clinical rotations, many test-takers assume the test will be easy and fail to prepare sufficiently. Use these strategies to succeed on your upcoming Step 2 CS exam. Want to know more about Step 2 CS?
Sign up for a free account to access Step 2 CS-specific cases that are as or more difficult than what you will see on the actual exam. Make a study schedule and stick to it. There are many resources available for creating study plans. Share this Post:. Related posts you might like. Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook.Before you apply for any of the three steps of the USMLE, you must become familiar with the bulletin. Step 2 of the USMLE assesses the ability of examinees to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision, and includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
Step 2 ensures that due attention is devoted to the principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills that provide the foundation for the safe and effective practice of medicine. Step 2 CS uses standardized patients to test medical students and graduates on their ability to gather information from patients, perform physical examinations, and communicate their findings to patients and colleagues. Important: If you do not bring acceptable identification, you will not be admitted to the test.
In that event, you must pay a fee to reschedule your test. Your rescheduled test date s must fall within your assigned eligibility period. Each test center contains locked storage. You will be able to place personal items that you might need during breaks or during the exam at your seat in the orientation room.
Luggage may not be stored in the center. There are no waiting facilities for spouses, family, or friends; plan to meet them elsewhere after the examination. The only acceptable differences are variations in capitalization; the presence of a middle name, middle initial, or suffix on one document and its absence on the other; or the presence of a middle name on one and middle initial on the other. Please bring only necessary personal items with you to the center.
You may not possess pens, cellular telephones, watches of any type, pagers, personal digital assistants PDAstwo-way communication devices, or notes or study materials of any kind at any time during the examination, including during breaks.
These items must be stored during the examination. If you have a medical need for an item during your USMLE administration, a list of approved personal items is available. Bulletin: Testing contains more information about the rules and regulations during the test. Wear comfortable, professional clothing and a white laboratory or clinic coat. The proctors will cover with adhesive tape anything on the laboratory coat that identifies either you or your institution.
The time you should arrive at the test center is listed in the Confirmation Notice you will print after scheduling your appointment. You cannot discuss the cases with your fellow examinees, during breaks or at any time. Conversation among examinees in languages other than English about any subject is strictly prohibited at all times, including during breaks. Test center staff will be with you to monitor activity.
To maintain security and quality assurance, each examination room is equipped with video cameras and microphones to record every patient encounter.
The USMLE program retains the right to remove any examinee from the examination who appears to represent a health or safety risk to the standardized patients or staff of a clinical skills evaluation center. This includes, but is not limited to, examinees who appear ill, are persistently coughing or sneezing, have open skin lesions, or have evidence of active bleeding.
Examinees who are not feeling well are encouraged to seek medical advice prior to arrival at the center and, if consistent with medical advice, should consider rescheduling the date of their examination.
This can be done at the website of your registration entity. Clinical skills evaluation center staff monitor all testing administrations for the Step 2 CS examination. You must follow instructions of test center staff throughout the examination. Failure to do so may result in a determination of irregular behavior.It is used to demonstrate that a student has the foundation necessary for practicing safe and competent medicine. While the pass rate for the Step 2 Clinical Skills is traditionally very high for US medical students, the test recently underwent a change in performance standards that affects students and graduates who take it after September 10, The CS exam is one day long and is made up of 12 standardized patient encounters and possibly some supplemental multimedia content.
In general:. Students will be graded on and must pass all three of the following areas in order to pass the Step 2 CS exam:. Traditionally, Step 2 CS study resources are in paperback form, with few robust digital options available. Below is a list of popular options amongst students preparing for the exam:. Until recently, alternatives to books have included classes offered by some medical schools, expensive in-person classes, and minimal digital resources only offering a few cases.
However, newer, more thorough online platforms have recently become available to help students study for the Step 2 CS. What You Need to Know to Prepare. Learn More. Plan to take the CS 2 before July 15th in the year you intend to apply for residency.
Make sure you register with the correct organization. Refer to the Step 2 CS calendar and book an appointment early, as dates for the Step 2 CS are usually booked up to 6 months in advance. Look for an appointment about half a year before you want to take the test and grab it you can reschedule free of charge up to 15 days before the exam. Taking the Step 2 CS Exam. In general: Each encounter includes 15 minutes for a history, a physical exam, and patient counseling.
Each encounter also includes 10 minutes for writing a patient note, which consists of a differential diagnosis and workup. You will receive two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute break for lunch.USMLE Step 2 CS Cases - Chest Pain and Hypertension - LEAN Patient Experience
Students will be graded on and must pass all three of the following areas in order to pass the Step 2 CS exam: 1.