What are the best study resources for preparing for Step 2? At Cram Fighter, we keep a close eye on the trends and habits of third year medical students. Below we explain what we have learned from our users. Here are three tips for choosing resources for your Step 2 study plan.
Use a Question Bank
Use a question bank during your rotations and during your dedicated USMLE Step 2 study period. The most popular question bank is UWorld, with over 77% of students using it for Step 2 studying.
“After a long day on rotations, I felt coming home and having to read would have been too much,” said Pavan, a student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem. “Instead, I did flashcards and questions. I would use Memorang every day. Using Cram Fighter, I was able to know how many questions I needed to do everyday. Early on I was only doing 10 or 15 a day.”
Caroline S., a medical student at Texas A&M, used UWorld from the beginning of third year. “Step 2 is heavy on Internal Medicine,” she said, “So I started using UWorld Internal Medicine questions early on.”
Flashcards, such as Anki, are also commonly used to prepare for Shelf exams and Step 2 during rotations.
Supplement Your Question Bank with a Textbook
During rotations, read from textbooks that help you understand the concepts you encounter when you are doing questions. For example, you might read from Dr. Pestana’s Surgery Notes in preparation for your surgery Shelf. Go to cramfighter.com/stats to see the most popular resources for studying for each Shelf.
For Step 2, students typically use UWorld and a textbook or two. Which textbook they choose depends on their personal preferences. Here you can find one redditor’s discussion of the best supplemental textbooks for Step 2. We find that Master the Boards USMLE Step 2 CK is the most popular textbook to use. However, over the last seven months, OnlineMedEd has surpassed First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK and Step-Up to Medicine. Almost one third of third year medical students now use OnlineMedEd to study for Step 2.
Studying for Shelf exams and Step 2, all while managing a rotation schedule, can be pretty hectic. One medical student at Tulane University told us that “With changing work hours on rotations every day, it became especially important to have a system that was organized, efficient, and flexible. Cram Fighter helped me set up catch up days as often as necessary, build in vacation time, and rebalance my schedule if I got behind.”
After a long day on rotations, I felt coming home and having to read would have been too much. Instead, I did flashcards and questions. Using Cram Fighter, I was able to know how many questions I needed to do everyday.
Pavan, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Harlem
To find out more about how long students are studying for Step 2, how many questions they are assigning, and which resources they are using, go to cramfighter.com/stats.