The USMLE, or, United States Medical Licensing Exam, refers to a set of three standardized medical exams comprised of Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3. The second of the three exams, USMLE Step 2 is unique because it is comprised of two parts: Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS). Step 2 CK is the written portion of Step 2 and intended to assess student ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical sciences. Step 2 CK also emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention. According to the USMLE website, “Step 2 CK ensures that due attention is devoted to principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills that provide the foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine under supervision.”
What is USMLE Step 2CK?
Like Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK is a very challenging test and does require significant studying. However, in comparison, Step 2 CK carries less weight in the residency interview selection and matching process than Step 1. Still, as average Step 1 scores have risen, Step 2 CK scores have become increasingly important. Taken between M2 and M3, Step 2 CK is designed like the other USMLE exams to assess the knowledge of medical students and ultimately decide if you should be allowed to proceed in your medical studies and anticipated career.
What content does USMLE Step 2CK cover?
USMLE Step 2 CK requires integrating knowledge across many different topics in clinical medicine. It covers topics on: Immune System, Blood & Lymphoreticular System, Behavioral Health, Nervous System & Special Senses, Musculoskeletal Sys/Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue, Cardiovascular System, Respiratory System, Gastrointestinal System, Renal & Urinary System & Male Reproductive, Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Puerperium, Female Reproductive System & Breast, Endocrine System, Multisystem Processes & Disorders, and Biostatistics & Epidemiology/Population Health / Interpretation of Medical Literature.
How is USMLE Step 2CK scored?
Step 2 CK is scored on a scale of 120 to 300 with the national average score for first time test takers being 242±17 (for 2016-2017). The lowest passing score for USMLE Step 2 CK is 209 (as of January 2020). Like Step 1, students who pass USMLE Step 2 CK are not allowed to retake the exam. For most students, this means you only get one shot to do the absolute best you can.
How is USMLE Step 2CK administered?
USMLE Step 2 CK is a one-day exam administered over a 9-hour testing session. There are eight 60-minute blocks of 38 to 40 questions each.
Receiving 1-on-1 help from an expert is always helpful. However, for some students, getting personalized help studying for USMLE Step 2CK is necessary in order to achieve their goals. We strongly encourage students who fit into one or more of the following categories to contact us and speak with our learning advisor to determine if tutoring is your best option for success.
- If you have previously failed USMLE Step 1 one or more times, a Step 2 CK tutor will be incredibly beneficial in setting you up for a fail-free Step 2 CK experience.
- If you have previously failed any of the NBME shelf exams especially including Medicine, Surgery, OB/GYN, and Pediatrics, you should consider a USMLE Step 2 CK tutor. Failure on USMLE related and practice exams is a strong indicator of how you are going to do on Step 2 CK. A tutor will be able to help you identify what is going wrong that is causing you to fail, and work with you to strengthen weak content areas.
- If you have previously failed USMLE Step 2 CK a tutor can work with you to come up with an action plan for passing and achieving a good score. We strongly urge you to contact us if you previously failed and are still more than 10 points from passing Step 2 CK with 8 or fewer weeks left before your next attempt.
At Risk Students
- If you historically have high test anxiety and/or are a poor standardized test taker, a couple tutoring sessions focused on strategy and wellness can be very beneficial to your success. In addition, if preparing for USMLE Step 1 was a traumatic experience for you, a tutor can help Step 2 CK prep go smoother.
- If you are more than 20 points away from passing USMLE Step 2 CK and have 8 or fewer weeks left to study, contact us immediately. By the 8 week mark, students should be at or above passing. A 20 point gap is difficult to bridge without focused help on weak areas.
- If you worked successfully with a tutor for USMLE Step 1 and found the structure and support helpful, then a Step 2 tutor can likely help you in the same way.
- If you are planning to apply into a competitive residency program or if you are trying to achieve a high score (>250) 1-on-1 tutoring is the best chance you have at accomplishing your goal.
A strong Step 2 CK score is particularly important for foreign or Caribbean medical school students, and medical students attending newer schools (less than 25 years in existence).
In addition, enjoy our Unused Hour Guarantee! All unused 1-on-1 tutoring hours are fully refundable.