You’re done with Step 1. Congratulations! But you’re not done yet. There are plenty more where that came from. Get ready for Step 2-CE. (For the rest of the article, whenever I talk about Step 2, I am referring to CE, the “written” exam.)
Remember the saying? It takes 3 months to prepare for Step 1, 3 weeks to prepare to Step 2, and 3 days to prepare for Step 3.
Well, for me, it was partly true. It took me about 4 or 5 weeks to prepare for this exam. That is much shorter than the 6 months I spent preparing for the first one. Thank goodness.
When Will You Take It?
You should take this exam right after the end of your third year. Personally, I took mine as soon as I could — in the beginning of July. You do not want to wait too long, because residencies will use your Step 2 score to determine how badly they want you.
If you take the boards too late, it could screw up your chances for matching!
The latest I would take the exam is in September. Your score should then be available in October, which is around the interview season.
And anyways, the sooner your finish the darn test, the more you can enjoy summer. It would totally suck if you had to spend July, August, and September studying.
What Will Be on the Test? (What Resources Should You Use?)
Everything will be on the exam.
(I haven’t confirmed it yet, but I have a strong suspicion that Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 all pretty much come from the same question bank.)
It is kind of silly for me to list all the basic medical sciences and the all the medical sub-specialties. So this is what I’m gonna do … I’m gonna tell you what resources you should know inside and outside:
- First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 – know your basics!
- Pathoma – know your basics!
- OMT Review – know your basics!
- Board Review Series Microbiology flash cards – know your basics!
- Board Review Series Pharmacology flash cards – know your basics!
- Master the Boards USMLE Step 2 CK (MTB 2)
- Master the Boards USMLE Step 3 (MTB 3)
- Rapid Interpretation of EKG’s
Alright, I admit. That seems like a lot of stuff to know. But half of them should be a quick review — things you should have already learned last year. The only new resources are the bottom three.
Remember. Know everything.
How Is the Exam Scored?
It is scored like COMLEX Step 1. I hate re-typing the same thing, so if you need a refresher, go check it out.
How Long Is COMLEX Step 2-CE?
It is as long as COMLEX Step 1. I hate re-typing the same thing, so if you need a refresher, go check it out.
(Personally, it took me a little over 5 hours to finish. It’s not too bad. I thought it was a lot easier than the first exam.)
How Much Will COMLEX Step 2-CE Cost?
Way too much. I’m guessing it was more than $520.
For things you gotta watch out for, check out the COMLEX Step 1 section (see the previous link). They’re pretty much the same.
More About COMLEX Step 2-CE
How to Study for COMLEX Like a Rockstar
You seriously cannot miss this section. I reveal loads of study techniques to rock the COMLEX without rote memorization. This is my personal study technique to effortlessly pass my first 2 licensing exams. (I’ve heard that the Step 2 had one of the highest fail rates, too!) This was so good, I should have charged for it.
New! Learn how to pass COMLEX 2-PE on the first try. See here to find out more.
This article is part of The Complete Guide to COMLEX. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about the osteopathic medical board exams.