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* Passed step 3. My experience.
  lispor87 - 10/26/17 18:58
  Hello everyone. I am a PGY-4 Radiology resident in Massachusetts (IMG on a J visa). For multiple reasons I delayed taking the Step 3 test (big mistake). I took my step 2 ck in May 2013, so it had been a long gap. I would recommend taking it prior to the start of your residency or during your intern year. Anyway, I did a surgical preliminary year in a very busy hospital in New York preceding my radiology residency, hence I did not have any time to study.

I kept postponing this test and concentrated on my residency rotations. I will be applying for IR fellowship this December, and passing step 3 would be beneficial for getting interviews. I signed up for this test in July and planned to take it in the first week of October. I requested my chief resident to put me on a light schedule and reduce my night float calls for the month of September. Being away from a clinical field for over 2 years and ck since 2013, I struggled with the usmle Q bank (low 50%). I started faring better in the mid 70% towards the end. Referred to MTB for Peds, Ob/Gyn and Psych. Did UW again during the last week. Did UWSA 2 days before the test- 202 :(

Decided to take the test anyway, as I did not have the stamina to extend my study schedule.

Took the test on Oct 2nd and 3rd.

This is by far the worst step amongst the usmle series. Vague questions mixed with Step 1/ck and a whole lot of biostatistics and drug ads on day 1. Day 2- much better and closer to UW. CCS went ok (all patients improved before the case ended).

Got my score yesterday- 201 :( But who the hell cares. I just wanted a pass result.

Suggestions- This is not an easy test. I do not know who formulated this concept of a No.2 pencil to pass this test. Throw that pencil away and study!! I took 2 months working 7am-6pm. Had a few weekends off and 1 week of night float in that time period. But I was constantly reading or solving questions when I wasn't at work and I barely passed. You can use UW as a primary study source and just not as a Q bank. MTB or FA as an accessory study guide in subjects you are getting low % on UW.

In short, If you do the above and work on Biostats and CCS- you will not only pass this test, but get a great score (I did only 40 questions of biostatistic and 25 ccs cases from UW: bad idea, hence the low score). I wish you guys all the best. Please prepare well for this test. I took this test in a hurry to have a complete application before applying for a competitive fellowship.

Thank you for reading my post. Feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have :)
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* Re:Passed step 3. My experience.
  richa19 - 10/26/17 19:45
  congratulations and thanks for sharing your story with us!  
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* Re:Passed step 3. My experience.
  rapmle - 10/26/17 22:28
  I am an IMG, it was a while ago when I completed the MBBS. Need to complete all the steps ASAP. I heard step 3 is toughest of to start preparing for it early in the preparation. Could you let me know how you prepared for each step - what books and what are the core things to focus on, please.  
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* Re:Passed step 3. My experience.
  lispor87 - 10/27/17 13:13

I would recommend preparing well for these steps, rather than "completing them ASAP."

Step 3 was not an easy test for me, due to the reasons mentioned above. Having said that you would have to complete Step 1 and 2, to be eligible for Step 3, so I would recommend not worrying about step 3 for the time being.

I took my step 1 in 2012, so I would not be the best person to ask regarding the prep time and study resources. What I remember was UW with FA, intermixed with Kaplan notes for Step 1 and 2. (please refer to the Step 1/2 forum).

Again, do not take these tests in a hurry. Do UWSA and nbme mock tests to see where you stand prior to the actual examination.

Best of luck :)
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* Re:Passed step 3. My experience.
  lispor87 - 10/27/17 13:15

Thanks for reading my post. Hopefully it might help others to take the test early on, rather than delaying it towards the end :)
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* Re:Passed step 3. My experience.
  clearstep3thistime - 11/03/17 10:53


Did you do First Aid for step 3? Is is better than MTB?
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* Re:Passed step 3. My experience.
  lispor87 - 11/03/17 17:40
  @clearstep3thistime: I used UW as my primary study tool. Did it twice. In subjects I was scoring low on UW, like ob/gyn, psych and pedes, I used MTB. I havenít looked at FA so Iím not sure which is better. Honestly I would refrain from using too many reference books. Rather use One or two but do those well. The reason I got a low score was because I did not pay attention to CCS or biostats during my prep, due to lack of time. So please prepare well for them.  
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