Step 2

Step 2 is split into two exams.

The Basics:

If Step 1 is about general sciences, Step 2 is about how you apply it into the medical setting. Step 2 is about concentrating you knowledge into the hospital setting and being able to decide what is the most likely diagnosis or what is the most appropriate next step.

Sounds easier and many students talk about how much easier Step 2 is. Avoid this thought.

Although you may find this exam being easier it actually isn't. You see, this exam is longer and the information you study is far less specific than it is in Step 1. Why? Because it's about cases, it's about the situation. You have to think the question through as it comes and each scenario is very different from others you may have studied. So avoid feeling too confident and respect Step 2.

Step 2 is divided into Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills. The word clinical tells you everything about the exam. As I said before, it's an exam dedicated to evaluate how well you take decisions and how polished your differential diagnosis system works.

The details:

Step 2 CK:

Internal Medicine

Epidemiology and Ethics
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Exam: 352 Questions divided in 8 blocks of 44 questions. Exam lasts 9 hours.

Although Internal Medicine is by far the broadest topic in Step 2, you should dominate all fields to get a competitive score.

Step 2 CS:

12 live patients, 1 patient per case, 15 minutes per patient. Exam lasts 8 hours.

Don't underestimate this exam. You need lots of live practice with your classmates to conquer this exam. Worry not, it can be done. If you're an IMG you should focus on your English proficiency and in your communication skills. Practice makes perfect, so go on and practice all the cases you can before going into the exam!

Learn How to Utterly Defeat the USMLE.