Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Step 3 CCS tips & Frequently Asked Questions

This post is all about how to study for CCS.

How to study for CCS?
Use the UW software. It is more than enough.

Should I do Archer videos?
They are just 5 videos and are not mandatory to do. It's just that most students do not know how to fast forward the clock, change location, etc. and Archer does a pretty good job at explaining it. (I might do a video later!)

Should I opt for softwares other than UW?
It is not necessary because UW has just enough. Other softwares might train you to do "extra" unnecessary orders which maybe sub-optimal in the real exam because there is not enough time to do everything.

MUST DO before the real exam: Practice the CCS cases on the usmle.org website. You have to be comfortable with the software and the different orders available.

Are the words you type in for "diagnosis" and "reason for consultation" scored? 
No.  How do I know? I asked them here http://www.usmle.org/contact/?id=3

CCS tip: If you don't know what to order, if you're having a brain freeze or you simply can't remember a drug name then just try typing in the diagnosis in the order sheet.

Suppose you forget drugs for asthma - you type "asth" and brand names for asthma show up and you get extra orders!

Asthma care teaching

Similarly for volvulus, intusussception, aortic dissection, etc you get the respective repair orders :)

The key to a high score - 
Everyone scores the same in MCQs, the CCS counts: How do I know this? People who fail step 3 / score poorly have a history of poor CCS preparation / messed up case during exams regardless of the baseline step 1 and step 2 CK scores. I studied with a bunch of close friends, I knew their previous scores, step 3 preparation and mistakes they made during their exam. So if you want to score a 240+ (regardless of your previous scores), STUDY FOR CCS PROPERLY.

Time management on day 2: Even though break time seems limited comparatively on day 2, it's a lot. CCS cases end early and you have the 7 minute CCS tutorial, which means lots of break time! So use break time during the MCQs lavishly and don't worry about the CCS, you'll have enough break time.

Have any other questions? Let me know!


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