Comparing Step 3 Review Courses

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • For students looking for a Step 3 prep course, we breakdown some of the available options.

    Step 3 is the third “step” in the sequence of the USMLE exams. Passing it, along with Step 1 and Step 2 CK, is required to obtain a license to practice medicine without supervision in the United States. The USMLE Step 3 exam is a 2-day exam, heavily focused on the application of medical knowledge towards effective patient management and health care.

    From the USMLE website:

    • “Step 3 assesses whether you can apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine, with emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings… Step 3 content reflects a data-based model of generalist medical practice in the United States. The test items and cases reflect the clinical situations that a general, as-yet undifferentiated, physician might encounter within the context of a specific setting. Step 3 provides a final assessment of physicians assuming independent responsibility for delivering general medical care.”

    To prepare for the Step 3 exam, some medical students opt to take a Step 3 review course. Step 3 review courses typically contain practice questions and explanations, practice exams, videos, and progress tracking, but offerings differ between providers.

    Here at Cram Fighter, we keep track of the most popular Step 3 resources we see our customers adding to their Step 3 study plans. Most of our customers utilize the qbank from UWorld, the clinical videos from OnlineMedEd, Step 3 flashcards from Anki, and a few books such as Master the Boards USMLE Step 3 and First Aid for the USMLE Step 3. However, we do see some Step 3 review courses appear in our list of top resources.

    Step 3 Resources

    Our Feb. 2021 rankings of the Step 3 study resources we see our customers adding to their study plans.

    Doctors In Training Step 3 Review Course

    Currently (as of Feb. 2021), the two parts of the Doctors In Training Step 3 Review Course are ranked in the top 15 of our customers’ most-added resources for Step 3 study plans. This review course costs $249 and includes Part 1: Clinical Questions and Part 2: Video Series, along with a Step 3 Study Guide which provides diagrams, study hints, and quizzes to accompany both Parts.

    According to the product website, the 370 questions in Part 1 are arranged into sets by specialty, and cover a variety of clinical scenarios and diseases. Part 1 includes video explanations after each set. Part 2 offers 39 videos, each about 20 minutes long. The videos cover commonly-tested clinical topics including Neonatal Respiratory Distress, Syncope, Amenorrhea and Hematuria. In total, the two Parts of the DIT Step 3 Review Course offer 500 questions to help reinforce important concepts. The DIT Step 3 Review Course does not include a full-length practice exam, but offers unlimited access to the Part 1 questions until the date of your exam, and 45 days of access to the Part 2 videos after you start viewing them. More details on this course can be found on the DIT product page.

    Kaplan USMLE Step 3 Courses

    Another review resource that is in the top 20 of Cram Fighter customers’ Step 3 study plans, and has also earned a 5-star rating on Crush the USMLE, is the Kaplan USMLE Step 3 course. Kaplan offers 2 options for Step 3 review: an on-demand course that you can take at your own pace, or a course with live faculty-led, scheduled lectures.

    First, according to Kaplan’s site, the Kaplan Step 3 On Demand Course is priced at $799. This course is a self-study program which allows students to watch the included 100+ hours of videos at their own pace. The course also includes a 900-question qbank with full explanations, along with a diagnostic exam to get insight into your strongest and weakest topics, and 5 assessment exams so you can monitor your progress as you use the course.

    The second option is Kaplan’s Step 3 Live Online Prep Course, priced at $1699. On top of the qbank and exams mentioned above, the Live course includes 100+ hours of scheduled online lectures presented by experienced faculty, along with over 100 hours of videos available on demand. While lectures are in session, students can live-chat to interact with faculty. Students who purchase this course are also assigned a personal Medical Advisor who will help them with a plan for getting the most out of the course.

    Crush the USMLE offers more detailed information about the differences between the Step 3 review courses you may be choosing from. Keep an eye on our list of top Step 3 resources to learn more about what our customers are adding to their study plans, and check our list of currently supported Step 3 resources so you know which ones you can add to your Cram Fighter Step 3 study schedule. If you don’t see the resource you chose, no worries! We can add almost any Step 3 resources our customers need. Just drop us a note to inquire.

    When you’re ready to build a personalized Step 3 study plan that will keep you on track before the USMLE Step 3, sign up here to try Cram Fighter free for 7 days.

    About the Author

    Erica Forrette is the former Director of Marketing at Cram Fighter.