How to Choose the Right USMLE Step 2 Resources

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • We share our statistics on Step 2 study plans and how Cram Fighter users choose resources to prepare for Step 2.

    Choosing resources for the USMLE Step 2 CK is a unique challenge. Your third year consists of rotations, which inherently means long days and new experiences on a regular basis. Studying from Step 2 materials during this hectic time can be difficult, but it ultimately pays off when you begin to approach your exam date. Below we list advice for using resources during your third year. Plus, we explain some Cram Fighter statistics on Step 2 study habits, which we’ve learned by examining trends in our customers’ study plans.

    Revisit Resources from Rotations

    “I recommend using UWorld to review all of the material from your rotations,” said University of Florida medical student Hazel Asumu. “You will want to choose other resources to study from during each rotation, and then you will want to revisit them when you are ready to study for Step 2. For example, I have heard a lot of students say they use PreTest Pediatrics for that rotation.”

    On average, we find students study for 62 days with Cram Fighter before taking Step 2

    Cram Fighter Stats Team

    Detailed vs. General Resources

    Hazel distinguished between more general study materials and more detailed study materials. “For your weaker subjects, you want to use a more detailed resource,” said Hazel. However, you will also want to find a general resource to give yourself an overview of Step 2’s content. Supplement this general resource with more detailed resources that you used during rotations. “I certainly recommend UWorld. I also used First Aid for the USMLE Step 2,” said Hazel. “In my opinion, First Aid is useful because it is not too detailed, but not too vague. I also the OnlineMedEd lecture series. It’s not very in-depth, but it makes a great quick review of a lot of topics.”

    We find that 73% of students use UWorld to study for Step 2. Students schedule 2200 questions on average during their Step 2 study plan. The most popular book is.Master the Boards with 40% of students scheduling this resource. 24% of students use First Aid for the USMLE Step 2. Other comparably popular resources include OnlineMedEd, USMLE Step 2 Secrets, and Step-Up to Medicine. To see a complete list of the most popular Step 2 resources, check out our stats page.

    How long should my dedicated study period be?

    On average, we find students study for 62 days with Cram Fighter before taking Step 2. The top three most popular dates for taking the exam are (from most to least popular) July, August, and June. To see a complete list of the most popular months, click here.

    About the Author

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