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The Most Popular USMLE Step 2 CK Resources for 2022

USMLE Step 2 CK, which stands for “Clinical Knowledge”, is tailored to test your ability to think like a clinician. Although cramming for Step 1 is relatively straightforward, Step 2 is somewhat trickier. It has also become more important now that USMLE Step 1 scores have been eliminated, because USMLE Step 2 CK performance is now the one reported standardized scored exam that medical schools can use to differentiate quickly among candidates. We imagine that when it’s time to prepare for Step 2 CK, a million questions may start circling in your head. Which resources should I use? How can I make studying more productive? When should I start? What works best for me? …And that’s just to name a few!

At Cram Fighter, we can help you answer those questions  with comprehensive data we’ve gathered from thousands of students who use our study schedule manager to prepare for this milestone exam. According to data acquired from our students, June, July, and August are the most popular months to take the USMLE Step 2 CK, and the average preparation time is 58 days. So if you’re reading this as of mid January 2021, now is a good time to start planning out your April and May studies, and we’re here to help! 

Just to let you know, there are fewer resources built specifically for Step 2 compared to Step 1 – which is both good news and bad news. Further, there’s less consensus amongst Step 2 preppers regarding which resources are the most helpful for the exam. Cram Fighter supports hundreds of different options, from books to question banks, and you can even add your own resources – so if you already know what you plan to use, you can get started study planning today! If you’re not quite sure yet how you want to prepare, a list of student favorites may well come in handy! Hopefully, this post will help you pick your future favorite study materials.

Let’s take a look at the most popular resources of 2021 based on what resources USMLE Step 2 students have added to their study schedule:

Top Resources

UWorld is truly indispensable and an absolute must-have: according to our statistics, 71.8% of students added it to their schedule! It is a comprehensive Qbank with more than 3500 exam-like formulated questions which are updated on a daily basis. The vignettes in this resource closely resemble the ones you’ll have to face during the actual Step 2 CK, and the questions are of similar difficulty. This resource will help you become familiar with the question styles seen on Step 2. Remember, this is a timed exam, so after answering hundreds of practice questions, you will develop a sense of how long each one should take you and can strategize accordingly. We know that having access to a Qbank is a must-have for preparing for Step 2, and UWorld tops the charts. If you’re not impressed with Uworld and looking for something different, AMBOSS (the 4th most popular resource) is another Qbank with a slightly different feature set. Some students find questions in AMBOSS to be even harder than the real exam questions.

The #2 resource, OnlineMedEd Clinical, was chosen by 32.9% of students. This resource is gold for every kind of learner: it includes lecture videos accompanied by notes, flashcards , and practice questions. OnlineMedEd Clinical focuses on high-yield information, breaking down bulky concepts into bite-size pieces, and is easy to use. The audio-visual component of OnlineMedEd Clinical can be especially effective if you alternate video review with practice items in your Qbank of choice. 

Anki, a popular flashcard resource, took third place: we found that 28.9% of students used it to prepare for Step 2. With Anki, you can make your own cards or rely on premade decks. Just make sure the Anki deck you’re choosing to use is a reputable one (or one that you build yourself!).  

The first book in our list, First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK, has been added by 15.6% of students on Cram Fighter. This book consists of over 650 pages divided into systems.  Although some find it not as essential as First Aid for USMLE Step 1 as Qbanks cover most of the concepts needed for the exam, it is a great supplemental material to use along with UWorld and OnlineMedEd.

The last two resources that at least 10% of students chose are Boards and Beyond Step 2-3 Clinical (12.8%), a video lecture resource, and Master the Boards USMLE Step 2 CK (10%), a book resource. Boards and Beyond Step 2-3 Clinical contains more than 250 videos and a growing question bank; it may prove a good fit if the style of OnlineMedEd’s videos does not appeal to you. As for Master the Boards USMLE Step 2 CK, it consists of 750 pages grouped into systems. Some say it is too concise and lacks high-yield facts that are important for the exam. However, if you love textbooks as part of your prep, this one is definitely worth checking out!

As you can see, many of these resources provide you with similar information in different formats. Some of them might not suit your individual needs, but they should be a good starting point as you select USMLE resources to excel on your exam. With this in mind, the use of Qbanks with practice questions, combined with supplementary resources, is key for Step 2 CK preparation. 

Remember, having a study schedule is essential, as it prevents you from getting lost in endless information you need to cover. As professional baseball player Yogi Berra once said, if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. As simple as the above statement is, it’s hard to argue against it! That’s why Cram Fighter is always ready to guide and support you on your way to success along this bumpy road. Sign up a free trial account and create your personalized schedule now!