Dear Marilyn you are in the same situation as me. Iam from United Kingdom and I have just secured a residency spot for this July 1st 2012 and currently working full time in research in New York. I need to pass for visa reasons too. I wanted to ask where do you get those Archer videos from? I have heard of kaplan videos only. Thanks for the help and well done and good luck.
quote=marilynn]I took Step 3 in December and received results on the 11th of this month. I passed 238 , it is a 88 on the new scale. These support forums on the web aided me a lot in this victory. Hooray! I can now do unsupervised practice. This will be my last post, as the USMLE is now far behind me. When I first started looking for information on Step 3 and how to prepare, I felt lost because there is so much information out there and too scattered. I will outline important stuff about Step 3 and preparation along with my experience for benefit of future step3’ers.
The original USMLE Step 3 orientation material and content you can find at www.usmle.org. First look at these before you start anything. Read the outline of the content and check the orientation material.
Then register for Step 3. You must register in one of the states which you can do at www.fsmb.org FSMB. Schedule a date , allow yourself three to four months preparation time. The exam is split into two days, 8 hrs each day. There is 45 min break time and 15 min tutorial time. I skipped all the tutorials. If you do orientation material tutorial you do not need this again and can add 15 minutes to your break period. Day 2 is 50% CCS. I ended day 2 early by 90 minutes.
I prepared for 2 months. I did not really care about getting high scores on USMLE Step 3. I just wanted to pass because I am also doing a full time research position in molecular biology. I am lucky to have had a written agreement with the program in the same facility for first year residency to begin in July 2012. So, a big score means nothing to me but the program wanted me to pass Step 3 as soon as possible because I am a Canadian Citizen and I had to take this to get visa. I purchased UWorld question bank first, and found it to be enough. I also purchased lectures from Archer review and it took me about 1 month to complete them. They were very helpful in answering challenging questions. I did UW questions for 2 months, and then took the exam. If you want a high score, you must do more than this. It is not an easy exam.
For day 2, I subscribed Archer ccs workshop and UWorld ccs. These helped in reasoning how the software functioned. It is critical that you understand how the software works for day 2 before you turn up. If had not done this, I would have failed. You are given a scenario that may start in the emergency room or office, and you have the ability to order medications etc. and re-examine the patient, and you are given real-time feedback that you must respond to ("patient's blood pressure is now 80/40" etc.). You can transfer the patient to the ICU etc. Go to the USMLE website and download the free cases online. Archer workshop and UWORLD will help with all these real-time settings and helps tune your quick response. This should be enough to pass the CCS.
Please keep in mind that I did not care about score on this exam. If you are the type that just must have a 99, ask someone more thorough. But I think more or less it may be easy to pass if you know the general topics and CCS well.
Good luck to all those folks reading this.