The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 allows you to pull together your clinical experience on the wards with the numerous “factoids” and classical disease presentations that you have memorized over the years.

Whereas Step 1 stresses basic disease mechanisms and principles, Step 2 places more emphasis on clinical diagnosis and management, disease pathogenesis, and preventive medicine. The Step 2 examination is now composed of 2 parts:

The Step 2 Clinical Knowledge examination (Step 2 CK)

The Step 2 Clinical Skills examination (Step 2 CS)

The USMLE Step 2 CK is the second of three examinations that you must pass in order to become a licensed physician in the United States. The computerized Step 2 CK is a 1-day (9-hour) multiple-choice examination.

The Step 2 CK is a computer-based test (CBT) administered by Prometric, Inc. It is a 1-day examination with approximately 352 questions divided into eight 60-minute blocks of 44 questions each, administered in a single 9-hour testing session. Some sections may have more or fewer than 44 questions, but the maximum question total for the exam is 355. The Step 2 CK uses the same FRED v2 software program as that used on the USMLE Step 1 examination.

Three question styles predominate throughout the examination. The most common format is Single One Best Answer questions. This is the traditional multiple-choice format in which you are tasked with selecting the “most correct” answer. Another common style is Matching Sets. These questions consist of a series of questions related to a similar topic or prompt. Finally, “Sequential Item Sets” have been introduced to the examination. These are sets of multiple-choice questions that are related and must all be answered in sequence without skipping a question in the set along the way. As you answer questions in a given set, the previous answers become locked and cannot be changed. These are the only questions on the USMLE examination that are locked in such a way. There will be no more than 5 Sequential Item Sets within each USMLE Step 2 CK examination. In 2011, the USMLE examination introduced Sequential Item Sets that include a pharmaceutical ad or an abstract on which the questions are based.

During the time allotted for each block on the USMLE Step 2 CK, the examinee can answer test questions in any order and can also review responses and change answers (with the exception of responses within the Sequential Item Sets described above). However, under no circumstances can examinees return to previous blocks and change answers. Once an examinee has nished a block, he or she must click on a screen icon in order to continue to the next block. Time not used during a testing block will be added to the examinee’s overall break time, but it cannot be used to complete other testing blocks.

USMLE Step 2: First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK: Clinical Knowledge

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SOURCE: textbooks online

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