Preparing to become a doctor is a challenging task. Part of your preparation will include the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), a three-step exam you’ll take at different points in your medical education.
Whether you’re just starting your medical education journey or are well on your way to receiving your degree, here are four things you need to know about the USMLE Step 2CK.
1. What is the USMLE Step 2CK?
The USMLE Step 2CK is a 9-hour exam divided into eight 60-minute blocks that test your clinical knowledge.
The USMLE Step 2CK content outline organizes questions into weighted categories. The topics are varied, so staying on top of your clinical knowledge and skills throughout your education is essential.
2. When do I take the USMLE Step 2CK?
Plan to take the USMLE Step 2CK exam after you’ve completed all core clinical rotations in your third year of medical school. This timing will ensure you’ve gained the clinical skills necessary for the exam.
3. How should I prepare for the USMLE Step 2CK?
Although every student has a unique learning style, specific methods may be beneficial as you prepare. Here are a few of our recommendations for students:
- Create a daily study schedule and stick to it.
- Diversify your study plan by adding practice questions and exams throughout your review to test your understanding.
- Lean on your academic advisors and other available resources at your university to support your preparation.
4. What score do I need to pass the USMLE Step 2CK?
For a strong residency application, however, you need to aim for an above-average score. Over the last three years, the average USMLE Step 2CK score was around 240.
It may also be helpful to think about where your score falls within the USMLE Step 2CK percentiles. According to the United States Medical Licensing Examination Program, over the last three years, test takers from US and Canadian medical schools in the 54th percentile had a USMLE Step 2CK score of 250.
Getting Support for Preparation
Studying for the USMLE Step 2CK takes time, effort, and discipline. One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to choose a medical school that provides comprehensive clinical training. At St. George’s University, we have a 92% USMLE Step 2CK pass rate for first-time test-takers over the last three years.*
You can find information about the USMLE Step 1 exam in our post: How to Study for Step 1: Tips for USMLE Success.
*Average of 2019, 2020, 2021 academic year scores. First-time pass rate is defined as the number of students passing USMLE Step 2CK on their first attempt divided by the total number of students taking USMLE Step 2CK for the first time. USMLE Step 2CK is typically taken upon completion of third-year core clinical rotations.