What predicts USMLE Step 3 performance?

As per this Study, the following variables predict USMLE step 3 performance :

1. Knowledge of clinical
science as measured on USMLE Step 2
2. Having higher Step 2 Scores
3.The nature of the
residency training
4. Having a higher GPA
5. Residency training in a
broad-based specialty

Step 1 score did not predict Step 3 performance.

As you can see above, in addition to higher USMLE Step 2 CK scores and knowledge, having residency training and nature of residency training also predicted Step 3 performance. While higher CK scores may contribute to better MCQ performance, having hands on experience with real life EMR orders, speed with which you act in the ER during training – all these variables will help you get much higher score on Step 3 CCS. In addition to that you need to know how to apply real life experience on NBME CCS software to get the best score. You will need strategies to make the best use of NBM CCS software.

Why is doing very well on CCS crucial for passing USMLE Step 3?

For full detailed analysis on our Step 3 Test Strategy research, please visit About-Us

Our unique teaching strategies have resulted in 99% pass rate for all those trainees with prior multiple attempts. After six successful years, as we analyzed our teaching strategy, we consistently found a significant improvement in the CCS portion of all our test taker’s score reports ( when compared to their previous reports). We then requested our trainees to forward their score reports and did a retrospective analysis which revealed:

– 75% had an excellent performance on the CCS with only a borderline level performance on the MCQs
– 25% did moderately well on CCS and also moderately well on MCQs
– those with very borderline to poor performance on the CCS have failed irrespective of their performance on the MCQs

For most students with multiple attempts, score performance bars did not change much anywhere except in the CCS section. Yet, all of them passed!! This was especially true for people who previously failed with 70th percentile scores and above. This may suggest that if you are below 70th percentile in your previous attempts, you may need to brush your MCQ concepts too. But if you failed with an above 70% score, you need to check your score report to see if there is a scope for improvement in your CCS performance. That is where you can get the best results with the least effort!

In fact, doing extremely well on CCS with only a borderline performance on MCQs is sufficient to pass Step3! And this is achievable and much easier than achieving an above average performance on the MCQs.

Let us consider few logical points here to prove this fact again.

1. We always insist our students take NBME simulation test before the real step3 exam to see where they stand on the MCQ portion of the test. NBME does not have a CCS portion. If you consider NBME score (compare Step2), an above 400 (three digit) correlates with passing performance on Step3. However, since NBME does not include CCS, we have had a wide range of NBME scores that correlated with a PASS on the USMLE step3. This could be anywhere between 300 to 500. One of our students had a 310 – 3 digit score on NBME,a week prior to his real test. Yet, he passed with a 77% – his score report showed an extreme rightward bar (excellent) on CCS. (His MCQ performance correlated with that on NBME)

2. Recognize that CCS constitutes only 25% where as MCQs 75% of Step3 – that is 9 CCS cases and 480 MCQs. However, realize that each CCS constitutes 3% of your total score. Most examinees cannot answer more than 60% MCQs correctly. If you lose one CCS you lose 3% of your total score. In that case you need compensate this by correctly answering at least 15 MCQs ( i.e; 480 x 3% =14 MCQs) – this translates in to, roughly 2MCQs extra on each block. If you lose 2 to 3 CCS, the passing chances are dismal ( losing 2 CCS or borderline performance on CCS will require you to answer extra 4 to 6 MCQs correctly on each block i.e; for an examinee who scored 60% on his practice tests like Usmleworld, losing 2 CCS cases translates in to a requirement of 70% performance on MCQs to pass this test) – this is where it gets extremely difficult. This is why most people fail despite studying the theory time and again. This is why most people who score around 70 to 75% on popular practice Q banks like Kaplan and UWorld may still fail the exam!!!

– Do not neglect CCS. Doing extremely well on CCS is achievable and rewarding. Extreme rightward performance on CCS on your score report has always led to passing scores. 
– Poor/ borderline performance on CCS requires excellent/ very good performance on MCQs in order to pass the test – this is very difficult to achieve!! 

With this in mind, we launched this interactive online CCS workshop ( launched : JUNE 2008) where we can reach several trainees all over the world at once and teach them this crucial CCS approach for passing Step3.  Today, Archer or Dr.Red CCS Workshop and Streaming lectures reach about 10,000 medical graduates each year and have established a proven track record in achieving very high success rates on this exam.

Access Archer USMLE Step 3 Review for strategic high-yield Step 3 Review. It is not how much you study but how you study that matter – at Archer, we teach you the time-tested SMART strategy to excel on USMLE STep 3!

One Response

  1. how do i speak to someone live on phone before signing up.plz answer

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