Mr. Apichai Pokawattana
USMLE Step 1 Score 95
USMLE Step 2 Score 94
How do you plan when you study USMLE?
I started USMLE Step 1 when I graduated from medical school. It took 6-7 months to review all the step 1 videos. After I finished USMLE Step 1 and took a real test, I continued with Step 2. Watching USMLE Step 2 videos took only 3-4 months. The entire process from Step 1 to Step 2 is about 1 year.
In my opinion, students who want to take the USMLE course should study USMLE Step 1 in year 3 and take the real test at the end of year 3 because they will have time to take the test before beginning of year 4.
It is quite late to begin the course when you are in year 6 of medical school because at that time you also have to work so you do not have as much time and may forget the basic science from year 1-3 already.
What is the difference between USMLE Step 1 and Step 2?
*USMLE Step 1 is about Pre-Clinic that is a basic science that all medical students must study in year 1-3 of their medical school program.
*USMLE Step 2 is about Clinical Skills and working with patients. It is more complicated than Step 1 and covers materials studied during years 4-6 of medical school and also when you work. It is easier to understand Step 2 than Step 1 which I studied since 2-3 years ago.
I think USMLE Step 1 is important and difficult because it takes a long time to watch the videos and has many topics to learn and also many topics to test too.
When will you take USMLE Step 2CS exam and is it necessary to take Step 2CS exam before matching?
I plan to take the USMLE Step 2 CS exam in September, matching process via internet and interview process on December.
It is nit necessary to take Step 2 CS before matching, but if you pass Step 2CS you will have the opportunity to choose from many hospitals.
How do you prepare yourself before taking USMLE Step 2 CS?
I talked to my friend who passed USMLE Step 2 CS already and he suggested that I choose the test center carefully. Every center has a different testing style. For example, in California you may meet with Asian patients, and centers in other locations may have patients speaking with different and unfamiliar accent. I chose the center in Chicago because people in this area speak slowly.
If some students do not have a plan to study or work in USA, do they need to study and take USMLE test?
I think it is good to be open-minded. Each medical school has a different emphasis. It is good to study for more ideas.
Do you have any tips for studying or watching USMLE videos?
I watch the videos to review the information learned in medical school. When you finish watching the video each day, you should read it again. Repeat the video several times because this may help you to remember the contents more easily. That is your benefit if you can do that.
Did Kaplan’s USMLE course help you to succeed on the test?
Yes, the USMLE course from Kaplan helped me to do the test and some contents from Kaplan’s materials are the same as on the test.
A word of advice to currents students?
“Try to do your best and practice several times”