The time of the year has come again where I must prepare for the dreaded COMLEX exams. Unfortunately that means splurging for a couple new review books, a couple question banks, and a month and half of studying most of my free time. Fortunately, I’ve found a new TV show to watch on the side as I study: Game of Thrones on HBO (although I watch on Project Free TV). It’s a quality series and you should check it out here (probably only of interest to hard guys though).
This year, I’ve gone away from the First Aid series and went to a combination of several review books. I’ve decided to try and combine a few resources, Crush Step 2 by Adam Brochert, Master the Boards: USMLE Step 2 CK by Conrad Fischer, and Step Up to USMLE Step 2. I’ll primarily be using Step Up to Step 2 and Master the Boards: Step 2 CK, but I’ll throw in Crush since it has pretty succinct chapters and brings in a few great charts and great explanations. Since my copy of Step Up to Step 2 is still in the mail, I’ve had to use Master the Boards only today.
I’ve been studying for COMLEX Level 2 since about Tuesday, when I purchased USMLE World and extended my COMQUEST Qbank. I plan on reading the chapters of Master the Boards and then taking USMLE World quizzes in each subject matter. Since Master the Boards: USMLE Step 2 CK is a fairly new book, I plan on giving it a quality review once I’ve gone through a few subjects. I just recently completed studying my Neurology portion and while I scored pretty well on both USMLE World and COMQUEST in the subject quizzes, I have a list of 10 big concepts that have been left out by Dr. Fischer. While I haven’t taken the Level 2 exam yet, I can tell you that you will probably get a question on Cranial Nerves which are absent from the Master the Boards review book.
Here are the books:
So far I can tell you this… Master the Boards is a paragraph style book which has questions embedded within it. It is a bit superficial in its detailing at times but covers a good amount of information in an easily readable way. It’s also in color which isn’t huge but its nice to see some color. Step Up to Step 2 is more of a bullet-style important points only with great charts type of book. Step Up to Step 2 is classically regarded as the best book to study for COMLEX Level 2 CE for. Crush Step 2 is also a paragraph type of book, but has some very very superficial topics such as Cardiology. The book USMLE Secrets is also written by Brochert and contains largely the same information in more of a question and answer format.
In terms of question banks, USMLE World is and will always be content king (and/or queen). They have great questions that are updated often and kept current. They also offer explanations that don’t just say “Xanthochromia = Subarachnoid”, but rather expand your knowledge base. Its great to really test your knowledge using 2 and often 3 step problem solving. COMQUEST is pretty highly regarded in COMLEX Level 2 content although so far I have been less than impressed with their questions. They are usually 1 or 2 lines and fairly simple. Most of their cardio questions (~30/72) are based on reading EKGs. Along these lines I’ve consistently scored better in quizzes from COMQUEST than UWorld. That was what I experienced last year with UWorld vs COMBANK as well and the COMLEX turned out to be alot more similar in length and quality as COMBANK than UWorld. Anways…
Blogging is a nice step back from studying and I appreciate you reading.