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* Step2CS passed- IMG
  jven - 12/14/17 11:16
  I am an IMG from India. I have been practising Pathology for the last 6 years. I recently migrated to USA and am in the process of completing my steps.
I had scheduled to take the test on 1st November 2017. It is very difficult to get a date for CS, I was lucky to get one at the LA Centre. I had booked the date sometime in August this year.
I attended GOLDUSMLEREVIEW workshop at Houston between 13-15th October 2017. I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone (IMGs in particular) taking the step2CS. Their training sessions are very informative, exhaustive and tiring though. The first two days comprised of teaching and practical hands on training with live SPs. Their workshop is very focused and they pay a lot of attention to little details that one might tend to miss out while preparing on their own. The last day comprised of a full length mock test following which the performance was evaluated and a score card was issued.
I took the mock test at the workshop without any preparation other than the two day training. To my utter delight and surprise, I managed to pass, although with only a borderline score. I met with the program in charge for his honest opinion on whether I should take the exam on November 1st or push it to a later date? I remember his words very well. He told me quite emphatically, ďDO NOT postpone it to a later date. Starting tomorrow, prepare for 8hours straight everyday.Ē (Kindly excuse the caps, I have only written that for the emphasis). I was still sceptical about taking the test as planned with only 16days to prepare, but I decided to go ahead anyway.
I found a fair number of study partners (around 4) at the workshop and timed my study with them for the whole day such that I did around 2-3 cases on an average with each of them everyday. Other than my 4 ususal study partners I also was in touch with a bunch of others from the same workshop, through the whatsapp group and exchanged our views and discussed the difficulties that we faced. But I made it a point to follow the workshop in chargeís advice of preparing for at least 8hours everyday. I read through their notes, which are very informative. I memorised their mnemonics for all the cases. I practised the special tests on my husband and friends (who are not from the medical field). I should admit I didnít practise a lot of typing, but still did whatever I could. With the exam date soon approaching I had a feeling that I knew much more than what I did few days back, but still wasnít confident enough to take the test.
I reached LA on 29th evening, stayed at Wingate by Wyndham close to LAX airport. On 30th October I went to see the Centre at El Segundo, saw the building no.100 from the outside. I didnít quite have the guts to go all the way up to the 13th floor, still I got a fair idea where the place is.
The LA testing Centre is quite good. There were only very few IMGs besides me probably only one or two more. Proctors are very fair and friendly. They provided good lunch with dessert. They managed the show very well. They followed all protocol very strictly for all candidates alike. The SPS were also good, some of them were very friendly while many others spoke with a straight face, guess that is part of the script.
I did okay on most cases, except for 1-2 where I went totally blank. I canít say everything was perfect with the other cases, I did commit mistakes in every case which kept coming back as nightmares after the test.
Finally received my result yesterday and to my surprise and relief I passed!
I sent a thank you note along with my passing report to the in charge at GOLDUSMLEREVIEW who humbly acknowledged it.
To sum up, the main highlights of my step2CS experience were
1) GOLDUSMLEREVIEW Worksop- it prepared me to take the test with only 16days of studying.
2) LA testing Centre- Personally I feel there is no difference in testing anywhere across the five centres, because if you are well prepared, you will do good at any Centre.
3) Stay at Wyndham- breakfast included and starts at 7:00am. The Centre is quite close to the hotel, I hired a Lyft to drop me at the Centre on the day of the test.
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* Re:Step2CS passed- IMG
  aalya - 12/14/17 22:44
  Congratulations for passing.Thank you jven for lot of helpful hints.Could you plz tell more about Goldusmlereview course and how much it cost,how to enroll,how many days for classes and exact location.  
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* Re:Step2CS passed- IMG
  jven - 12/19/17 10:44
  Hi Aalya,
Thanks for the wishes. Sorry for the delay in replying. For some reason I have posted the same on the CS page and have only been checking there.
GOLDUSMLEREVIEW is a highly specific and intensive workshop. I had done it just before starting preparation for CS. Dr. Thomas is the person who trains and teaches. Both he and his assistant are very professional, disciplined and quite strict (in a nice way).
I stayed at Park Inn, it is in the very adjacent compound so you donít have to spend time or money traveling. They have medical student discount and also have complimentary breakfast in the morning. The other place to stay there is Hyatt place, which is across the freeway but they have free pick up and drop services to the GOLDUSMLEREVIEW centre.
The fee for the workshop is somewhere between $1300-2300, depending upon the number of days and number of mock tests. Please call them or email them for the exact amount or see their website
You can enroll either online through their website, or over the phone- thatís what I did. Their exact address is 416 North Sam Houston Pkwy East, Houston TX 77060 which is very close to the actual testing centre at Houston (I took mine at LA).
I hope that helps.
Please feel free to message me if you have any more queries. Happy to help.
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* Re:Step2CS passed- IMG
  aalya - 12/20/17 12:46
  @jvan,thank you for detailed reply.I probably will join more thing about typing speed is very very slow so what you did for that?  
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* Re:Step2CS passed- IMG
  jven - 12/20/17 14:38
  Hi Aalya,
You can practise typing in your free time or when you get bored of reading. At the workshop we were told if typing speed is less than 30 words/ min it is better to postpone the date.
My husband had told me to start with typing random stuff off newspapers, books etc. first and then later practise case notes on the template. Take a look at the accepted abbreviations, use them, it will save a lot of time. I was somewhere around 28 words / min when I took the test.
I should admit I didnít do enough typing practise and so could not finish my notes in 1-2 cases. But if your typing speed is decent you will finish.
There are a lot of templates available for typing practise like this one
Hope that helps.
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* Re:Step2CS passed- IMG
  aalya - 12/21/17 13:20
  Thank you jven.i really appreciate your help.  
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