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* Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  ngty1991 - 10/09/19 15:19
  I have been pretty active on this forum for the past few months and I wanted to write this post for those who are stupid like me lol
I had prepared extremely hard my first attempt by only using UWorld and the UW CCS. With CCS, i felt especially prepared because I did all the cases multiple times and felt like i got the hang of timing, progression and management. When i went into the exam, i felt super confident because I was averaging around 60% on UW (>85% second time around), went through step 1 stuff and my consistency with CCS.
1st attempt:
Day 1: Biostats was definitely heavy and I realized i did not know as much as I thought. The other questions also felt like a blur to me but i felt pretty confident coming out.
Day 2: I did not feel the questions were easy but manageable. The most amazing thing was my CCS. 13/13 cases felt better, ended early, added all the counseling etc so i knew i would have gotten asterisk to the right (knowing my previous experience, boy should i have known).
On sunday evening, my application was expired on the FSMB website, permit disappeared monday morning and there was only a grey bar on my NBME website so i was over the moon reading posts on this forum thinking i passed. Then, the unthinkable happened. Opened my score report at exactly 12 AM and found out i failed.

UWSA 1: 174 (6 weeks before exam)
UWSA 2: 211 (1 week before exam)
No nbmes
Final score: 186 (all bars at the same level, nothing above or below)

At this point, i was floored because i had been gearing up for my application and knew I would not be able to retake and have the scores transmitted in time to send my application. I submitted my residency application knowing that I can take the exam soon enough and be able to pass.

Second time around, i had to try something different. Knowing that I am not smart enough to only use UW as most people do provoked me to getting Archer qbank and CCS for 1 month. I scheduled my second attempt 6 weeks from my first attempt. This time, i bought NBMEs but did not buy the entire UW qbank because it was expensive to use it for 1 month while paying for the 3 month subscription. So I got a study partner with the subscription and went over it with them. It also felt like a waste for me to buy it because I had already gone through the qbank many times and going through it again would be of no benefit.

This time:
UWSA2 (4 weeks before exam): 242
UWSA1 (1 week before exam): 215
NBME 4 (3 weeks before exam): 520
NBME 5 (3.5 weeks before exam): 280 (which was weird since I got 61%)

Day 1: This felt a lot more comfortable with the biostats because I practiced a lot using archer qbank and really focussed on it. The step 1 pharm which was unvariably significant also felt a bit more comfortable because i did amboss step 1, went over uworld step 3 and archer. I also think i was just a lot calmer this time around.
Day 2: This was definitely much better and the MCQs are pretty much 10% less difficult than UWSA or UWqbank.
What was really significant was CCS on day 2. After going through archer ccs rapid review, i felt confident going in. Unfortunately, only 8/13 cases ended early - 1 deteriorated to the point of death im pretty sure (kept deteriorating no matter what I did), treated CHF and when i sent them home, they came back to ED again, chronic pancreatitis case was diagnosed but did not feel better (i also forgot to treat with pancreatic enzymes) but the rest were pretty straightforward.

This time, i knew if i failed it would be because of CCS since i felt i bombed it compared to last time. I also did not bother checking for the trick because I knew it does not work and got the same screen as last time (no yellow link, expired blah blah)

To my surprise and probably multiple ulcers, I opened the score report this morning and got 203. however, once again, all the bars were on "same" with nothing above or below so i have no idea how or what i improved.

What i learned from all my USMLE exams (and i had attempts in the past), is that the worse you feel, the better you probably did. and if i feel i nailed it, i probably didnt.
I know it is difficult to keep calm during the wait (especially for retakers) but just try your best to distract yourself.

Protip for CCS: I highly suggest getting archer rapid ccs review, for practice, then using uworld cases at the end to tie it all together.

Good luck y'all and hope this gives some hope to dummies like me
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* Re:Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  deya79elmansori - 10/09/19 20:26
  congratulation , I would like to ask you , how long since you been taken CK exam ?  
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* Re:Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  ngty1991 - 10/10/19 07:46
  Thanks! It had been one year  
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* Re:Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  prayforall - 10/18/19 08:04
can you please tell if archer qbank helped? and did you finish it?
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* Re:Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  shazam - 10/18/19 09:34
  Congrats !
I also passed step 3 and it was a huge relief.....
I personally think that ccs are excellent and I really recommend this for everybody to do....
Archer q bank I had it and it was not good at all. In my opinion stick with UW for the quest

Good luck to everybody 😊
God bless u all 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
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* Re:Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  prayforall - 10/18/19 09:52
  if uw gets redundant would you still not recommend doing archer?
I just purchased it yest and i agree that qs are kinda weird but no harm in doing them.. i suppose.
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* Re:Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  fjb1227 - 10/19/19 17:08
  how much Step 1 and CK material do you think was tested on Step 3? Do you think a revision of Step 1 and CK is needed? especially if it was taken so long ago?  
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* Re:Step 3 TRICK DOES NOT WORK... 2nd attempt pass!
  oldgrad2020 - 12/04/19 10:15
  Thank-you for sharing your experience. I know once I finish UW, I will try Archer too. Its been a while since I passed step 2, so I am just going to have to try extra harder. Thank-you and all the best.  
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