Third year MS needs your advice

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Anonymous (not verified)
Third year MS needs your advice

I am a third year medical student and my step 1 score is 228. I have about 8 publications in urology, one first and another second author (two other papers in breast and wound healing).  What are my chances? Do I need to take step 2 early or if not, will I be risking not matching for 2011?

Edited by: nicky on 05/11/2015 - 19:50 Reason: Updated by FeedsNodeProcessor
Anonymous (not verified)
take it early, 228, although

take it early, 228, although a good score, is average among urology applicants. I don't think you won't risk not matching, but you will limit the number of interviews you will get without a high step 2 to back up your step 1 score.

Anonymous (not verified)
Why?

Anonymous User wrote:
take it early, 228, although a good score, is average among urology applicants. I don't think you won't risk not matching, but you will limit the number of interviews you will get without a high step 2 to back up your step 1 score.
If you're saying that score is average among urology applicants then why risk taking it early if the applicant is already average?  Shouldn't you only take the exam early if you are below average (for the schools you intend on applying to) and you have nothing else on your app (research, etc.)?

TexasTecher
I'm kinda in the same

I'm kinda in the same boat...Step 1 of 234.  Was going to take Step 2 in June, but there's just no way I can be truly ready by then, so I'm getting an extension and taking it after my uro aways.  Just have to make a compromise eventually...

Balls in the air
Don't lie to yourself, you don't want to study

I studied pretty hard for Step 2, but most of my classmates did not. They seemed to take a month off to "get ready", then studied a little in the last 2 weeks of that, freaked out, and pushed it back a few weeks. They were planning on taking it pretty easy since they DID have a whole month, but probably would have been better off to really push it for a few weeks and gotten it over with.  It's more important that you put in actual time studying instead of taking a lot of time off for it. There were several other people in my class who studied during light rotations and used the extra month later for something more memorable than time in the library (in one case going to Haiti).  FWIW, I had a 220s step 1.  I felt like it didn't hurt me, but it was part of an application that was pretty well balanced overall.  My step 2 was 30 points higher and did help.  I took it early and was terrified the whole time that I was taking a huge risk.  In retrospect it would have been less stressful to take it a month later so I could decide if I wanted to release the scores or not.  Mine were back well before Sept 1 so they went in with the rest of my application.  

Match2011
I've spoken with a couple of

I've spoken with a couple of urologists and they emphasize research and step 1 score on the CV. Is there anything else that I can do to make my application stronger? I am working on 2 research projects and can't add more. 

Turp
Hope I can help.  My Step I

Hope I can help. My Step I score wasn't stellar (237), but I decided to put off Step II to concentrate on doing really well during my Uro Sub I and away rotations.  It is true that your Step I score gets your foot in the door so to speak, but there is a lot more that goes into your application that you shouldn't overlook.  For example, I can not stress to you how clutch it was for me to have outstanding letters of reccomendation from my chair and the chairs at my away rotations.  I'm sure I matched at my number 1 program last week because of that and my interview, definitely not because of my step I score and blatant lack of research.      This is based purely on what my PD told me when I was a second year interested in Urology, but after going through the process I'd say it's pretty accurate: a 230 or above will likely get you interviews at most places (obviously you need higher scores for elite programs).  Regardless of your Step I score you need to honor most of your 3rd clerkships but especially surgery and internal medicine.  If you have a "low" Step I score (however you want to define that, for someone going into a less competitive field a 228 is a god-send, but if you're going to go into Urology and you want to match at an elite program my 237 would be anxiety provoking), then you really need perfect clerkship grades, some research, top-notch letters, etc (all the other acccessories).  For someone in the OP's boat, with a score close to a 230, I'd say that as long as you don't have aspirations of only ranking the top 10 programs in the country and you have all the rest of your application in order, you should get some interviews.  Have a great, likeable attitude that shines through in you application, during Urology electives and in interviews and you'll probably match.  Good Luck!  

Anonymous (not verified)
228 isn't a terrible score. 

228 isn't a terrible score.  You will be able to get interviews with that score if you have your other ducks in line.  I speak from experience as someone who applied with a 225.  What helped me was strong research experience and solid aways both of which produced good LOR's.  Also, I took Step II early and got mid 240s on it which several program directors commented was nice to see on the application.  You don't NEED to do this, but it can only help you.  I recommend taking it sometime after mid august so you have the option to report or not to programs. With my 225 I was invited for 25+ interviews at more than half of the programs I applied to, and I matched to one of my top choices.  I know several others who matched with scores of 225 or below.  Sure, Harvard was off the table, but it is for most applicants, so don't sweat it.

Anonymous (not verified)
What year did you apply? I feel like "average" would be mid-240s

Anonymous User wrote:
228 isn't a terrible score.  You will be able to get interviews with that score if you have your other ducks in line.  I speak from experience as someone who applied with a 225.  What helped me was strong research experience and solid aways both of which produced good LOR's.  Also, I took Step II early and got mid 240s on it which several program directors commented was nice to see on the application.  You don't NEED to do this, but it can only help you.  I recommend taking it sometime after mid august so you have the option to report or not to programs. With my 225 I was invited for 25+ interviews at more than half of the programs I applied to, and I matched to one of my top choices.  I know several others who matched with scores of 225 or below.  Sure, Harvard was off the table, but it is for most applicants, so don't sweat it.
What year did you apply?

Anonymous (not verified)
what year

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
228 isn't a terrible score.  You will be able to get interviews with that score if you have your other ducks in line.  I speak from experience as someone who applied with a 225.  What helped me was strong research experience and solid aways both of which produced good LOR's.  Also, I took Step II early and got mid 240s on it which several program directors commented was nice to see on the application.  You don't NEED to do this, but it can only help you.  I recommend taking it sometime after mid august so you have the option to report or not to programs. With my 225 I was invited for 25+ interviews at more than half of the programs I applied to, and I matched to one of my top choices.  I know several others who matched with scores of 225 or below.  Sure, Harvard was off the table, but it is for most applicants, so don't sweat it.
What year did you apply?
 This year.