What is USMLE Step 2 CK?

Once you clear the USMLE Step 1, the nest step is to clear USMLE Step 2 CK. This step contains scenarios which is mostly patient-centered. Just like the USMLE Step 1, the question pattern of USMLE Step 2 CK is multiple choices.

However, you will have to answer questions that will be totally of different topic, one after another.

USMLE Step 2 CK passing score is 209.

The topics of USMLE Step 2 CK are:

  • Internal medicine
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Preventive medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery
  • Areas related to providing care under supervision

The aim of USMLE Step 2 CK is to assess that whether the student is capable of applying the medical knowledge, skills and understanding essentials of clinical science.

It is important to be examined as it is considered important for the provisions of patient care.

USMLE Step 2 CK also stresses over the health promotion and disease prevention of patients. USMLE Step 2 CK prepares doctor for the foundation of safe and competent practice of medicine under expertise supervision so as to ensure that they are fully devoted towards the principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills.

The main focus of USMLE Step 2 CK is on two things:

  1. Physician task
  2. Disease Category

USMLE Step 2 CK is basically a one-day examination which is divided into 8 blocks (60 minutes each), which are examined in a testing session of 9 hours. Test formats may vary with each block.

The numbers of items are displayed before the beginning of each block. Numbers of item may vary but will never exceed beyond 40 items. If we talk about the entire examination, the items won’t exceed beyond 318.

NOTE: 60 minutes are given to complete each block, irrespective of number of items, a block contains.

On the day of test, examinees are given with a break of 45 minutes and a 15 minute tutorial (optional).

Question pattern of USMLE Step 2 CK:

Just like the USMLE Step 1, the questions of USMLE Step 2 CK are also of multiple choices. Each question is followed by 3-6 options that are either in alphabetical order or in logical order.

The choices that you get to answer from are all likely to be correct but there is only 1 best answer. So choose cautiously and think twice before you answer each question.

There is also an abstract format which includes the summary of an experiment which is encountered by the physician. It is accompanied by a report which is to be presented in the medical journal. The answers to the abstract must be in the following manner:

  • Decisions about care of an individual patient
  • Biostatistics/ epidemiology
  • Pharmacology/ therapeutics
  • Use of diagnostic studies

Strategies to crack USMLE Step 2 CK:

  • Make every clinical rotation count: When you get a tricky question right you feel yourself lucky enough but what if you leave it unwillingly?

To finish the entire test on time, you need comprehensive understanding of the topics. Try to prepare in advance during your third year and you will be way ahead.

  • Master a few key resources: Self-assessment is the best way to master on your weak points. A significant number of students use too many resources without reviewing any of them in sufficient depth.

All the contents that you need to master for USMLE Step 2 CK are explained to you beforehand.

In addition to mastering content, test-taking technique is crucial for USMLE Step 2 CK success, and unless you have the option of tutoring, the only way to hone these skills is through practice questions.

  • Think like the Test- maker: Before you attempt the questions, try to think like a test maker and think of all possible confusions you can create for the examinee.
  • Don’t overwork yourself: Some claim the only way to ace the USMLE Step 2 CK is to study 14 hours a day; I disagree

Yes, you need to study a lot, but not so much that you’re sleeping less than 8 hours a night. Take frequent, short (15-minute) breaks. Take a day off from studying periodically, exercise and maybe even meditate.

Don’t try to dramatically change your way of life during your dedicated study period. To get to this point in medical school, you’ve already come so far and had your fair share of successes: do what you can to stay true to that best version of yourself.

We through Moksh will help you to crack the USMLE Step 2 CK as if we are doing it for you.


USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). None of the trademark holders are affiliated with MOKSH or this website.

ACGME® is a registered trademark of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The ECFMG® is a registered trademark of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

The Match® is a registered service mark of the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®). The NRMP is not affiliated with MOKSH.

Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) is a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges and is not affiliated with MOKSH.

Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with MOKSH or this website.

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