Step 3 is the last chapter of the USMLE. The material has a considerable amount of overlap with Step 2 CK, so taking the exam soon upon completing Step 2 CK during the intern year of residency has significant advantages. Depending on your specialty, there may be minimal overlap with your day-to-day clinical practice (i.e., ophthalmology, radiation oncology, PM&R), so avoid delaying the exam (especially for narrower specialties).
Outside of the unique timing considerations for Step 3, the exam also has an additional section called CCS (Computer-based Case Simulations) which makes up approximately 25-30% of the exam score. This section requires applying clinical knowledge through a simulation computer interface, which attempts to replicate the thought process in a real patient encounter. Make sure you know the standard orders and decision points in the software, so you can get to the solution without wasting precious time. Preparation is key — with the right approach, CCS becomes a fun clinical puzzle, rather than a confusing mind game.
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