Step 2 CK 36+ weeks pregnant- advice?

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  • #144976
    westcoastmdwestcoastmd
    Participant

    Hi all,

    So I’ve been studying for Step 2 CK. I’ve had rotations with long drives & long hours, so I pushed my test date back to this week originally (leaving me with only 1.5 weeks of “dedicated” study time without rotations). During the rotations, I was studying at night/on weekends, but with being pregnant & having a toddler on top of commuting 2-3 hours per day and working, it was difficult to get a lot of solid studying done. So here I am now, 35+ weeks pregnant and decided to postpone for another week or two (so I have more uninterrupted time to study).

    I REALLY wanted to take it this week (since I’m 35 weeks pregnant currently) and was actually very emotional/sad/defeated about postponing my exam. But I just do not feel ready and my assessment scores have been all over the map (which I’m sure stress played a huge part). So, in order to build confidence, finish UWorld, etc, I’m delaying (but not by much).

    First, has anyone taken the test 36 or 37 weeks pregnant? Any advice for the day of?

    I called the test center and they said they had foot stools testers could use, which is great (with this pregnancy I’ve had varicose veins & ankle swelling by the end of the day when I’m sitting). I was thinking of doing the first 2 blocks back-to-back and then taking a break between the rest of the blocks. I figured it’d be better to do at the start of the exam than the end. Any thoughts on that or advice on how you scheduled your time that day? (I’m worried about needing to use the bathroom, drink enough fluid but not too much, small snacks, walking, etc)

    Second, any thoughts on “last minute” preparation? I’ve completed 75% of UW, with my last blocks in the high 60’s/low 70’s mostly (this has been mostly in the past 1.5 weeks). I’ve been using MTB & FA to supplement, but mostly reviewing all the UW questions/answers/taking notes on those. And I’ve been trying to read through Secrets when I can no longer look at the computer screen. I can’t delay taking it more than 1-2 weeks and just need a decent score (Step 1 was 225, I’m applying to FM). Mostly, I’m looking for any advice on a last minute “push” so that I don’t freak out & can go into the test confident (especially since I’m already nervous about taking it so far into my pregnancy).

    I appreciate any advice or words of wisdom. I can’t find a lot online & hate looking at other websites (where apparently everyone gets 260s & studies >12 hr/day for 4 weeks straight…because that is so not my life and I can not relate).

    Thanks!

    #144985
    Zeze 'sMumZeze’sMum
    Participant

    Hey! Question… Do you really have to take the exam now ? I’m not sure how this will affect your life but unless you’re 100% confident you might wanna consider postponing. I’m 35 weeks preg but I just finished fellowship and the thought of taking an exam with with my peeing every 2 mins, the fatigue and feet swelling talk less of the aches and pains, I’m not sure I would be able to do it.

    In the other hand, rumor is a consistent 60% on UW is all you need to ace step 2 so if you feel ready, you might be able to pull it off. Wishing you all the best.

    Ps…. Pls dont rely solely on the UW cases. Make sure you read EVERY case from FA.

    #144986
    westcoastmdwestcoastmd
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply!

    Unfortunately, I do need to take it now. I wish it weren’t the case. Also, I’d rather take it pregnant than with a newborn & toddler.

    I wasn’t 100% confident before, but I’m getting there. Originally, I think part of my hesitation to take the test was that I felt rushed & unable to get through the material I needed to in order to feel confident. But, I also didn’t want to delay it (because of the pregnancy) so it was this psychological battle in my head causing me turmoil & distraction. Now I’ll have 3 weeks of dedicated time, so I feel much better about that (although, this means I’m further along 🙁 )

    Luckily, I’ll be able to finish UW, do the incorrect/marked Q’s, and complete a final review of my review books/notes. Thanks for the tip re: not relying solely on UW. I’m in the process of a final review of FA so it’s good to hear.

    BTW- congrats on finishing your fellowship & on the pregnancy! Hope you’re feeling ok. And good luck with the move 🙂

    #144991
    Zeze 'sMumZeze’sMum
    Participant

    Thanks! If your issue is more ” psych” than the actual rigors of pregnancy, I would say go for it! Is there anyone who can help you with your toddler? Goodness, I have a 4 yr old and I can’t even poop without him climbing all over me. (Lol… Sorry TMI). If you can get help with the toddler, grit your teeth and buckle down for 3 weeks, you’ll do great!!!!!! All the best!!!

    #144997
    westcoastmdwestcoastmd
    Participant

    Oh yes, he is at daycare while Mama studies. I can’t get anything done with him here (that includes using the restroom alone in any capacity 🙂 ). Unless of course he was asleep (and, as luck would have it, he sleeps way more at daycare than at home- ha!).

    I’m almost 2 weeks into my 3 weeks of studying and thankfully today, my scores have gone up. Hoping when I redo my wrong/marked questions my scores are higher so I feel that confidence I’m seeking (because I know the fatigue and “being over it” will set in around 6-7 hours into the exam, so confidence & pattern/word recognition will have to guide me).

    Thanks again!

    #144999
    Zeze 'sMumZeze’sMum
    Participant

    Kick that exam’s tush girl!!!!!!!

    #145039
    westcoastmdwestcoastmd
    Participant

    Thanks again for your words/support!

    Took the exam yesterday…37 weeks pregnant and not a moment too soon. I won’t say it was easy, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it, but it was doable. I’m glad I took the extra week because I was able to finish up my studying & solidify some concepts I struggled with. I still left the testing center with the “what just happened?” feeling that happens after a long, grueling test. But at least I felt comfortable/familiar with most of the questions/topics (if I made the correct answer choices remains to be seen).

    Now to wait for scores- ugh! Then again, the baby will probably be here by the time I get them & I’ll be in the thick of things. I may have my husband open the score sheet, depending on my postpartum mental status at the time 😉

    Anyway, thanks again & best of luck with your move, the new baby, etc. AND congrats on being finished with training.

    #145055
    AmmaMDAmmaMD
    Participant

    Hooray – CONGRATS on being done!! So glad you’re free to focus on the upcoming little one for a bit =).

    #145081
    Zeze 'sMumZeze’sMum
    Participant

    Congratulations Mama!!!!! You did it and guess what? it’s over. It is what it is right now. Focus on getting that LO out and let the chips fall where they may..,

    #145084
    westcoastmdwestcoastmd
    Participant

    Thank you!

    Yes, definitely focused on getting her out…just hopefully after I submit my application on Monday 😉 I’m finalizing my personal statement, program list, and (politely) badgering a few of my letter writers. At least now I have time to do so!

    The scores will be what they may & like you said, it’s over. Which is a huge reason to celebrate, in and of itself!

    I’m soaking up this time with my son & husband, and am trying to relax (ha!) as much as possible. Life is good right now.

    #145115
    purplegaloshespurplegaloshes
    Participant

    Not trying to hijack the thread, but thought some of the seasoned vets in here might have some thoughts on a related topic:

    I’ve just found out I’m pregnant for the first time and will have a due date in mid-late May. I’d love to try to take Step 2 CK in early July, but also hope to breastfeed. Am I kidding myself? Is there any way to make it through a full day test like that if I am still nursing? Anyone have any experience with this?

    #145117
    southernmdsouthernmd
    Participant

    I pumped through Step 1. It’s doable. I pumped right before, halfway through, and right after. Nothing about pumping is fun, but it is definitely doable. Come to think of it – I guess I’ll be pumping through Part 1 of my Anesthesia specialty boards this summer. Dagnabit – I didn’t want to do that again. Like I said – it is not much fun, but doable. Bring your cover, and make sure you are comfortable pumping wherever. I know I am. Bring it on random hallway!

    #145148
    AmmaMDAmmaMD
    Participant

    I also think this is doable (and pumped through Step 2 and Step 3), but I do want to note that it may be quite a bit harder that early on than it would be later, and tends to vary from person to person. I had trouble going too long (ie, >2.5h) and was much slower at pumping that early on. That said, anything you should be able to do enough to survive it – it just may not be as easy as another time might be. Good luck!

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