Release of version 4.0.0

We have been working hard and have finally released a major update: version 4.0.0.

Things may look the same on the outside and run the same, but we have essentially “replaced” the engine. Everything “under the hood” has been changed or updated. This was done to assure stability in future versions of Windows and Mac and to accommodate updating technologies. You might notice some graphic user interface (GUI) updates in the Mac version. The installation process for the Mac was also simplified. We also updated some cases to the most up-to-date treatment protocols. We will continue to improve our software. As always, updates are free to paid users.

We are working on some new features, so we will release these when completed. Enjoy.

What can you expect on test day for the CCS portion of the test?

Student studying for USMLE Step 3 CCS portion

What can you expect on test day for the CCS portion of the test?

Many people are naturally concerned and ask us the question “What can you expect on test day for the CCS portion of the test?” You will be taking your test in a testing center. Typically, each testing center is a carefully monitored room with a bunch of computers divided by cubicles. You will have to empty your pockets and store your things in a locker prior to entering the test room. You can only keep your photo ID in your pocket. You will have to have your finger-print scanned each time you enter and each time you exit the testing room.

You will be given a laminated card with a dry-erase marker and an eraser to allow you to take notes. The room is monitored at all times and there are cameras recording everyone in the room. Big Brother really is watching you during your CCS test day. People have stated that the testing room does vary in temperature and can be either too warm or too hot, so dress accordingly. Test takers have also noted that the quickness of the Internet connection does vary dramatically from testing center to testing center. This can affect your score if you are slowed down by loading delays.

There are 13 cases on the CCS portion of the test. You will be given either 20 minutes of real time or 10 minutes of real time to complete the case. We recommend that you try our software to get used to having time limits on your cases.

If you really want to answer the question of: What can you expect on test day for the CCS portion of the test?, then you should download our free trial of our product. Our program is nearly identical to what you will see on the real test-day. You can download our product here.

Happy studying!

Step 3 Format

Step 3 Format

Step 3 Format

A common question that we receive is what is the Step 3 Format? Step 3 is the final USMLE exam required to qualify for an unrestricted medical license. The exam is a two day exam:

Day 1 includes 232 multiple choice questions divided into 6 different blocks of 38 to 39 questions. You are given 60 minutes for each block of test items.

Day 1 will be approximately 7 hours which includes 45 min of break time and an optional 5 min tutorial.

Day 2 is a longer day. This lasts approximately 9 hours. There are another 180 multiple choice questions divided into 6 blocks of 30 questions. You are given 45 min for each block.

After the multiple choice questions, there are 13 case simulations which haws both 10 minute cases and 20 minute cases of “real time.” You have 45 min of break time for this day as well.  This is the Step 3 format. The CCS portion will take a significant portion of your time on the second day. Many people do not take the CCS portion seriously and focus mainly on the multiple choice questions. However, this is not recommended as the case simulations are unique in a sense that most people who have never taken Step 3 before are not familiar with the software and what is required and what is being graded.

This is what specializes in. We help students who are unfamiliar with the test and provide a simulation environment to help prepare them for test day. We give feedback after the cases to give you advice on what you did right and would you could do better to maximize your score on test day. If you would like to try out our case simulation software, please go to our download page here.


Release of 3.3.4

We have released a new version today: version 3.3.4.

We also made some minor updates to the cases. This update is only available for the PC at this time. We have a new update which is coming soon which will be available to both PC/MAC coming soon!

You can download the new version here.

Thanks for your support.

CCS Cases Team.

USMLE Step 3

Everyone knows that the USMLE Step 3 consists of two parts: the multiple choice question section and the CCS (Computer-based case simulation). The CCS test is difficult to study for because it’s essentially an open book; there is no multiple choice. You need to logically think through each case and decide which tests to order and which treatment to administer. It can especially be challenging for foreign medical graduates (FMG). The issue with our competitors is that they do not offer interactive feedback on what was done right and what was done incorrectly. Our USMLE Step 3 CCS computer simulator offers interactive feedback after each case and tells you what you should do and should not do. It will help you prepare for the USMLE Step 3 CCS portion of the exam.

Better than the other USMLE Step 3 Products

There are hundreds of other USMLE Step 3 products that state that they can help you prepare for the USMLE Step 3 CCS portion of the exam. However, our product is one of the only ones that is an interactive computer based software that provided grading and has more than just 51 cases. It has 100 cases, all with feedback and grading to help you prepare for the real test.

Try our USMLE Step 3 Product

We offer 2 free fully functional cases to try on your own. You can access these at our Try-It and Downloads page located here. We would welcome your feedback in regarding to this, but we are sure that it will be very helpful in your preparations for the CCS portion of the exam. You can contact us at any time if you have any questions or concerns regarding our products. Our contact information is located here. You can also take a look at our Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ page)

Preparing for the USMLE Step 3 CCS

How do I prepare for the USMLE Step 3 CCS?

Many students struggle with the USMLE Step 3 CCS portion of the test. Preparing for the USMLE Step 3 CCS can be challenging because this is not a multiple choice question. It is like an essay test with a question at the top of a blank piece of paper. This makes preparing for the USMLE Step 3 CCS a difficult proposition for students who are used to just doing multiple choice questions. This is quite the paradigm shift for a lot of students. The most importance piece of advice that can be given for preparing for the USMLE Step 3 CCS is to practice until you are very familiar with the software, very familiar with the format, and very familiar with how to treat the most commonly seen CCS Cases given.

Preparing for the USMLE Step 3 CCS

In order to help those who struggle with the step 3 portion, we have created This is an interactive software program for the PC or MAC which allows you to practice cases just like in the real test. Many students have found that studying for the CCS with books and written materials is not sufficient to score well on the test day. Practice with actual software that mimics the real test environment, so you can learn to perform at your best on test day. Try our product free before you purchase.

If you would like to try out our product without any strings attached, go to our download page here and download our trial version which shows exactly what you will be getting if you do decide to purchase. If you do decide that you would like to purchase to help you in your ccs studies, you can do so here.

CCS Preparation – Most Effective Tools for Success – For PC/Mac

We get a lot of questions about the most effective way of preparing for the USMLE Step 3 CCS exam. They ask us, “What is the best way of preparing for the CCS Portion?” “What do I do to prepare for the CCS portion?” “What is the secret to do well on the CCS Preparation.”

Like most things in life, the best CCS Preparation is practice, practice, practice. Don’t just read about what the best way to treat a COPD exacerbation and memorize that steps; learn from doing. The best CCS Preparation is to actually practice the most common cases that is seen on the USMLE Step 3 CCS portion of the test.

Many students make the fatal mistake of memorizing algorithms and then come to test day and get completely paralyzed when they get on the Primum Software. They get flustered; they don’t know what to do. The best way to prevent this is to become familiar with the software and become confident doing test cases using the software that you will be using on the real test day. This is the best CCS Preparation.

At, we recommend that you get familiar with our software, take the advise learned from the interactive feedback, and do as many cases as you can before the real test. This can take quite a bit of time which is why we offer an unlimited time to study. There are no monthly fees that limit your study time. You pay once, and you can study early and consistently until your exam time without incurring additional fees. If you have any questions, please click on the contact us link on our homepage and send us an email.

We recommend that you download our software and take a look at and try a couple free cases yourself to make up your mind for yourself. You can download it here.

Scoring for The USMLE Step 3 CCS

ccs cases scoring

Scoring for The USMLE Step 3 CCS

A common question asked is about the scoring for the USMLE Step 3 CCS. How is the CCS section scored? The USMLE states that the CCS portion will test competency in the following area: Diagnosis which includes History/Physical Exam, Laboratory/Diagnostic studies, Diagnosis, Prognosis/Outcome. It will also test Management which includes Health maintenance/Disease prevention, Pharmacotherapy, Clinical Interventions, and Mixed management. Communication and Professionalism are also tested.

Other things to be considered in the scoring for the USMLE Step 3 CCS:

The timing and sequencing of actions will affect your score. Actions that are potentially harmful will negatively affect your score. The USMLE states: “Seemingly correct management decisions made in a suboptimal or incorrect sequence or after a delay in simulated time may receive little or no credit.”

Normally diet orders and ambulation orders carry “little to no weight in scoring unless they are particularly relevant to the care such as a specific diet order for a patient with diabetes.”

Some cases you are scored based on NOT doing aggressive intervention. You will score high if you do a “wait and see” approach for these cases.

Location is important for scoring. It is important to not elevate to a higher level of care unless this is clinically warranted.

Diagnoses and reasons for consultations will NOT be used in scoring, so do not be overly concerned about this.

All of these scoring for the USMLE Step 3 CCS is built into We score each case based on the diagnostic orders, treatment, preventative care, location, and sequencing. This helps you get used to the things that you will be asked on test day and how to diagnose and treat commonly seen CCS cases.

You don’t have to take our word for it, you can check it out for yourself. You can download our free demo with 2 fully functional cases here.

Step 3 CCS Practice – Practice with a simulator almost identical to the real test

Like we’ve said on other posts, the best way to prepare for the step 3 test is not to read about cases, it’s about practicing cases. Our Step 3 CCS Practice program includes 100 cases you can practice with. People learn by doing and not by just reading. To give an analogy, if you’re a basketball player, and you are worried about performing well on a game, do you watch videos of professional athletes playing basketball? Do you read about the best techniques for making free throws? No, you get out there and start shooting the ball.

Our Step 3 CCS Practice program is just that. It’s like shooting the ball for the big game day which is the USMLE Step 3. The program is nearly identical to the real day. Seriously, why practice with a program like Uworld which is different than the real test? This doesn’t make sense. That’s like practicing on a 7 foot basketball hoop, then playing on the real day with a 10 foot basketball hoop. Yes, the practicing on the 7 foot hoop is probably better than nothing, but you need to make serious adjustments on game day.

Try our Step 3 CCS Practice

CCS Cases Step 3 CCS Practice has the entire order set (over 20,000 orders), it has grading, it has feedback, it has cases that you will see on the real day. It is as close to the real practice test than actually taking the test. The beautiful thing about the Step 3 CCS Practice is that you can learn from your mistakes prior to exam day with our grading and feedback. You don’t have to wonder if you performed well like in the Uworld CCS Cases; you’ll be given a percentage score and then the grading breakdown.

Go ahead and take a look and download our Step 3 CCS Practice Material here.

We also recommend taking a look at the practice material for the CCS test here.

Step by Step Approach to the CCS Cases

The disadvantage of other USMLE Step 3 CCS case study helps is that they don’t give you a step by step approach to the CCS cases. Most study material are books which give a vague idea of what needs to be done, but it doesn’t go through a step by step approach to the CCS cases. Our program does exactly that. It will grade all of your orders and give you suggestions on how to improve your score  so that you will be prepared on test day on what to order and how to manage the patient on the CCS portion of the USMLE Step 3.

Here at CCSCases, we are striving to create the ultimate step by step approach to the CCS Cases in which we will show you exactly how to perform well on the real test day. We don’t tell you; we show you. We show you through our grading system which other products do not offer. We are constantly making improvements to our grading system and software so that you have the most up-to-date software to help you master the USMLE Step 3 CCS portion of the exam. This portion for many students can be the difference between a pass rate and a fail rate which is why we offer our step by step approach to the CCS cases.

We invite to compare our product to the other products on the market. We priced our product so that we could offer a good value to our customer. There are 100 cases and no monthly fees.

We recommend that you try our free 2 cases which are fully functional and see if you like our new way of studying for the CCS portion of the exam. Please go to our download page here and download it and check it out for yourself.