Your Performance on the Case Simulations Could Affect Whether You Pass or Fail

This is a direct quote taken from the USMLE referenced here. The full quote is as follows:

“For Step 3, your performance on the case simulations will affect your Step 3 score and could affect whether you pass or fail. The proportional contribution of the score on the case simulations is no greater than the amount of time you are given to complete the case simulations.” 

This seems like an obvious statement, “yeah, if you fail CCS, you could fail the entire step 3 exam.” However, it states that the CCS portion of the test is graded in proportion to the rest of the test by the amount of time given for the CCS Portion. So lets do some math here:

Day #1 – 6 x 60 min blocks of MCQ = 360 min.
Day #2 – Total is approx 9 hours (9 hrs x 60 min = 540 min). 6 x 45 min blocks of MCQ = 270 min. There is a 5 min tutorial at the beginning and a 7 min tutorial for CCS cases and 45 min of breaks. 540 total time – 270 MCQ – 12 min tutorials – 45 min breaks = 213 min. We will round down to 210 min as it says “the second day is approximately 9 hours.” So total test time (not including breaks/tutorials) for both days is 840 min. The percentage that your grade if proportional to the other days from CCS Cases is 210/840 = 25% of your grade. So, we can estimate that the CCS Cases is 25% of your total grade for the entire Step 3 test. 25% is a significant portion of your grade, so you should be prepared for this.

Reading and studying CCS will not be sufficient. Even excellent students who are very knowledgeable can get tripped up if they are not familiar with how the program operates and how the program works in advancing time and getting results. The only effective way to prepare for the CCS portion of the test is to practice with real cases. We of course are biased in saying that since we offer 101 real cases that you can study. You can download 2 free cases to try out our program here.