How Sketchy Helps You Study for USMLE Step 2

With Step 1 now pass/fail, students now see the USMLE Step 2 as the new Step 1. No matter the exam, Sketchy can help you pass the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2.

When Did USMLE Step 1 Become Pass/Fail?

You may have—or maybe haven’t—heard the news, depending on which rock you’re studying under, but as of January 26, 2022, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) opted to do away with numerical scores for Step 1, making the exam “pass/fail.” 

This was done in order to encourage residency programs to holistically assess applicants beyond their USMLE Step 1 scores and to ensure that medical students are focusing on their well-being and not succumbing to burnout.

This significant change in the USMLE Step 1 process has left students scrambling to figure out what exactly to prioritize in their medical school education in order to angle for those desired residency spots. 

Along with that, the USMLE Step 2— still numerically scored —naturally came to be seen as the new Step 1. There’s also a growing trend that Step 2 is holding more weight in the residency program match process over the last few years. 

Reported in National Residency Matching Program®’s biannual Program Directors Survey, requiring a Step 2 CK score when considering interview candidates jumped from 60% of respondents to 94% in just 3 years (2018 to 2021). 

The good news is that the USMLE Step 2 has typically been seen as slightly easier to study for, given the amount of experience and knowledge students gain from their clinical rotations and shelf exams in MS3 and MS4 (which also become more important for residency applications) that aid in retaining information.



How Long Should I Study for USMLE Step 2?

We recommend that you devote at least 6 weeks of dedicated study time to USMLE Step 2 prep. Most students who have already been studying steadily as an MS3 find that devoting a period of between 6-8+ weeks to prep leading up to their test date helps them feel best prepared. What’s most important is that you cover all essential sections of the exam. 

If you haven’t devoted any time to studying topics and sections associated with USMLE Step 2 (most especially a qbank review) at all yet, then you may find that you need more than 8 weeks of study and prep time to really feel confident.



Sketchy offers a comprehensive, all-in-one medical program for all four years of medical school.

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Get USMLE Step 2 help and so much more!

Sketchy offers you a combined preclinical and clinical program that you can use for all four years of medical school to ensure that you’re getting a comprehensive overview of all the topics you need to memorize and understand. That means we cover much of the foundational knowledge you will need in order to succeed on Step 2. 

We offer lessons from biochemistry and microbiology all the way to sections critical for the USMLE Step 2, which include Internal Medicine , Surgery , Pediatrics , and OB/GYN (with a new course in Immunology coming soon!). 

All in all, that’s 1000+ entertaining and highly memorable lessons at your beck and call with the click of a button. By having Sketchy throughout your medical school journey, you’ll retain your clinical knowledge faster and longer, while still having fun!



Interactive review cards are available to study, whether you’re at the desk or on the go!symbol explorer 1

In addition to our Sketchy lessons, your subscription also includes interactive review cards with high-yield information that you can review whether you’re at your desk, during breaks on rotations, waiting in line at the hospital cafeteria, or while sleeping. (Just kidding—we haven’t figured that one out yet). 

We also have the Symbol Explorer , which is an updated interface for your review cards, so you can see the symbols—and the information they represent—in an easy-to-read, list form.


Practice questions are available for each lesson to help you test your knowledge

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Sketchy has a whopping 3,775+ practice questions to help you test your knowledge after you’ve watched our lessons to make sure you’ve understood the topic and memorized the high-yield information, and we are constantly adding more with every update. 

Get a head start on studying for the USMLE Step 2 by practicing with these questions early, ensuring that by the time you take the exam, your brain is conditioned and ready to go.


Clinical Essentials to help you transition smoothly from Step 1 to Clinical Rotations

Study for Step 2 of the USMLE the easy way! The Sketchy team has curated 38 essential lessons—from electrolytes and acid-base disorders, to an ECG introduction—all to guide you through the transition from your textbook-heavy preclinical years to your clinical rotations.

 This will give you a solid foundation for reading your patients’ labs and understanding key chief complaints and etiologies in the clinical setting.

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Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Pediatrics lessons will be updated to be shorter and more memorable

Sketchy is working to update all lessons in Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Pediatrics to be shorter, in order to make the lessons easier to understand and more digestible, so you can really work these into your USMLE Step 2 study schedule. 

Some lessons will also be updated or changed based on student feedback to be more memorable and engaging, so that we can offer you the best study experience possible!


Neurology module lets you stay engaged with your lessons!

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We’ve worked hard on a Neurology module that makes neurology more memorable and engaging. 

Rest assured that even with Step 1 of the USMLE , moving to pass/fail, Sketchy has your back as you move through your preclinical years, transition to your clinical rotations and shelf exams, and take your USMLE Step 2 exams.




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