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Best USMLE Step 2 CS Book

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One of the important exams you will need to take in your clinical journey is the USMLE Step 2 CS Exam. There are dozens of USMLSE Step 2 CS books on the market. As a result, it can be quite difficult determining which resources to use.

Given how tough the USMLE Step 2 CS Exam is, you need to have the best study materials. In this guide, we present the best USMLE Step 2 CS prep books that will help you ace the exam.

USMLE Step 2 CS Prep Book – Comparison Table

RANKSTUDY GUIDEPRACTICE EXAMS/QUESTIONSREVIEWPRICE
1

First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CSFirst Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS

44 practice cases

 Read Full Review

Buy on Amazon

2

Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Strategies, Practice & ReviewKaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Strategies, Practice & Review

30+ exam cases

 Read Full Review

Buy on Amazon

3

Target USMLE Step 2 CS HandbookTarget USMLE Step 2 CS Handbook

N/A

 Read Full Review

Buy on Amazon

4

Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Complex CasesKaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Complex Cases

23 patient cases

 Read Full Review

Buy on Amazon

5

Beat the USMLE STEP 2 CSBeat USMLE Step 2 CS

N/A

 Read Full Review

Buy on Amazon

USMLE Step 2 CS Books Review

#1.  First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS

First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CSWhen you are preparing for the USMLE Step 2 CS exam, you will need this book to pass. Written by experienced authors, the First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS captures multiple cases and descriptions you should know as you prepare for the exam.

The best-selling Step 2 CS prep book has helped countless medical students ace their tests. The book has comprehensive information across its 592 pages covering cases that will increase your preparedness for the exam.

Below is an overview of what is included in the First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS book:

  • Detailed content on different cases that will help you understand what is required in the exam questions
  • Revised and expanded series of mini-cases covering the most common complaints. These cases will help you know how to develop different diagnosis fast and easily.
  • 44 complete, full-length practice cases that are presented in a similar manner to the real exam questions

The First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS is the best value book on the market. It has in-depth information and practice questions that will ensure you are adequately prepared for the exam.

Pros

  • Has practice questions that are similar to those asked in the real exam. Going through the questions is the best way of preparing yourself for the exam.
  • Has detailed review sections
  • Has all the relevant questions you should expect in the exam and give accurate sample patient notes
  • The concepts included in the book are contributed by former medicine students and professors. Therefore, you can be sure the content is highly relevant.

Cons

  • The information and cases are not presented in the order you would get in a real patient encounter

Buy on Amazon

#2.  Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Strategies, Practice & Review

Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Strategies, Practice & ReviewThe Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Strategies is a great study material for students taking the Step 2 exam. This book is written by Kaplan experts and has simple and accurate explanations, which makes it easy to read.

In the book, you will find detailed descriptions and well-supported diagnostic studies that are presented in the form of notes. This is one of the reasons why most students rate the study guide as the best USMLE Step 2 CS book. The content is well-organized and is presented in a simple and concise manner.

You can use the book to gauge your knowledge, perform a physical examination, and communicate other findings.

Here’s what is included in the Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Strategies, Practice & Review book:

  • Different strategies for ordering appropriate diagnostics studies and articulating the differential diagnosis
  • Simple, step-by-step guide on taking patient history and performing relevant physical exam
  • Over 30 exam-like cases on patient scenarios that are frequently tested

The 324 pages book has a practical approach and provides all the information you need to ace the USMLE Step 2 CS exam.

Pros

  • Provides time management strategies to help you make the most of the exam time
  • The test strategies provide are useful for tacking common topics and questions on the test
  • The cases included are similar to those you will come across during the actual exam

Cons

  • The book uses a lot of advanced medical vocabulary when explaining concepts in the review section. Therefore, some students may find it difficult to understand the concepts.

Buy on Amazon

#3.  Target USMLE Step 2 CS Handbook

Target USMLE Step 2 CS HandbookThis digital book is only available for the Kindle and is an excellent study guide for anyone preparing for the USMLE Step 2 CS test. The Target USMLE Step 2 book is not too detailed but contains important information that will help you during the exam. The book is also well-organized, and the information flows smoothly from chapter to chapter.

The book content is interactive and comprehensive. Apart from the book, there are video lectures and demos presented by qualified mentors that will enhance your understanding.

The Target USMLE Step 2 CS Handbook comes with the following:

  • Video demos and lectures
  • Most important tips that will help you write a great patient note
  • Focused data gathering, including system-wise history taking and physical exam

This Step 2 CS prep book is an affordable option that we recommend if you have a kindle. There are many cheap kindles you can buy on Amazon.

Pros

  • Contains information that is essential for the CS test
  • Reviews concepts in a step-by-step format, making it easy to understand them
  • Is short, concise and straight to the point

Cons

  • Is only available as a Kindle book

Buy on Amazon

#4.  Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Complex Cases

Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Complex CasesIn the Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Complex Cases, you will not find information about the regular cases you will encounter in the CS exam or in real life. This book deals with advanced cases, some that are quite challenging. While the book is not length, it covers the advanced cases concisely and in a simple manner.

The Kaplan Complex Cases book uses short descriptions to explain the ideas presented so that you can easily understand them.  Here’s an overview of what is included in the book:

  • 23 patient cases that are narrowly focused on advanced clinical content
  • Clear and hands-on advice on how to perform differential diagnosis, physical exams, and communicate
  • Covers complex cases you will encounter in the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam

If you are looking for a CS prep book that has more challenging cases, you should get the Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Complex Cases book.

Pros

  • Has great clinical scenarios and patient notes form
  • The content does not have fluff
  • The difficult cases presented will ensure you are prepared for any type of question when taking the CS test

Cons

  • Majority of the complex cases presented in the book are not likely to be tested on the exam but are good to know for real-life practice

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#5.  Beat USMLE Step 2 CS

Beat the USMLE STEP 2 CSThe Beat the USMLE Step 2 CS has special pro tips that will give you an edge as you prepare for the exam. The book goes deeper into study tips than other CS prep books on this review.

The pro tips in the book are excellent supplementary content for anyone that is preparing for the USMLE Step 2 CS exam. However, the content is not covered in depth and, hence, may not be the best option for anyone that needs more comprehensive explanations.

Here’s what to expect in the Beat the USMLE Step 2 CS:

  • Essential information that you may easily overlook when preparing for the CS exam
  • Pro tips and advice on tackling the exam

This cheap book is an excellent complement to other more comprehensive USMLE Step 2 CS books on this review.

Pros

  • Will help you know how to interpret and handle the tricks you are likely to encounter when doing the test
  • Has short and concise information, which is helpful if you need a quick revision or want to cram for the exam

Cons

  • Is quite short and does not cover the topics in depth

Buy on Amazon

Editors’ Verdict: Best USMLE Step 2 CS Book

All the above books are excellent study materials for preparing for the USLE Step 2 exam. However, the top among them is the Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Strategies, Review & Practice. This book not only offers comprehensive review of what you should know, but also comes with practice questions to ensure you are familiar with what is tested in the exam.

Our second recommendation would be the First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 Exam. We recommend this book if you cannot afford the Kaplan USMLE Step 2 SC Strategies, Review & Practice.

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