Help and Support

We have strived to make this USMLE test preparation site as easy to use and intuitive as possible. If the help topics don't answer your question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

FAQs

I subscribed to the wrong product. What should I do? Request a refund by contacting our customer support team via email or telephone: within the US, (800) 401-9962. Outside the US: +1 (314) 995-3200. Your credit card will be credited. Purchase the product that you intended to.

I want to purchase a new version, not an extension, of a question bank (all the previous tests and performance information will be wiped out). What should I do? You must purchase a fresh product using a new username (e-mail address). Otherwise, the system will recognize you and retain your old stats and exams.

I would like to update information in "My Profile." What should I do? Log in to USMLE Consult. Click on the "My Profile" link in the upper right corner of the page. You can change your address, password, and whether you receive special offers and promotions from Elsevier. Just make sure to finish the update by clicking "Update my Details."

I am not able to use all of the functions of the site. What could be wrong? Make sure that you allow pop-ups so that you can use all the functions of the site available via the buttons at the top of your screen.

What is the Scorrelator and how does it work? The Scorrelator is a 3-block mock half-exam that times to 3 hours and includes the appropriate number of questions depending upon step. After completion of the Scorrelator, the student is given a three-digit score that is suggestive of what to expect on the actual exam. More information about the product, including our correlation methods are here.

USMLE Consult's Step 3 CCS Case Bank

Differences between USMLE Consult CCS Case Bank and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) CCS Cases

Great effort has been made to simulate the exam experience of the USMLE CCS cases; however, there are a few differences, listed below. For the best exam prep, we advise you practice on the NBME's USMLE CCS sample cases as well as USMLE Consult's CCS Case Bank.

  1. On USMLE Consult, although you input orders and you receive a score based on the orders you input, the cases progress according to an optimal strategy, not by the orders you input. The optimal management strategy is created using the latest textbook, journal, and electronic references. In addition, each case is reviewed and edited by multiple residents and physicians in their respective specialties to ensure quality, consistency, and accuracy of the management strategy.
  2. The NBME USMLE CCS cases in the actual exam are designed to test only your ability to manage cases. The USMLE Consult CCS Case Bank is designed to teach optimal management of CCS cases, as well as test your ability to manage a case. At each step in the management of a case, you are provided feedback on the optimal management strategy.
  3. The USMLE CCS cases allow multiple management strategies to be given equally high scores. The USMLE Consult Case Bank allows one optimal management strategy that is given the highest possible score.
  4. The number of orders in the USMLE Consult Case Bank is more limited than on the USMLE CCS cases. On the USMLE CCS cases, you are allowed to enter an order in multiple manners. For example, you may order "CBC with differential," "Complete Blood Count," "Blood count, complete with differential," "WBC (CBC with differential)," or "WBC with differential (CBC with differential)," all of which result in the same order being placed. On the USMLE Consult Case Bank, the list of options has been narrowed down to make recall easier, so you are only allowed to enter "CBC with differential."
    USMLE CCS Orders USMLE Consult Case Bank
    CBC with differential CBC with differential
    Complete Blood Count
    Blood count, complete with differential
    WBC (CBC with differential)
    WBC with differential (CBC with differential)
  5. On the USMLE CCS cases, you are allowed a total of 25 minutes with 20 minutes of case time and 5 minutes for end orders. The USMLE Consult Case Bank is designed for rapid review and testing. Therefore, no tracking of time is performed as each case is designed to be completed in well under 20 minutes.

Using USMLE Consult's CCS Case Bank

Your score is determined by comparing your orders with an optimal set of orders. Remember, Step 3 is not just about getting the correct diagnosis; it's about showing you can manage your patient effectively. Management of patients consistent with widely accepted standards of care achieve a high score on the actual USMLE CCS and on these CCS.

  • All examinations, orders, clock advancements, and location changes that you order are used in determining your score.
  • Each order you place is weighted based on the degree of appropriateness and may increase your score by different amounts.
  • Actions that are not indicated or pose a potential risk may decrease your score.
  • Final diagnoses and reasons for consultations are not used in evaluating your performance on the actual USMLE CCS cases and therefore are not scored on these CCS cases.

At the end of the case, you will be given a final score, which is broken down into the following CCS domains:

  1. Diagnosis Physical examinations, laboratory tests, and imaging studies that help you reach the diagnosis are assigned varying point values based on the degree of appropriateness. Actions that may lead to a delay in correct diagnosis and subsequent therapy may decrease your score.
  2. Location Points are awarded based on assigning patients to the proper healthcare setting. In some cases, the patient may not need to be changed from the initial setting.
  3. Monitoring It is often necessary to monitor certain laboratory, imaging, or vital sign parameters in a case. When appropriate, they are assigned varying point values. Some cases do not require monitoring.
  4. Sequence The sequence of indicated actions including when you perform examinations, orders, and clock advancements are graded based on degree of appropriateness. The sequence of a case automatically progresses based on the optimal management strategy and your actions are used only to determine your score.
  5. Therapy Medications, procedures, and counseling orders used in therapy are assigned varying point values based on degree of appropriateness.
  6. Timing Follow-up of results, clock advancements, and rescheduling of patients are assigned varying point values when appropriate.

Choosing a Case from USMLE Consult's Step 3 Case Bank

Cases are organized by 4 categories

  1. All Cases take user to list of all 100 cases
  2. Cases by Specialty (lists cases available for each specialty)
  3. Cases by Setting (lists cases available for each setting)
  4. Cases by Topic (lists cases available for each topic)

Selecting any specialty, setting, or topic will take you to a list of cases under the selected item. Practice case launches the case in the test interface. Review case takes you to a one-page summary of key orders.

Tips for Using USMLE Consult's CCS Case Bank

Select a case by Topic, Specialty, Setting, or Presenting Complaint. Choose to practice the case or review the case.

The case will begin with an introduction, vital signs, and history.

Once the case begins, you may use only one of the management buttons at the top when you see "Select an option above." At other times, the management buttons will be inactive.

Select one of the management buttons to perform examinations, write orders, advance the clock, and change locations.

At any point in the case, you may select Review to see all history, orders, results, and feedback up to that point in the case.

The case will progress based on an optimal management strategy and not on the orders you input. For example, if the optimal management strategy is Write Orders, and you select Change Location, you will be taken to Write Orders.

Your score is determined by comparing your orders with the optimal set of orders.

All examinations, orders, clock advancements, and location changes that you order are used in determining your Step 3 score.

After each set of orders you input, you will be given feedback on the optimal management strategy. The feedback screens explain how the case will progress.

At the end of the case, you will be prompted to enter a final diagnosis and be given one final opportunity to enter orders.

Final diagnoses and reasons for consultations are not used in evaluating your performance on the actual USMLE CCS cases and therefore are not scored on these CCS cases.

System Requirements

Browser Compatibility

For the PC:
This site is designed to work best with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5+ and Netscape Communicator 6.0+.

For the Mac:
Safari 1.2+ and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5+ are highly recommended for the Apple Macintosh.

If you are in any doubt as to the version of your browser, you can download the latest version of your preferred browser now: Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari.

The site uses frames and Javascript extensively, so please ensure that you have Javascript enabled.

Because of the large amount of content viewable on screen at any one time, we recommend a screen resolution of at least 800 x 600.

Plug-ins

For images
Images from the image library are available to download in either a Zip file (which contains jpeg image files) or in a PowerPoint presentation, for which you will require Winzip, PKZip or Stuffit Expander, or Microsoft PowerPoint, respectively.

For animations
Animations offered in interactive extras are in Flash, for which you will require Macromedia Flash.

For videos
You will need QuickTime to play the videos available on this site.

Cookies

We may store some information (commonly known as a 'cookie') on your computer when you look at our site. In particular, we use 'session' cookies to store information about your behavior on the site (whether you are logged in, etc.). These cookies are temporary and are deleted when you leave the site.

You can erase or block this information by changing the settings on your computer but doing this could mean that you may not be able to utilize some features of the site. More information on our use of cookies is available in our Privacy Policy.