Thinking about signing up for one of our exam preparation workshops? This is the place to get all of your USMLE Step 2 CS questions answered.

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions, but if you have any additional concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at

There are a lot of prep courses out there. What makes C3NY the best?

Well, of course there is our 97% pass rate! And C3NY is the only prep course provided by an industry leader. Mark H. Swartz, MD has been involved with SPs and performance-based assessments for over 30 years. C3NY focuses exclusively on Step 2 CS; we do not get bogged down with other exams. C3NY is also the only prep course with direct associations with university medical schools. Dr. Swartz’s Textbook of Physical Diagnosis: History & Examination is the gold standard textbook in the field; it has been translated into 14 languages. He has also published a review book for the USMLE Step 2 CS exam. in addition, we give you direct hands-on practice with highly experienced Standardized Patients. With thousands of successful students over many years of providing preparatory workshops, we have become the world's most trusted Step 2 CS Prep Program. Read success stories from students around the world HERE.

How long before my scheduled exam should I plan on taking the three day workshop?

Dr. Swartz recommends ideally 2-3 weeks between the end of the workshop and taking your exam. This is to allow time to practice. However, a lot of this depends on your experience and level of comfort with American patients. Some students, because of travel restrictions, must take the workshop and then immediately take the exam. We have had plenty of people be successful this way. Some people need more practice after the workshop, which is why we also offer Skype Coaching Sessions. Again, ideally 2-3 weeks between the end of the workshop and your exam is recommended.

How should I prepare for my workshop?

The best advice we can give is to come well-rested and with an open and curious mind. We DO NOT recommend reading any particular text beforehand. The Step 2 CS exam is a hands-on examination, and most of what we teach needs to be learned in person.

How big are your class sizes?

We deliberately keep our class size intimate; you are not just a number in the C3NY Workshop. There is a good deal of hands on learning, and individualized feedback. Our classes are capped at 15 students per class; often there are fewer. Our workshops do sell out, so be sure to reserve your spot well in advance.

Why is it important to take a review course? Can't I prepare on my own?

It is critically important to be well prepared when taking any test, especially the USMLE Step 2 CS exam. Since 2012, the exam has become much more difficult with more failures amongst both International Medical Graduates and American Medical Graduates. Proper guidance in preparation for the exam will lead to a more successful outcome. This is especially important when now, more than ever, Residency Directors are looking for first-time passes of Step 2 CS! Be well prepared; enroll today and get the correct information you need to be a successful candidate.

What if I have already taken the exam and have not been successful?

C3NY has many, many students who come to us after not being successful on the exam, and who then go on to be successful. Throughout our three-day workshop, Dr. Swartz will provide individual attention to each student, evaluate your interviewing and patient note skills, and will further be able to diagnose the best way to succeed on your next attempt. If you have taken the Step 2 CS in the past, email your score (with ID blacked out) to to receive a $500 discount on your workshop tuition.

I cannot afford to take a workshop / cannot travel to take a workshop. Is there any other way I can prepare using C3NY?

Yes! We now offer Skype Coaching Sessions with expert SPs. Please note these sessions are for practicing cases only, and are not intended to give information about the exam itself. For information about the exam itself, visit and

My problem is the patient note. Do you address this?

Yes, we emphasize patient note writing, part of the ICE scoring component of the USMLE Step 2 CS exam. On Day Two of the workshop, you will participate in a Patient Note Writing Intensive. You will watch four SP videos, specifically made to teach clinical reasoning and note writing. You will then do 10-minute computer write ups on each case, and review with Dr. Swartz. Ideal notes for all cases will be given to you to take home. On Day Three of our workshop, you will also do two 10-minute timed computer write-ups, and review all notes of all cases presented on Day Three, up to 12 cases total.

My problem is the physical exam. How do you address this?

On Day Two of our workshop, Dr. Swartz demonstrates a head to toe physical exam on a real person--a Standardized Patient trained to help you in your training. He emphasizes techniques and maneuvers designed specifically for the time allotted in the USMLE Step 2 CS exam. Then all participants will attend a PE Practicum. There, you will get individual practice with a trained Patient Instructor.

Why can't I just take Day Three of the workshop?

The approach we recommend is different than most other prep courses. Unless you have the information about interviewing a patient which is covered extensively in Day One of the C3NY Workshop in New York City, Day Three will not be beneficial for you or your colleagues. Day One offers didactic information about interviewing and proper communication skills for an American patient, and on Day Three you put that information into practice. Our approach has resulted in over 7,000 successful students. You can read some of their success stories HERE.

Do you provide accommodations?

No. You are responsible for your own accommodations. We do provide recommendations for all types of accommodations in NYC on our Accommodations Page.

Can you tell me a little more about SPs?

Standardized Patients (SPs) are medical educators trained to portray patients in various scenarios for training purposes. You can find out more about our expert SPs on our Standardized Patients Page.

Is there a dress code for the workshop?

No. Please wear what is comfortable for you and appropriate for the weather.

Do I need to bring anything with me to the workshop?

No. All you need to bring to the workshop is yourself, and something on which to take notes. If you will be taking the optional PE Practicum in NYC after Day Two, you will also need to bring your stethoscope.

Will I get any study materials to take with me after the workshop?

Yes. For both the three and two day workshops, there will be handouts given, but they are minimal. The hands-on nature of this exam means most of your study will be in the moment, with the SPs, under the guidance of Dr. Swartz and the C3NY staff.

Do you offer any discounts?

We keep our prices as low as possible. Every once in a while there may be a small discount promotion offered.

What is your pass rate?

We are proud to maintain a pass rate in excess of 96% over many years of offering preparatory workshops. This does not guarantee a particular outcome for any particular student, but we are confident that our methodology works and can help any dedicated candidate to succeed on their Step 2 CS exam.

Can I talk to someone who has taken your workshop and then passed the exam?

Absolutely, this is a very good thing to do. Contact for a reference.