Orientation - Preparing for the Exam

When & where am I scheduled to take the exam?

You will be scheduled to take the CPX at the UNC SOM Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center located on the first floor of Burnett-Womack on Manning Drive between NC Memorial hospital and the UNC Dental school. Once registration for the CPX is finalized in June, you will receive notification about your date and time by email. A copy of your schedule will also be available in Student Affairs.

The CPX takes approximately 6.5 hours. You will be scheduled to take the exam beginning at 9:00am. You should be at the Clinical Skills Center on the first floor of Burnett-Womack exactly at your start time in order to sign in and participate in a brief orientation. If you are late for the exam and miss any case(s), you will not receive a passing score for those case(s).

How can I prepare for the exam?

This exam is designed to assess basic primary care and professional skills. Successfully completing your third year clerkships should prepare you to take this exam.

However there are a few resources that may be helpful in reviewing basic interviewing & physical exam skills, understanding how standardized patients are used in practical exams, and knowing how to make better decisions about appropriate diagnostic and management strategies.

  • First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS. Fourth Edition, Tao Le and Vikas Bhushan. McGraw-Hill Medical, 2012
  • Kaplan USMLE Step 2 CS Core Cases, Phillip Brottman, 2013 

What should I wear and bring to the exam?

You should dress professionally as you do when you see patients in the clinic or hospital. You should bring the following:

  • stethoscope
  • reflex hammer
  • penlight
  • white coat

Students MUST bring their own lunch.  No refreshments will be provided, nor will students be permitted to leave the exam center.  There are no snack machines in the Clinical Skills Center, so bring whatever you need.


The Day of the Exam
How Your Performance is Evaluated