Our years of experience have given us tremendous insight in to USMLE Step3 students’ weak areas. It was astonishing to notice that many Step3 students despite practicing on commercially available CCS software (such as UWorld), were deficient in executing crucial CCS tasks. Practicing on this commercially available software without understanding the strategy did not yield the best result. More importantly, the above commercial software does not exactly match the CCS software that students take their actual exam on. Students missed out on the importance of sequencing of orders, monitoring the patients, avoiding invasive orders, 2-min screen input, follow-up monitoring using calendar option, real time and simulated time logistics.  This is exactly why guidance by an expert teaching physician is needed on most effective strategy to work on the actual USMLE Step 3 CCS software about Diagnosis, Location, Monitoring, Timing and Sequencing of orders.  At Archer CCS, we have explained the strategies by simulating various high-yield case scenarios on the actual exam CCS software. This led to improved understanding of how the cases work on the software compared to real life scenarios and how crucial it is not to indulge in invasive measures on a patient. These time-tested Archer CCS strategies as well as high yield case demonstrations have worked out wonders for our prior students and should certainly work for you too!


To address the needs of busy medical students and physicians, Archer has introduced several options to master the CCS strategy: Rapid CCS Prep, Intense CCS prep and Live CCS Workshops (Live Webinars).

Rapid CCS Prep is one of the most preferred options by Step3 students. You get online access immediately after purchase and you can review at your own convenient time 24/7 from your account. These streaming videos include the exact live webinar content where you see several cases being demonstrated on the actual Step 3 CCS software, PowerPoint presentation and the instructor’s audio. This is a video package of Archer CCS strategies, four full length live CCS workshops including the videos of most recent live CCS session showing the strategies on the latest Step3 exam software. Includes 2hrs45min of Archer CCs strategies clip, a 5hr most recent CCS Workshop file and several other high-yield CCS. We have provided 35 hours of files so users have choice to watch more high-yield cases if they wish to. If you are constrained for time, it is certainly not necessary to complete all the 35-hour files – we recommend that you complete at-least Archer CCS strategies file along with 5 hour most recent CCS Workshop file to master the most important content (total 8 hours’ time). These reviews are automatically updated whenever there are changes to Step3 and whenever new guidelines and new concepts emerge.


Intense CCS Prep is an extremely thorough prep offering several videos with 100 hours of case demonstrations (about 80 high-yield CCS cases) on the actual exam CCS software including Archer CCS strategies file. It includes all the cases from Rapid CCS prep as well. This is especially recommended for those with prior failed attempts on Step3 and/or those with low performance on CCS in the past. Several students with multiple failed attempts in the past were able to pass the exam through Intense CCS prep.


Live CCS Workshop (Webinar) is an online session where you can interact with the instructor (Dr.Red) who will walk you through the software live and lets you practice CCS cases under guidance. First part of the workshop will include a recorded lecture on CCS strategies for 3 hours. Then each student gets to practice under supervision. Using the webinar technology, you can work on the instructor’s desktop screen while the instructor and other webinar participants can watch you as you practice a case. The instructor will analyze your approach and give you instant feedback if anything needs to be improved. While other students practice different cases, you get to watch and ask questions. In this way, almost 12 to 15 cases are practiced during a single workshop. Each student will get 20 minutes to practice a case. A webinar can accommodate up to 40 students at a time. Registration must be done two days in advance before the scheduled webinar. Depending on the number of students, a session can last from 8 to 12 hours, with frequent breaks to optimize learning. By giving a one-time in-depth workshop, we allow our students to truly engage with the material and learn all the necessary concepts in a shorter amount of time. Live sessions are organized only once every 4 months since most students prefer Rapid Online CCS prep

Have you missed out the recent live online lecture? No worries, you can access them here! Get access to our CCS workshop sessions and rapid reviews. Archer’s Pay-Per-View now makes it possible for you to access our streaming live videos at your most convenient time.


Step3 CCS – Why excelling on it so important?

Archer Step 3 CCS strategies have led to 99% pass rate for many students including those who had multiple previous failed attempts on Step3. Years after launch, we continue to notice consistent improvement in the CCS performance of our students and a significant boost in the 3-digit score (when compared to the score on their prior attempts) as long as they followed and applied the strategies as demonstrated.  We did a retrospective analysis using the score reports forwarded to us by our successful students. Score reports prior to 2018 clearly showed performance graphs using rightward or leftward stars which enabled us to analyze the relative importance of CCS. These score reports revealed:

80% score reports showed very high performance on the CCS with only an average performance on the MCQs. 19% showed average performance both on CCS and MCQs. Those with below average/ poor performance on CCS got a failed score despite above average performance on the MCQs

For the students who had failed past attempts but now passed, the performance graphs revealed a big boost in the CCS section while not so much in MCQs compared to their prior score reports. Still, all of them passed. For those who previously failed with 3-digit scores of 170 and above, it is important that they analyze their score report to see if there is a scope for improvement in CCS performance. If there is, this is where you can get the best results with the least effort. The new score reports since 2018 will not tell the exact performance, it just shows whether the performance in CCS/MCQs is higher or lower than your overall Step 3 score. For those who failed with 3-digit scores of 170 or above with higher performance on CCS, we still insist that you excel on Step 3 CCS to reduce the burden on the MCQs. If your score was less than 170, it is important that you focus significantly on both CCS and MCQs because you need a boost in both the sections to reach the passing score on your next attempt.

Please realize that losing 2 to 3 CCS cases completely may significantly increase the burden on the MCQ sections. It is possible that each CCS case may  contribute approximately 2% to your total 3-digit score. Since most students find it hard to answer more than 55% to 65% MCQs correctly, losing a CCS case will put additional burden on you to correctly answer additional 3 questions per block. For a student who consistently scored 65% on practice question banks, failing 3 CCS cases may require them to get 70% correct on the MCQs to reach the passing score. This is one reason why some students fail despite reviewing MCQs thoroughly and despite scoring 70% on some practice Qbanks like Kaplan and UWorld.  At Archer, we apply time-tested strategic approaches to help students taking standardized tests. Our goal is to focus on what matters most in the exam and spend more time preparing you extensively in those focused areas.

To conclude,
– Please do not neglect CCS. Getting a high score on CCS is easily achievable and extremely rewarding to the overall score.
– Below average performance on CCS will need you to score very high on MCQs in order to succeed on Step 3. This is a very hard feat to achieve compared to CCS focused method.

Eleven years after the launch, Archer or Dr.Red CCS Workshops and Theory lecture courses continue to benefit thousands of medical students and physicians every year  with these evidence based strategic approaches to pass USMLE exams.