In Him I Trust
As one of the co-authors of First Aid Usmle step 2 cs book (3rd edition, 2009) I know that a great effort has been put together by the first aid usmle step 2 cs team in the form of a book to meet the needs of the student for the usmle step 2 cs exam. It has been the sole source of study material for many students over the years.
In 2012, when the pattern of the exam changed especially in the step 2 cs patient note format, the change was not updated immediately in the 4th edition. The 5th edition released in 2014 is the current edition as of now (2016 Jan). It has updated patient notes under each long case in the format as expected in the USMLE step 2 cs exam. Most students who have taken the exam express in multiple forums that first aid usmle step 2 cs book covers all types of cases that come in the real exam even though it may not be exactly be the same presentation.
However, the general consensus among students is that the first aid usmle step 2 cs book does not train the students as an individual tool to prepare themselves effectively for the ICE component of the step 2 cs exam. There are students who have gone through the book several times but are not still effective in presenting a step 2 cs case. Whether it is a problem at the student's end need to be factored in as well! Though all the information is presented in this book it does not organize it for you to present it as a logical and fluent step 2 cs exam case presentation after you have read the initial sections. Students still look out for formats to practice a clinical case the step 2 cs way even after reading this book. 44 full length cases given in Section IV of the first aid usmle step 2 CS book is a good tool to practice with your study partners. However how to use all 4 sections of the first aid usmle step 2 cs into a practical and feasible 15 min encounter and a 10 min patient note is entirely upto your personal organizing skills.