Review of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) minimum passing score
Posted: May 17, 2013
As noted in the USMLE Bulletin of Information, the level of proficiency required to meet the recommended minimum passing level for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments are posted on the USMLE website.
Every three to four years the Step Committees are asked to complete an in-depth review of standards, and they may schedule more frequent reviews.
At its June 2012 meeting, the Step 2 Committee conducted a review for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK). As a result of its review, the Step 2 Committee decided to raise the current minimum passing score recommended to pass Step 2 CK from 189 to 196. As previously reported, at that time the Committee decided to closely monitor the effects of this decision on examinees and schools, and to examine trends in performance on an annual basis.
The Committee will review the three-digit score recommended to pass Step 2 CK at its June 2013 meeting. If the Committee determines that a change is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing score will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 2 CK examination on or after July 1, 2013.
USMLE Step 1 Score Reporting
Posted: March 25, 2013
Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees testing beginning the week of May 13th. The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 13th through late June will be Wednesday, July 10, 2013. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before July 10, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than May 10, 2013.
Changes to USMLE procedures for reporting scores - April 1, 2013
Posted: December 26, 2012
Updated: March 13, 2013
As previously reported, the USMLE program has begun the process of eliminating the reporting of results on the 2-digit score scale to parties other than the examinee and any state licensing authority to which the examinee sends results. This process began on July 1, 2011 with elimination of 2-digit scores from USMLE transcripts reported through ERAS.
The USMLE program will extend this change in reporting to include ALL score recipients (e.g., examinees, state medical boards). This means that scores on the 2-digit scale will no longer be calculated or reported. We expect to eliminate the 2-digit score effective April 1, 2013. This change pertains to the Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 examinations only; Step 2 CS will continue to be reported as pass or fail.
Since its beginning in the 1990s, the USMLE program has reported two numeric scores for the Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 examinations, one on a 3-digit scale and one on a 2-digit scale. The 3-digit score scale is considered the primary reporting scale; it is developed in a manner that allows reasonable comparisons across time. The 2-digit scale is intended to meet statutory requirements of some state medical boards that rely on a score scale that has 75 as the minimum passing score. The process used to convert 3-digit scores to 2-digit scores is designed in such a way that the 3-digit minimum passing score in effect when the examinee tests is associated with a 2-digit score of 75.
The USMLE program requires its governing committees to reevaluate the minimum passing score for each Step every three to four years. This process has, at times, resulted in changes in the minimum passing score, expressed on the 3-digit scale, and an accompanying change in the score conversion process, to ensure that a 2-digit score of 75 is associated with the new minimum passing requirement. A by-product of the adjustment of the score conversion system over time has been a shift in the relationship between the two score scales. This shift has no impact for USMLE score users who use the 3-digit scoring scale or for those using the 2-digit scale with a primary interest in whether the examinee has a passing 2-digit score of at least 75. However, it may create challenges in interpretation for score users who are focusing on 2-digit scores, other than 75, and are doing so for purposes of comparing USMLE scores that span several years.
To eliminate confusion surrounding the 2-digit scale, the USMLE Composite Committee, the governing body of the USMLE program, directed staff to discontinue its reporting.