Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) review of minimum passing performance
Posted: September 25, 2012
The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing level for each Step examination. The USMLE Step Committees are responsible for establishing and monitoring these standards, and are asked to complete an in-depth review of each examination every three to four years.
The Step 2 Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing level for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination at its meeting on December 18, 2012. In addition to meeting the requirement of a periodic in-depth review of standards, this effort is prompted by previously announced changes to the exam, which include a redesigned Communication and Interpersonal Skills subcomponent as well as a redesigned Patient Note.
In the review, the Step 2 Committee will considered data from multiple sources, including:
- Results of content-based standard setting exercises conducted with three independent groups of physicians in 2012;
- Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, samples of examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current pass/fail standards for Step examinations;
- Trends in examinee performance;
- Score precision and its effect on the pass/fail outcome.
The decision of the Step 2 Committee will be posted at the USMLE website. If the Committee determines that a change to the minimum passing level is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing level will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 2 CS examination on or after January 1, 2013.
Change in Minimum Passing Requirements for Step 2 CK
Posted: June 13, 2013
As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, 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 at 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 2013 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 Step 2 recommended minimum passing score from 196 to 203. The Committee will closely monitor the effects of this decision on examinees and schools, and will examine trends in performance on an annual basis.
The new minimum passing score will be applied to Step 2 CK examinations for which the first day of testing is on or after July 1, 2013.