Change in the performance standard of the Step 2 CS examination that will affect examinees testing on or after January 1, 2013
Posted: December 21, 2012
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 on the USMLE website.
At its December 2012 meeting, the Step 2 Committee conducted such a review for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS). During the meeting, the Step 2 Committee considered information from multiple sources, including:
- Recommendations from independent groups of physicians who participated in content-based standard-setting activities in 2012;
- Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current pass/fail standards for the Step 2 CS examinations;
- Data on trends in examinee performance;
- Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.
The results of the review are described below. Because numerical scores are not reported for Step 2 CS, the decisions of the Step 2 Committee are reflected in terms of potential impact on examinees using data from recent administrations.
The Step 2 Committee decided to increase the performance levels required to receive a passing outcome on two of the three Step 2 CS subcomponents: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS) and Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE). There will be no change to minimum passing requirements for the Spoken English Proficiency (SEP) subcomponent of Step 2 CS at this time.
These changes will be applied to Step 2 CS examinees testing on or after January 1, 2013.
Because of the changes that were made to the design and content of the ICE and CIS subcomponents earlier this year, as announced, the ability to use historical trends to predict the impact of the changes in minimum passing requirements is limited. If the new minimum passing requirements were applied to the group of first-time examinees who recently tested under the new examination structure, the overall passing rate for examinees from US medical schools would be approximately three percent lower and the overall passing rate for examinees from international medical schools would be approximately eighteen percent lower.
The impact of these changes on future examinees will depend on the examinees’ performance. The overall impact will be reviewed by the Step 2 Committee when more examinees have tested under these new requirements.
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.
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