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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.

Background

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.


Step 2 CS Rescheduling Fees

Posted: August 04, 2014

Beginning September 1, 2014, the rescheduling fees for the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination will change. If you have a scheduled testing appointment and are unable to take the exam on your scheduled test date or at your scheduled center, you may cancel your scheduled testing appointment and reschedule for a different date and/or center, subject to availability. You may cancel and/or reschedule at any time through the end of the day before your scheduled test date. However, no canceling is allowed beginning at 12:00 AM, Eastern Time in the United States, on your scheduled test date. The date that you cancel your testing appointment will determine the amount of your rescheduling fee, as described in the list and table below. All dates and notice periods are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

  • If you cancel more than 14 calendar days before your scheduled test date, you will not be charged a fee when you reschedule.
  • If you cancel between 3 and 14 calendar days before your scheduled test date, you will be charged a $400 fee when you reschedule.
  • If you cancel 2 calendar days before your scheduled test date, you will be charged a $615 fee when you reschedule.
  • If you cancel 1 day before your scheduled test date you will be charged a $1,230 fee when you reschedule.
  • If you miss your scheduled testing appointment without canceling, you will be charged a $1,230 fee when you reschedule.

Example: Step 2 CS Rescheduling Fees
Scheduled
Test Date
Cancel Date(s)
Fee
July 15
On or before June 30
No fee
July 1 – July 12
$400
July 13
$615
July 14
$1230


If you cancel without rescheduling or miss your scheduled testing appointment, there is no guarantee that testing appointments during your eligibility period will be available when you attempt to reschedule. If you do not reschedule within your eligibility period, you must submit a new application and exam registration fee in order to take the exam.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled testing appointment, we encourage you to cancel your appointment as soon as possible, regardless of whether you are ready to reschedule. When examinees cancel more than 14 calendar days before their appointment, it is more likely that another examinee will be able to fill that testing slot. Avoiding large numbers of unfilled testing slots helps the USMLE Program manage capacity and minimize increases in the cost of the exam.


Updated information materials for the Step 2 CK examination are now available

Posted: July 25, 2014
Updated: July 29, 2014

Updated information materials for the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination have been posted to the USMLE website. They include:


• USMLE Step 2 CK Sample Test Questions booklet (PDF)
 USMLE Step 2 CK Content Description and General Information booklet (PDF)
• Tutorial and practice test questions for multiple-choice items

Updates to the information materials include information regarding test specifications for the Step 2 CK examination that correspond to the organization of content areas in the USMLE Content Outline for all USMLE examinations, as well as test specifications that correspond to the organization of content areas in the USMLE Physician Task/Competencies outline. All USMLE examinations published in 2014 are being constructed using the classification systems in these two documents. Each Step exam will continue to have test specifications specific to that Step. Each Step exam will emphasize certain parts of both the content and task/competencies outline, and no single examination will include questions on all topics in the content outline.

Please note that changes to the Step 2 CK exam in 2014 resulting from use of the new outlines are minor, and the examination content will be similar to content on previous examinations. One change to note, however, is that the downloadable Step 2 CK practice test questions now include a multi-media item assessing recognition of breath sounds, similar in format to items assessing heart sounds.

The previous Step 2 CK content outline will remain available on the USMLE website for reference.


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