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Enhanced security policies at Prometric test centers

Posted: October 13, 2016

Enhanced security policies will take effect in all U.S. Prometric test centers beginning October 15, 2016. The purpose of the enhanced security procedures is to inspect for camera devices that could be used to capture exam content.

USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3 examinations are administered at Prometric test centers.

Beginning October 15, 2016, Prometric center administrators will conduct stricter inspections of any and all eyeglasses, jewelry, and other accessories.

  • All examinees will be required to remove eyeglasses for close visual inspection by the test center administrators. These inspections will take a few seconds and will be done at check-in and upon return from breaks.
  • Jewelry, except for wedding and engagement rings, is prohibited.
  • Hair accessories are subject to inspection.  Examinees should not wear ornate clips, combs, barrettes, headbands, and other hair accessories. An examinee wearing any of these items may be prohibited from wearing them in the testing room, and asked to store such items in their locker.

Step 3 – delay in score reporting

Posted: October 03, 2016
Updated: October 05, 2016

If you need to receive Step 3 scores before May 10, 2017 it is recommended that you take the exam no later than December 31, 2016.

Most Step 3 scores are reported within 4 weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, as well as a change to new test delivery software, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of January 16, 2017. The target date for reporting Step 3 scores for most examinees testing the week of January 16 through late April will be Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

No USMLE tests will be administered January 1-15, 2017.

Although the transition to the new software will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the changes take slightly longer to complete. The overall transition period will likely last approximately 6 weeks. Please note the following:

  • Scores on new and old exam forms will be comparable.
  • The length of the examination days will remain unchanged.

New features in Step 3 examination

Posted: October 03, 2016

The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) has developed new software to deliver the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). The new software incorporates user-adjustable display features, specifically text magnification, image magnification, and reverse color (color inversion)

The new features were introduced in Step 1 examinations administered beginning May 2016, and in Step 2 CK examinations administered beginning July 2016. The Step 3 exam will incorporate the new features in exams administered beginning January 16, 2017.

Although the transition will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the changes take slightly longer to complete. The overall transition period will likely last approximately 6 weeks.

Updated practice and informational materials for Step 3 will be available on the USMLE website in November 2016. Examinees with test dates during the transition period (January 16, 2017 through late February, 2017) should review the practice materials using both versions of the test delivery software.


Three new user-adjustable display features will be available in the new software:

  • Reverse color (color inversion)
  • Text magnification
  • Image magnification

Reverse color

Inverts the color of the text and background from black-on-white to white-on-black. The ability to reverse color (also known as color inversion) improves readability for some users.

Text magnification

Two levels of text magnification will be available.

Image magnification

Magnifies images, such as photographs and graphs.
Click anywhere within the image to enlarge or to return to original size.

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