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Change in minimum passing requirements for Step 2 CK

Posted: June 02, 2014

This announcement describes a change in the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination minimum passing score that will affect examinees testing on or after July 1, 2014.

As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, the minimum passing score for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time.

At its May 2014 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee conducted a review of the Step 2 CK examination minimum passing score. During the meeting, the Committee considered information from multiple sources, including:

  • Recommendations from independent groups of physicians who participated in content-based standard-setting activities in 2014;
  • Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current passing requirements for the Step 2 CK examination;
  • Data on trends in examinee performance;
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.

As a result of its review, the Management Committee decided to raise the recommended Step 2 CK minimum passing score from 203 to 209.

This change will be applied to Step 2 CK examinees testing on or after July 1, 2014.


Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills orientation video

Posted: May 29, 2015

An updated version of the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) orientation video has been posted to the USMLE website.

The video includes updated information regarding break time, personal items, and use of hand sanitizer.

All Step 2 CS examinees are strongly encouraged to watch the video and to read the USMLE Step 2 CS Content Description and General Information booklet before taking the exam.


Step 2 CK - Schedule for score reporting and change in number of items

Posted: May 19, 2015

The USMLE program usually reports Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) scores 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 who test between the week of July 13th through late August.  The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees who test during this time period will be Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

 If you need to receive a Step 2 CK score before September 16, we recommend that you take Step 2 CK no later than Friday, July 10, 2015.

During the period July 13 through late August, the number of items per block on a given examination form will vary but will not exceed 44 items. The number of items in a block is displayed on the screen at the beginning of the block.  Please note this information and pace yourself accordingly. 

The total number of items on the overall examination form will not exceed the current 350 items. The length of the testing day will not change. The test day will continue to be divided into eight 60-minute blocks, administered in one nine-hour testing session.  The variation in number of items per block will not impact scoring.


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