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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.


2016 schedule for reporting Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) results is available

Posted: April 07, 2015

The 2016 schedule provides examinees, and others who rely on Step 2 CS results, with guidelines regarding when a result will be reported for a given exam date. Click here to view the schedule.


Expanded Version of USMLE Content Outline

Posted: April 06, 2015

An expanded version of the USMLE Content Outline, which provides a common organization of content across all USMLE examinations, is now available.

The expanded version provides additional detail about subcategories of the 18 sections of the content outline. It is important to note that the USMLE Content Outline is not intended as a curriculum development or study guide. It provides a flexible organization of content for test construction that can readily accommodate new topics, emerging content domains, and shifts in emphasis. The categorizations and content coverage are subject to change.

While the USMLE Content Outline is common to all exams, each exam continues to have its own test specifications. Each exam emphasizes certain parts of the outline, and no single examination will include questions on all topics in the outline.

Additional information about the organization of the USMLE examinations is provided in the USMLE Physician Tasks/Competencies, a publication that provides a common organization of competencies and tasks assessed in USMLE examinations. Also, information concerning content specifications for each Step examination is available:


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