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Step 3 – Change in number of items and score delay

Posted: November 18, 2015


Beginning the week of January 18, 2016, the number of items on the Step 3 examination will decrease. There will be a delay in reporting scores for exams administered between January 18 and April 30, 2016. The target date for reporting Step 3 scores for most examinees testing during this time period is May 25, 2016.

Although this change will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the transition takes longer to complete. The overall transition period should last approximately six weeks. Please note that:

  • The length of the testing days will not change.
  • Day 1 (Foundations of Independent Practice [FIP]) will continue to be an approximately 7-hour testing session, including time for breaks and tutorials.
  • Day 2 (Advanced Clinical Medicine [ACM]) will continue to be a 9-hour testing session, including time for breaks and tutorials.
  • Day 1 (FIP) will continue to be divided into six 60-minute blocks.
  • Each FIP block will have 38 to 40 multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
  • The total number of MCQs on the FIP portion of the examination will be 233.
  • Day 2 (ACM) will continue to be divided into six 45-minute blocks of MCQs, and 13 computer-based case simulations (CCS).
  • Each ACM MCQ block will have 30 items.
  • The total number of MCQ items on the ACM portion of the examination will be 180.
  • Scores on examination forms taken before and after the change – as well as scores on forms with different numbers of items – will be comparable; the possible variation in the number of items per form will be accounted for in scoring the examination.

Score reports for Step 3 are usually available within four weeks of testing. However, because of the change described above, as well as routine modifications to the test item pool, score reporting for most Step 3 examinations administered from January 18, 2016 through April 30, 2016 will take longer. As noted above, the target date for reporting Step 3 scores for most examinees testing during this time period is May 25, 2016.


Step 2 CK – Delay in score reporting and change in number of test items

Posted: May 20, 2016

Most score reporting of Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) results occurs within four 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 July 10, 2016.

The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing the week of July 10 through late August will be September 14, 2016.  For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 2 CK scores before September 14, it is recommended that they take Step 2 CK no later than July 9, 2016.

During this time period, a transition will occur in the number of items in current forms of the Step 2 CK examination.  The total number of items will decrease from no more than 355 to no more than 318. 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. Please note the following:

  • Scores on new and old exam forms will be comparable; the decrease in the number of items per form will be accounted for in scoring the examination results.
  • The length of the examination day will remain unchanged. The test day will continue to be divided into eight 60-minute item blocks, an optional 15-minute tutorial, and 45 minutes of break time, for a total of 9 hours.

The number of items per block on a given examination form will vary but will not exceed 40 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.


Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS

Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: May 18, 2016

Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. We strongly encourage examinees to complete their scheduling before May 31 of the calendar year in which they plan to test. Testing appointments are typically completely filled at least three to four months in advance. If you try to schedule after August 1, you may find that there are no available testing appointments through the end of the year unless there are cancellations.

The graph below indicates test appointment availability for the next six months. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one center, but across all five locations. Availability at the testing center you choose may differ.

 

More information is available in the Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date section of the Bulletin of Information.


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