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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 CS - limited hotel availability in Philadelphia April 2017

Posted: September 14, 2016

Please be advised that between April 27, 2017 and April 29, 2017, hotel availability in Philadelphia will be limited and rates may be higher than usual.  Examinees planning to take the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam in Philadelphia should note that while the Philadelphia Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC) test centers will remain open, it may be difficult and/or more expensive to obtain a hotel room during this time.


UPDATE: USMLE Score Report Retrieval System

Posted: July 14, 2016

The Score Report Retrieval System is now back online. 

Please be advised there are intermittent outages with the system that NBME- and FSMB-registered examinees use to retrieve their USMLE score reports. If you have encountered an error when attempting to retrieve your USMLE score report, please try again later. We are working to resolve the issue and will update this message when the system functionality has been fully restored.


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