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.
Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS
Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: January 11, 2017
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 four months. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one location. 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.
Updated practice and informational materials for Step 3 available
Posted: November 30, 2016
Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 3 examination have been posted to the USMLE website. These materials reflect new features described in a previous announcement.
Examinees who plan to take a Step 3 examination on or after January 16, 2017 should read the materials and practice with the updated sample items and cases. The materials include:
- Downloadable practice test materials, with tutorials
- Feedback for Step 3 CCS practice cases
- USMLE Step 3 Sample Items booklet (PDF) - the updated version will be available December 2, 2016
- USMLE Step 3 Content Description and General Information booklet (PDF) - the updated version will be available December 2, 2016
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