Update on planned changes to USMLE Step 3 examination
Posted: April 11, 2012
The USMLE Composite Committee and USMLE parent organizations (the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards) recently approved plans to change the structure of USMLE. Step 3 will be the first examination impacted, with changes to this examination to occur no earlier than 2014.
The plans call for the division of Step 3 into two separate exams, each one day in length, focusing on different sets of competencies. The proposed examinations will continue to be administered by computer using multiple choice questions and computer simulations. The two examinations will be scored separately and examinees will be expected to pass each.
The first exam is expected to focus on whether an examinee possesses the knowledge essential to the independent practice of medicine, including a comprehensive knowledge of both foundational science and clinical medicine. The second exam will assess an examinee’s ability to apply knowledge in the context of patient management, including demonstration of comprehensive knowledge of health and disease, and their impact on patients. The second exam will also require a demonstration of evidence-based medicine and quantitative reasoning skills important to patient care and to life-long learning. Specific information about these changes will be provided well in advance of implementation.
New testing formats that focus on competencies not currently addressed by the Step 3 examination may also be introduced. If new testing formats are to be introduced, announcements will be made and sample material provided in advance of their introduction in the live examinations.
The change to Step 3 will occur no sooner than 2014. After experience is gained with implementation of the Step 3 changes, the Composite Committee and USMLE parent organizations will consider possible modifications to Steps 1 and 2 CK.
As new information becomes available it will be posted to the USMLE website.
Change in minimum passing requirements for Step 1
Posted: December 12, 2013
This announcement describes a change in the Step 1 examination minimum passing score that will affect examinees testing on or after January 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 December 2013 meeting, the Step 1 Committee conducted a review of the USMLE Step 1 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 2013;
- 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 1 examination;
- Data on trends in examinee performance;
- Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.
As a result of its review, the Step 1 Committee decided to raise the recommended Step 1 minimum passing score from 188 to 192.
This change will be applied to Step 1 examinees testing on or after January 1, 2014.
Upcoming changes to USMLE
Posted: November 14, 2013
A summary of changes to USMLE planned for 2014-2015 is available. This document will be updated as more information becomes available.
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