Attempt limit for USMLE examinations
Posted: June 20, 2012
Examinees who have made six or more attempts to pass a Step or Step component, including incomplete attempts, should be aware that all applications to register for additional attempts will not be processed unless they are submitted on or before December 31, 2012. This limit was first announced in August of 2011.
The effective date for the six-attempt limit depends upon whether an examinee has taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012.
• Examinees who had NOT taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012
If you did not take any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit went into effect for all exam applications that you submitted on or after January 1, 2012.
Example 1: On January 15, 2012, Examinee A submits his application for his first attempt at any Step or Step Component. The six-attempt limit is effective at that time for all Steps and Step Components and Examinee A will be allowed to take each Step or Step Component no more than six times, including incomplete attempts.
• Examinees who have taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012
If you have taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit is in effect for all exam applications that you submit on or after January 1, 2013. After that date, all attempts at a Step or Step Component will be counted toward the limit, regardless of when the exams were taken.
Example 2: Examinee B’s application for a seventh attempt at a particular Step or Step Component is received on December 15, 2012. For this examinee, the six-attempt limit will not prevent the seventh attempt, since the application was submitted before January 1, 2013. However, if Examinee B fails the exam, he will not be eligible to submit an application after January 1, 2013 to retake that Step or Step Component.
Example 3: Examinee C attempts to submit an application for a seventh attempt at a particular Step or Step Component on or after January 1, 2013. The application will not be processed, since all exam applications submitted on or after January 1, 2013 will be subject to the six-attempt limit.
Please refer to the 2012 Bulletin of Information for more complete information on time and attempt limits.
Change in Minimum Passing Requirements for Step 2 CK
Posted: June 13, 2013
As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, the level of proficiency required to meet the recommended minimum passing level for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments are posted at the USMLE website.
Every three to four years the Step Committees are asked to complete an in-depth review of standards, and they may schedule more frequent reviews. At its June 2013 meeting, the Step 2 Committee conducted a review for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK). As a result of its review, the Step 2 Committee decided to raise the Step 2 recommended minimum passing score from 196 to 203. The Committee will closely monitor the effects of this decision on examinees and schools, and will examine trends in performance on an annual basis.
The new minimum passing score will be applied to Step 2 CK examinations for which the first day of testing is on or after July 1, 2013.