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Review of USMLE Step 3 minimum passing performance

Posted: September 09, 2015

The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing level for each Step examination. The USMLE Management Committee is responsible for establishing and monitoring these standards, and is asked to complete an in-depth review of standards for each examination every three to four years.

For the 2015 Step 3 review, information from multiple sources will be considered, including:

  • Results of content-based standard setting exercises conducted with three independent groups of physicians in 2015;
  • Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, samples of examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current pass/fail standards for Step examinations;
  • Trends in examinee performance;
  • Score precision and its effect on the pass/fail outcome.

The USMLE Management Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing score for the USMLE Step 3 examination at its meeting on December 9-10, 2015.

If the Committee determines that a change to the minimum passing score is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing score will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 3 examination on or after January 1, 2016. The decision of the Committee will be posted at the USMLE website.



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.


Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 2 CK examination are available

Posted: June 10, 2016

Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination have been posted to the USMLE website. These materials reflect the change in number of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) per block described in a prior announcement, as well as new test delivery software .

Examinees planning to take a Step 2 CK examination on or after July 10, 2016 should read the following materials and practice with the updated sample items:

Downloadable practice test materials, with tutorials
USMLE Step 2 CK Sample Items booklet (PDF)
USMLE Step 2 CK Content Description and General Information booklet (PDF)


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