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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.



Step 2 CK – Delay in score reporting and change in number of test items

Posted: May 20, 2016

Most score reporting of Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, as well as a change to new test delivery software, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of July 10, 2016.

The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing the week of July 10 through late August will be September 14, 2016.  For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 2 CK scores before September 14, it is recommended that they take Step 2 CK no later than July 9, 2016.

During this time period, a transition will occur in the number of items in current forms of the Step 2 CK examination.  The total number of items will decrease from no more than 355 to no more than 318. Although the transition will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the changes take slightly longer to complete. The overall transition period will likely last approximately 6 weeks. Please note the following:

  • Scores on new and old exam forms will be comparable; the decrease in the number of items per form will be accounted for in scoring the examination results.
  • The length of the examination day will remain unchanged. The test day will continue to be divided into eight 60-minute item blocks, an optional 15-minute tutorial, and 45 minutes of break time, for a total of 9 hours.

The number of items per block on a given examination form will vary but will not exceed 40 items. The number of items in a block is displayed on the screen at the beginning of the block.  Please note this information and pace yourself accordingly.


Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS

Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: May 18, 2016

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 six months. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one center, but across all five locations. 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.


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