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Change in minimum passing requirements for Step 3

Posted: December 11, 2015

The recommended Step 3 minimum passing score will change from 190 to 196. This change will affect examinees whose first day of testing is on or after January 1, 2016.

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 2015 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee conducted a review of the Step 3 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 2015;
  • 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 3 examination;
  • Data on trends in examinee performance;
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.

As a result of its review, the Management Committee decided to raise the recommended Step 3 minimum passing score from 190 to 196.

As noted above, this change will apply to Step 3 examinees whose first day of testing is on or after January 1, 2016.


Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS

Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: March 17, 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. Based on scheduling trends, 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 is an estimate of test appointment availability for the next six months as of the date at the bottom of the graph. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one location. Availability at the testing center you choose may differ.

Appointment availability changes frequently, so if you are unable to schedule an appointment during a particular time period, please continue to check the Step 2 CS scheduling website. Additional appointments may become available 60 days in advance of a test date.



More information is available in the Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date section of the Bulletin of Information.


Winter weather

Posted: January 13, 2016
Updated: March 13, 2017

For updates on the impact of winter weather on USMLE administrations, please go to the Prometric website (for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3) or to the CSEC website (for Step 2 CS).


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