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USMLE takes action against individuals found to have engaged in Irregular Behavior

Posted: November 07, 2016

The USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR) meets periodically throughout the year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by applicants and/or examinees.

At its recent meetings, the CIR considered multiple cases involving the following:

  • falsifying information, including the creation of falsified score reports
  • seeking to obtain unauthorized access to examination materials (including the solicitation of exam content via online web forums)
  • communicating about specific test items, cases, and/or answers with other examinees (including the sharing of examination content via online web forums and file sharing websites)
  • applying for and/or attempting to take an examination when ineligible
  • accessing unauthorized items, equipment, or materials while on an unauthorized break
  • making notes on test day  on something  other than the writing materials provided by test center staff
  • failure to follow test center instructions, including typing past the ‘End Patient Note’ announcement in Step 2 Clinical Skills

Actions taken by the CIR at its recent meetings included:

  • annotating individual USMLE records with a finding of irregular behavior
  • barring access to USMLE for periods up to 5 years
  • reporting the finding of irregular behavior to the disciplinary data bank (Physician Data Center [PDC]) at the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
  • State medical boards routinely query this data bank as part of their licensing processes
  • cancelling the examinee’s score because the validity of a passing level score is in question

As evidenced by the sanctions listed above, a finding of irregular behavior carries significant potential impact. USMLE applicants and examinees are reminded to read the USMLE Bulletin of Information carefully, follow the rules of conduct during testing, and refrain from any pre- or post-examination conduct deemed to be irregular behavior.

Applicants and examinees are also encouraged to watch the USMLE Security Video.

The USMLE is committed to maintaining the integrity of its examination so that state medical boards may continue to rely upon it as an integral part of their decision-making process for licensure. Applicants and examinees are advised to observe all USMLE policies and procedures to avoid the potentially significant implications arising from a finding of irregular behavior.

USMLE encourages you to provide information about cheating and other activity of which you are aware that may compromise the security and integrity of USMLE. Please use our contact form to report such information.


2019 schedule for reporting Step 2 CS results is available

Posted: April 17, 2018

The 2019 schedule lets examinees know when to expect results for a Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam. Click here to view the schedule.


Step 2 CK – Delay in score reporting

Posted: April 09, 2018

If you need to receive Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) scores before August 29, 2018, we recommend that you take the exam no later than June 24, 2018.

Necessary modifications to the test item pool will result in a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of June 24, 2018. The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing the week of June 24 through mid-August will be Wednesday, August 29, 2018.


If you test Your score will be reported
On or before June 24, 2018 Typically 3-4 weeks after your test date
June 25, 2018 through mid-August 2018 The regular reporting schedule will resume August 29, 2018
After mid-August 2018 Typically 3-4 weeks after your test date

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 that scores on exams prior to, during, and following the August 29 date will be comparable.


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