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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 Bulletin of Information for more complete information on time and attempt limits.



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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