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.
Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS
Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: January 11, 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. 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 four months. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one location. 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.
Updated practice and informational materials for Step 3 available
Posted: November 30, 2016
Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 3 examination have been posted to the USMLE website. These materials reflect new features described in a previous announcement.
Examinees who plan to take a Step 3 examination on or after January 16, 2017 should read the materials and practice with the updated sample items and cases. The materials include:
- Downloadable practice test materials, with tutorials
- Feedback for Step 3 CCS practice cases
- USMLE Step 3 Sample Items booklet (PDF) - the updated version will be available December 2, 2016
- USMLE Step 3 Content Description and General Information booklet (PDF) - the updated version will be available December 2, 2016