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Change in minimum passing score for Step 1

Posted: December 01, 2017

The recommended Step 1 minimum passing score will change from 192 to 194. This change will affect examinees who take a Step 1 examination that begins on or after January 1, 2018.

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 November 2017 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee conducted a review of the Step 1 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 2017;
  • 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 1 examination;
  • Data on trends in examinee performance;
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.

As a result of its review, the USMLE Management Committee decided to raise the recommended Step 1 minimum passing score from 192 to 194.

As noted above, this change will apply to Step 1 examinees who take a Step 1 examination that begins on or after January 1, 2018.


Is my test center open?

Posted: January 13, 2016
Updated: September 21, 2018

Occasionally test centers close due to weather-related events or other emergencies. To check on the status of your test center, go to the Prometric website (for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3) or to the CSEC website (for Step 2 CS).


No change to minimum passing score for Step 2 CK

Posted: May 24, 2018

The USMLE Management Committee voted to maintain the currently recommended Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) minimum passing score at their May 2018 meeting.

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 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee conducted a review of the Step 2 CK 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 2018;
  • 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 2 CK examination;
  • Data on trends in examinee performance;
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.

As a result of its review, the USMLE Management Committee voted to maintain the recommended minimum passing score of 209.


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