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Review of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) minimum passing score

Posted: February 13, 2018
Updated: May 23, 2018

The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing level for each Step examination. The USMLE Management Committee is responsible for establishing and monitoring standards, and is asked to complete an in-depth review of standards for each examination every 3 to 4 years.

For the 2018 Step 2 CK review, information from multiple sources will be considered, including:

  • Results of content-based standard setting exercises conducted with three independent groups of physicians in 2018;
  • Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, samples of examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current pass/fail standards for Step examinations;
  • Trends in examinee performance;
  • Score precision and its effect on the pass/fail outcome.

The USMLE Management Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing score for the USMLE Step 2 CK examination at its May 2018 meeting.

If the Committee determines that a change is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing score will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 2 CK examination on or after July 1, 2018. The decision of the Committee will be posted at the USMLE website.


New score report format – USMLE Step 3 examination

Posted: October 03, 2018
Updated: October 23, 2018

The USMLE Step 3 examination score report has been redesigned to reflect both advances in the underlying science of assessment and changes to the USMLE program over time.  Examinees testing on or after October 1, 2018 will receive score reports in the new format.

The redesigned report features a chart showing an examinee’s performance compared with recent first-time takers from US and Canadian medical schools, the examinee’s performance in individual content areas relative to their overall Step 3 performance, and information about the allocation of items across each content area.

You can view the new score report here [Understanding Your Step 3 Score Report]. Click on the comment boxes for explanatory/informational text. FAQs about the score report are also available.

The USMLE program solicited feedback on the new design from a number of stakeholders, including examinees, medical school faculty, and residency program directors.

The new examinee score report format will be implemented for Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examinations in early 2019. A new score report format for the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination is under development.

Questions or comments? Please send here.


Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS

Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: October 17, 2018

Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. 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 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.


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