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USMLE Suspending Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination

Posted: May 26, 2020

Over the course of the last three months, the USMLE program has considered several options for resuming Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) testing. This exploration was informed by years of ongoing work charting the future of clinical skills assessment for licensure, including considerations of telehealth (as announced on May 8th). Since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, we have accelerated these efforts. Due to the complexity of technical and psychometric work required, we have determined we will not be able to meet timelines for the immediate release of a revised exam. In making this determination to suspend, we also considered the examinees and stakeholder concerns about the challenges created by rapid deployment of a new test platform. After careful consideration of all factors, we have decided to suspend Step 2 CS test administrations for the next 12-18 months.

We remain committed to the valid, standardized measurement of clinical skills for licensure. We will take this time to determine the optimal approach to do so without compromising the health and safety of examinees and test center staff. While many details surrounding this decision are still being finalized, we felt it was important to share this information with you as soon as we determined our change in direction. We will be providing refunds for all of those who were unable to take Step 2 CS due to the suspension of testing and will work to expedite these refunds. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing more detailed information on what this decision will mean for examinees, e.g., refunds, progression through education/training and medical licensure.


Moving forward: The Step 1 P/F score reporting policy change and revitalization of Step 2 Clinical Skills examination

Posted: November 02, 2020
Updated: December 28, 2020

The USMLE® program recognizes that the upcoming score reporting change for Step 1 (pass/fail) and the suspension of the Step 2 Clinical Skills examination have created new questions for medical students, faculty, and state board members. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work diligently on these two important issues.  As work progresses, we are committed to providing monthly updates on these and other topics that are important to our stakeholders.

Step 1 P/F Score Reporting

The transition to Step 1 pass/fail score reporting is on track to be implemented in January 2022. Should this schedule change, we will post an updated timeline. Specific dates and information will be made available in advance of the implementation date. 

Information about the Step 1 P/F score reporting policy change can be found here

Revitalization of Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination

As co-owners of the USMLE, the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) collected valuable input over the summer from state medical boards, medical school faculty and examinees about the prior Step 2 CS exam, including feedback on which skills are important to assess to inform medical licensure decisions. This feedback is greatly appreciated and will be essential in the development of a revitalized exam. An update on next steps and future developments will be shared by the end of November. 

Information about the revitalization of Step 2 CS can be found here.


Resources To Find Information for Testing Appointments

Posted: December 16, 2020
Updated: December 16, 2020

As the season for inclement weather approaches in parts of the United States and COVID-19 cases increase globally, the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program would like to remind examinees where to find information about the status of test centers and their testing appointments. More Info »


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