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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.


InCUS webinar now available

Posted: June 25, 2019

You can now access a recording of the June 24, 2019 webinar, Exploring Possible Changes to USMLE Score Reporting, here.

More than 150 questions were submitted prior to the broadcast. Representatives from the five organizations sponsoring the Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring (InCUS) answered many of these, as well as fielding questions during the live recording. All questions will be used to develop FAQs, which will be posted on usmle.org.

Sponsors of InCUS are the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). 

We encourage the
submission of feedback about the recommendations until the public comment period closes on July 26.

USMLE score reporting is a complex issue, and we will continue to provide updates and information here on the
usmle.org website.


Step 1 – Delay in score reporting

Posted: January 18, 2019
Updated: June 12, 2019

Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of May 5, 2019.

The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 5 through mid-June will be Wednesday, July 10, 2019. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before July 10, 2019, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than May 4, 2019.

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 six weeks. Please note that scores on new and old exam forms will be comparable.


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