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Review of USMLE Step 3 minimum passing performance

Posted: September 03, 2019

The USMLE Management Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing score for the USMLE Step 3 examination at its meeting on December 4-5, 2019. The Management Committee includes physicians drawn from medical education and licensing as well as members of the public.

The committee establishes and monitors Step 3 performance and completes an in-depth review of the minimum passing standard for each USMLE Step or its component every three to four years.

For the 2019 Step 3 review, information from multiple sources will be considered, including:

  • Results of content-based standard setting exercises conducted with three independent groups of physicians in 2019;
  • 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; and
  • Measurement precision near the cut score.

If the Committee determines that a change to the minimum passing score is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing score will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 3 examination on or after January 1, 2020. The decision of the Committee will be posted at the USMLE website.


Step 1 – Delay in score reporting

Posted: January 13, 2020

If you need to receive Step 1 scores before July 8, 2020 it is recommended that you take the exam no later than May 3, 2020

 Most Step 1 scores are reported within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of May 4, 2020. 

The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 4, 2020 through mid-June will be Wednesday, July 8, 2020. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before July 8, 2020, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than May 3, 2020.


Step 2 CS testing appointment arrival time to change in 2020

Posted: December 16, 2019

 Effective January 3, 2020, the arrival time for Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) testing appointments will be 15 minutes earlier than in 2019, due to additional security check-in procedures at the testing centers.  During check-in, test center staff will scan examinees with a handheld or walk-through device designed to detect prohibited items.

New arrival times at all CSEC centers
  • AM Sessions:   7:30 AM
  • PM Sessions:   2:30 PM
If you are currently scheduled to take Step 2 CS on or after January 3, 2020, please log in to the Step 2 CS Calendar & Scheduling system to print your confirmation notice with the updated arrival time. 

Please note that you must comply with all security procedures for entry into the exam. 
For more information on examination day and testing procedures, please refer to the USMLE Bulletin of Information.

If you have questions, please contact your registration entity, either the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) at info@ecfmg.org, or the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) at webmail@nbme.org.


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