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USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK: Increase in number of items in existing content categories scheduled for mid-2020

Posted: November 05, 2019

The current Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examinations include questions assessing systems-based practice and patient safety, communication skills, and legal/ethical skills and professionalism. Beginning in mid-2020, the Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examinations will include an increased number of questions assessing communication skills, system-based practice and patient safety, and legal/ethical skills and professionalism. The length of the testing days for Step 1 and Step 2 CK will not change.

Decisions about the balance of content on USMLE examinations are the responsibility of two groups: the USMLE Composite Committee and USMLE Management Committee. Both are composed of educators, practicing physicians, members with experience on state medical licensure boards, and public members. These committees approved the increase in the number of test items assessing the important competencies listed above. 

Timetable:

  • Beginning in May 2020, Step 1 will include additional questions assessing communication skills.
  • Beginning in June/July 2020, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge will include additional questions on systems-based practice, patient safety, legal/ethical issues, and professionalism.
  • No changes to the Step 3 examination are planned during this timeframe. 

Sample test items illustrating assessment of communications skills, systems-based practice and patient safety, and legal/ethical skills and professionalism are provided in the Step 1 Content Description and General Information booklet (pp. 7-11) and in the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Content Description and General Information booklet (pp. 8-11).

The practice materials available on USMLE.org will be updated in early 2020 to reflect these changes in the distribution of exam content across content categories on Step 1 and Step 2 CK.


COVID-19 updates and resources

Posted: March 31, 2020

Visit the COVID-19 page for information and FAQs about USMLE responses to the pandemic, including information for examinees whose examination dates have been suspended or rescheduled. This information will be updated as the situation changes.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) 3/27/2020 update: Prometric closures and Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3

Posted: March 17, 2020
Updated: March 27, 2020

Prometric announced on March 17 that test centers in the United States and Canada will be closed for a period of 30 days, starting March 18.

In response, the USMLE program is extending eligibility periods for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 this week, beginning with those that expire in March. All eligibility periods for examinees who currently have a scheduling permit with an unexpired eligibility period ending in 2020 will be extended to have an end date of December 2020, regardless of the country in which they are testing.

Extensions will be processed in order of expiration date, with all extension processing expected to be completed by the week of April 13th. Examinees will receive a notification and new scheduling permit when their eligibility extension has been processed. Examinees will need to use the new permit once received.

Extending the eligibility period for your Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3 examination will not impact already scheduled appointments. No fees will be charged for these eligibility extensions. Eligibility periods will be extended automatically, requiring no action from examinees.

If you have questions about your Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3 eligibility or scheduled appointment, we again kindly ask you to wait until the week of April 13, when eligibility period extension processing will be complete before contacting your registration entity. 
Please continue to check the USMLE website and our social media for updates. 

If you are scheduled to take a USMLE examination in a region outside the United States and Canada, please check the Prometric website for the most current list of test center closures before going to the test center on your scheduled test day.

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this challenging time.


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