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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.


Step 1 – delay in score reporting

Posted: January 25, 2021
Updated: June 07, 2021

Most Step 1 scores are reported within 3-4 weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pools, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning on or after the week of May 3, 2021

If you need to receive Step 1 scores before July 7, 2021, the USMLE program recommends that you take the exam before May 3, 2021

The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 3, 2021 through mid-June 2021 will be Wednesday, July 7, 2021


Reminder: USMLE attempt limit changing soon

Posted: May 27, 2021

To protect the integrity of USMLE and more closely match the USMLE attempt limits imposed by state medical boards in the majority of states, effective July 1, 2021, the USMLE attempt limit policy will change, as previously announced. The change will reduce an examinee’s total number of allowable attempts from six (6) attempts to four (4) attempts per Step exam, including incomplete attempts.
The policy change is effective for applications submitted on or after July 1, 2021. After the implementation of this policy change, examinees who have attempted any USMLE Step (including Step 2 Clinical Skills) four (4) or more times and have not passed will be ineligible to apply for USMLE Steps. 
Examinees with four (4) or five (5) attempts at an exam who meet all eligibility requirements outlined in the USMLE Bulletin of Information may submit application(s) for USMLE through June 30, 2021 at 11:59 pm, Eastern Time, under the current attempt limit of six (6).
To learn more about this change, please review the FAQs on the USMLE website. If you have questions about how this change impacts you, please email the Office of the USMLE Secretariat at USMLESec@nbme.org.


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