Scoring & Score Reporting

Examination Results and Scoring

The USMLE program provides a recommended pass or fail outcome on all Step examinations. Recommended performance standards for the USMLE are based on a specified level of proficiency. As a result, no predetermined percentage of examinees will pass or fail the examination. The recommended minimum passing level is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments will be posted on the USMLE website. The percentages of correctly answered items required to pass varies by Step and from form to form within each Step. However, examinees typically must answer approximately 60% of items correctly to achieve a passing score.

For Step 3, your performance on the case simulations will affect your Step 3 score and could affect whether you pass or fail. The proportional contribution of the score on the case simulations is no greater than the amount of time you are given to complete the case simulations.

For up-to-date information on minimum passing scores, examination performance data and general scoring methodology, please visit the USMLE website.

What Happens While You Wait for Your Scores?

  • After testing, the examination data is delivered electronically to NBME.
  • Your responses are scored and converted into the reported score scale for each examination.
  • Analyses are performed to detect aberrant examinee response behavior. Candidates who are identified by these analyses as having an unusual score pattern may be asked to provide an explanation for their testing behaviors.
  • Final quality assurance procedures are performed to verify the accuracy of the scores.
  • Score reports are then posted to the secure website of the organization that registered you for your examination and made available to examinees.

Score Availability

Results are typically available within four weeks of your test date. However, a number of factors may delay score reporting. When selecting your test date and inquiring about results, you should allow at least eight weeks to receive notification that your score report is available.  

When your score is available, you will receive an email notification from the organization that registered you for your examination. Your score report will remain available on the website of the organization that registered you for your examination for approximately 365 days from the date of the email notification. After the score report is removed from the website, your scores will be provided to you only in the form of an official transcript, for a fee.   

How to Receive/Send Transcripts?

To obtain your USMLE transcript or have it sent to a third party, you must submit an online request and fee.

Please visit the USMLE website to determine which organization to contact to request your transcript and the fees associated with the service.

Your USMLE transcript includes biographical information, complete examination history and, if applicable, information regarding findings of irregular behavior and actions reported to the FSMB Physician Data Center.

Reporting to Third Parties

NBME reports the results of the USMLE to LCME- and COCA-accredited medical school programs for their students and graduates. For Step 1 and Step 2 CK, if you do not want your results reported to your medical school, you must send a request from your email account of record to at least 10 business days before your scheduled test date. A separate request must be submitted for each examination administration.

For Step 3, you must specify your reporting preference on your application.

The ECFMG may provide the results of the USMLE to international medical schools for their students and graduates. For Step 1 and Step 2 CK, if you do not want your results reported to your medical school, you must submit a request for each examination administration via the ECFMG website at least 10 business days before your scheduled test date.

De-identified results from examinees who requested their results be withheld may be included in aggregated data reports to medical schools. Examination data (including performance information) may be used by the USMLE program or made available to third parties for research and other purposes that are disclosed to or authorized by you, as appropriate. In all instances, the data will be confidential, and individual examinees will not be identifiable in any publication. If you do not wish your examination data to be made available for such purposes, you must advise the USMLE Secretariat no later than 30 days before your administration.

BOI information icon - lowercase letter "i" in a green circleThe USMLE program does not provide scores or outcomes by telephone, email, or fax to anyone. The scoring process is not expedited or accelerated for any individual or group.


Incomplete Scores

If you do not open every block of your examination, your examination may not be scored, and the attempt may be reported as incomplete on your USMLE transcript. For Step 3, if you take Day 1 but do not take Day 2, the exam may be reported as incomplete.

Score Rechecks

For all Steps, a highly rigorous process is used to ensure the accuracy of scores, including a parallel scoring method involving independent scoring systems. Therefore, a change in your score or in your pass/fail outcome based on a recheck is an extremely remote possibility. To date, the score recheck process has not resulted in a score change.

The score recheck process does not include a manual review of the questions or your answers. When a request for a score recheck is received, the original response record is retrieved and rescored using a system that is outside of the normal processing routine. The score calculated during the recheck is then compared with the original score. You will be advised in writing whether the original score (if applicable) and/or pass/fail outcome was deemed accurate. No additional information will be provided in the letter.

If you wish to request a score recheck, submit a request and service fee to the organization that registered you for your examination. Your request must be received no later than 90 days after your result was released to you.

Score Validity

The performance of examinees is monitored and may be analyzed to detect aberrancies or other information that raises questions about the validity of your exam results. The USMLE program reserves the right to cancel exam results that are at or above the passing level, prior to or after release, if the USMLE program has a good faith basis for questioning whether the exam result(s) represent a valid measure of knowledge or competence as assessed by the examination. Questions about score validity may result from irregular behavior, improper access to exam questions or other factors. If there are questions related to the validity of your exam result and your result has not yet been reported, your official score report may be delayed or withheld pending completion of further review and/or investigation. Whether questions relating to the validity of your exam result arise after your result has been reported or before, the USMLE reserves the right to cancel the result if it has a good faith basis for questioning the validity of your result. If your result is being investigated for validity concerns, you will be notified in writing by the USMLE Office of the Secretariat. 

After review and analysis of all available information by the USMLE program, exam results will be classified as either valid and reportable or invalid and either not reportable (if not yet reported) or canceled (if previously reported). If your result is invalidated, an annotation of “score not available” will appear on your record next to the date of your examination, and you will be notified and advised of the options for retaking the examination (if retaking is permitted).

Anomalous Performance

Anomalous performance and/or unusual testing history may impact your access to the USMLE. If your performance raises concerns about your readiness to test or your motivation to pass, the USMLE program reserves the right to restrict your future access to its examinations and/or to impose conditions on future access. Do not test if you are not able or not ready on your scheduled test date.

caution warning icon Taking a Step examination to familiarize yourself with the examination format, or for any reason other than to pass, is prohibited and may result in restrictions on your future access to the USMLE.