Common Questions on Anomalous Performance

The USMLE program routinely performs analyses as part of scoring to detect aberrant examinee response behavior. We do not provide specific information about the analyses performed. If you received a letter about an anomalous performance sanction, you met specific criteria which resulted in a restriction on access to the exam for 12 months.

No - if you received a communication about an anomalous performance bar on testing, this policy is unrelated to USMLE policies regarding score validity.

As explained in the USMLE Bulletin of Information, 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. 

The USMLE program uses scoring data from your administration to determine whether you meet criteria for anomalous performance.  Given this decision is based on objective evidence, there is no valid basis on which to appeal.

The USMLE Bulletin of Information advises examinees not to test if you are ill, under unusual personal stress, unprepared for the examination, or otherwise not ready to test on your scheduled test date. If you had an issue on test day during the course of your exam, you were required to report it within 10 days of your exam date. If you reported an issue and still received a letter restricting your access to USMLE, we have concluded that your exam performance still fits the criteria for an anomalous performance sanction and the issue reported does not qualify you for a release of that sanction.

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.

Only complete, untested registrations will be cancelled as a part of the anomalous performance policy. If you have an outstanding incomplete registration, please contact your registration organization.