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New features in Step 1 and Step 2 CK examinations

Posted: March 03, 2016
Updated: June 09, 2016

The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) has developed new software to deliver Step 1 and Step 2 CK of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). The new software incorporates user-adjustable display features, specifically text magnification, image magnification, and reverse color (color inversion)

The new features will begin to be administered in Step 1 examinations during a transition period beginning the week of May 9, and in Step 2 CK examinations during a transition period beginning the week of July 10. Although the transition will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the changes take slightly longer to complete. The overall transition period will likely last approximately 6 weeks. 

NEW FEATURES

Two new user-adjustable display features will be available in the new software:

  • Reverse color (color inversion)
  • Text magnification

Reverse color

Inverts the color of the text and background from black-on-white to white-on-black. The ability to reverse color (also known as color inversion) improves readability for some users.


Text magnification


Two levels of text magnification will be available.


Image magnification

Magnifies images, such as photographs and graphs.
Click anywhere within the image to enlarge or to return to original size.


Step 2 CS cases – common presenting signs and symptoms

Posted: September 10, 2017

A list of common presenting signs and symptoms that Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinees may expect to see during their examination has been posted to the USMLE website. These are examples only, and the list does not represent all possible presenting signs and symptoms that may be encountered.

The Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet has been revised to include this list.

Examinees will encounter a broad spectrum of cases reflecting common and important symptoms and diagnoses, as well as patients with a variety of backgrounds. The criteria used to create individual examinations focus primarily on presenting symptoms and conditions. On any examination day, the set of cases will differ from the combination presented the day before or the following day, but each set of cases has a comparable degree of difficulty.

Presentation categories include, but are not limited to, cardiovascular, constitutional, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, neurological, psychiatric, respiratory, and women's health. Examinees will see cases from some, but not all, of these categories. The selection of cases is also guided by specifications relating to acuity, age, gender, and type of physical findings.

The USMLE program continually reviews its examinations to ensure their content is relevant to the practice of medicine. As practice guidelines evolve or are introduced, the content on USMLE is reviewed and modified as needed.


Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills orientation video and information booklet

Posted: September 10, 2017

An updated Step 2 CS orientation video is available. The video includes information about two user-adjustable display features in the patient note program used by Step 2 CS examinees, text magnification and color inversion.

An updated Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information booklet is available. The updated booklet includes a list of common presenting symptoms and signs that examinees may expect to see.


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