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Review of USMLE Step 1 minimum passing performance

Posted: July 10, 2017

The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing level for each Step examination. The USMLE Management Committee is responsible for establishing and monitoring these standards, and is asked to complete an in-depth review of standards for each examination every three to four years.

For the 2017 Step 1 review, information from multiple sources will be considered, including:

  • Results of content-based standard setting exercises conducted with three independent groups of physicians in 2017;
  • Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, samples of examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current pass/fail standards for Step examinations;
  • Trends in examinee performance;
  • Score precision and its effect on the pass/fail outcome.

The USMLE Management Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing score for the USMLE Step 1 examination at its meeting on November 29-30, 2017.

If the Committee determines that a change to the minimum passing score is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing score will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 1 examination on or after January 1, 2018. The decision of the Committee will be posted at the USMLE website.

Winter weather

Posted: January 13, 2016
Updated: March 20, 2018

For updates on the impact of winter weather on USMLE administrations, please go to the Prometric website (for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3) or to the CSEC website (for Step 2 CS).

UPDATE – Scores for Step 3 examinees testing January 15, 2018 through late February 2018

Posted: March 19, 2018

Scores for most Step 3 examinees testing January 15, 2018 through late February 2018 will be available on March 21, 2018. This is one week earlier than the original projected target date of March 28, 2018.

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