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Important announcement regarding Fifth Pathway certificates and USMLE Step 3

Posted: March 08, 2016

As previously announced, the governing committee of the USMLE program and the USMLE parent organizations (the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical examiners) have determined that the USMLE will cease acceptance of Fifth Pathway certificates for the purpose of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements, effective January 1, 2017.

Currently, the USMLE program accepts either a valid Standard ECFMG Certificate or a valid Fifth Pathway certificate (issued through December 31, 2009) from international medical graduates for purposes of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements.

Individuals who hold valid Fifth Pathway certificates, and are otherwise eligible, may use their Fifth Pathway certificates to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements, and may apply for Step 3 through December 31, 2016.

Individuals holding Fifth Pathway certificates that are not accepted by the USMLE program for purposes of meeting Step 3 eligibility will be required to obtain ECFMG certification in order to be eligible for Step 3.

If you hold a valid Fifth Pathway certificate but have not completed the full USMLE sequence of examinations, you should remain mindful of the December 31, 2016 deadline, after which use of your Fifth Pathway certificate to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements will not be permitted.

Information on Step 3 eligibility requirements


Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS

Posted: January 29, 2016
Updated: June 21, 2017

Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. We strongly encourage examinees to complete their scheduling before May 31 of the calendar year in which they plan to test. Based on scheduling trends, if you try to schedule after August 1, you may find that there are no available testing appointments through the end of the year unless there are cancellations.

The graph below is an estimate of test appointment availability for the next six months as of the date at the bottom of the graph. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one location. Availability at the testing center you choose may differ.

Appointment availability changes frequently, so if you are unable to schedule an appointment during a particular time period, please continue to check the Step 2 CS scheduling website. Additional appointments may become available 60 days in advance of a test date.



More information is available in the Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date section of the Bulletin of Information.


Step 1 – Delay in score reporting

Posted: February 16, 2017
Updated: June 19, 2017

Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of April 24, 2017.  The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of April 24 through late May will be Wednesday, June 28, 2017.  For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before June 28, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than April 23.

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. Please note that scores on new and old exam forms will be comparable.


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