Attempt limit for USMLE examinations
Posted: June 20, 2012
Examinees who have made six or more attempts to pass a Step or Step component, including incomplete attempts, should be aware that all applications to register for additional attempts will not be processed unless they are submitted on or before December 31, 2012. This limit was first announced in August of 2011.
The effective date for the six-attempt limit depends upon whether an examinee has taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012.
• Examinees who had NOT taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012
If you did not take any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit went into effect for all exam applications that you submitted on or after January 1, 2012.
Example 1: On January 15, 2012, Examinee A submits his application for his first attempt at any Step or Step Component. The six-attempt limit is effective at that time for all Steps and Step Components and Examinee A will be allowed to take each Step or Step Component no more than six times, including incomplete attempts.
• Examinees who have taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012
If you have taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit is in effect for all exam applications that you submit on or after January 1, 2013. After that date, all attempts at a Step or Step Component will be counted toward the limit, regardless of when the exams were taken.
Example 2: Examinee B’s application for a seventh attempt at a particular Step or Step Component is received on December 15, 2012. For this examinee, the six-attempt limit will not prevent the seventh attempt, since the application was submitted before January 1, 2013. However, if Examinee B fails the exam, he will not be eligible to submit an application after January 1, 2013 to retake that Step or Step Component.
Example 3: Examinee C attempts to submit an application for a seventh attempt at a particular Step or Step Component on or after January 1, 2013. The application will not be processed, since all exam applications submitted on or after January 1, 2013 will be subject to the six-attempt limit.
Please refer to the 2012 Bulletin of Information for more complete information on time and attempt limits.
Transition of test content to DSM-5 criteria and terminology
Posted: November 04, 2013
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) was released at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in May 2013. USMLE test content will be impacted by changes in criteria and terminology.
Because USMLE content pools are large, the transition from DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria and terminology will need to be gradual and will likely take place over several years. The following principles will guide this transition:
- The highest priority has been given to test content assessing diagnoses that do not appear in DSM-5. This content has already been removed from USMLE examinations.
- USMLE will begin to transition content to include both DSM-IV and DSM-5 terminology. This process will begin in 2014. Start and end dates for this transition will vary by exam.