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Review of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) minimum passing score

Posted: February 13, 2018
Updated: May 23, 2018

The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing level for each Step examination. The USMLE Management Committee is responsible for establishing and monitoring standards, and is asked to complete an in-depth review of standards for each examination every 3 to 4 years.

For the 2018 Step 2 CK review, information from multiple sources will be considered, including:

  • Results of content-based standard setting exercises conducted with three independent groups of physicians in 2018;
  • 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 2 CK examination at its May 2018 meeting.

If the Committee determines that a change is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing score will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 2 CK examination on or after July 1, 2018. The decision of the Committee will be posted at the USMLE website.


USMLE scoring: An ongoing conversation

Posted: May 02, 2019

At the March 2019 Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring (InCUS), stakeholders from organizations within the house of medicine discussed USMLE’s score reporting, both its primary use for licensure as well as secondary uses in undergraduate and graduate medical education. Read the latest update about the InCUS experience and timeline.


New videos: “Your USMLE Journey to Medical Licensure in the U.S.” and “Who is USMLE?”

Posted: April 19, 2019

Two new videos about the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program are now available for students, examinees, medical school faculty, and others.

Your USMLE Journey to Medical Licensure in the U.S.” looks at what is covered on each Step exam, using colorful scenes and visual elements.

Who is USMLE?”  features program volunteers and committee members who help develop the exams, discussing the perspectives and principles behind work on a licensure examination.. 

The new videos are a great way to quickly understand the   exams that comprise the three Steps of USMLE

In addition, the USMLE website now includes an easy to locate page for quick access to all videos and podcasts supporting program information.

Keep checking the USMLE Announcements section for news, videos, and podcasts to stay aware of program updates.


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