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USMLE Score Interpretation Guidelines – updated version available now

Posted: May 14, 2018

An updated version of the USMLE Score Interpretation Guidelines (SIG) has been posted to the USMLE website. Topics include:

  • Description of Examinations
  • Understanding Your Score
  • Recent Means and Standard Deviations (SDs), 2015-2017
    • Norm Table
    • Passing Scores
  • Precision of Scores
  • Guidelines for Use of USMLE Step Scores for Selection Decisions

The means and SDs and the norm table are updated annually. Because percentile ranks depend on the cohort of examinees, you should always use the most recent norm table to obtain percentile ranks.


Step 1 – Delay in score reporting

Posted: January 18, 2019

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 May 5, 2019.

The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 5 through mid-June will be Wednesday, July 10, 2019. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before July 10, 2019, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than May 4, 2019.

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


New score report format – USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK examinations

Posted: January 16, 2019

A redesigned version of the USMLE Step 3 examination score was implemented for examinees testing on or after October 1, 2018. The new format is now being implemented for the Step 1 and Step 2 CK examinations. Examinees taking Step 1 and Step 2 CK on or after January 15, 2019 will receive the new score report.

The redesigned report features a chart showing an examinee’s performance compared with recent first-time takers from US and Canadian medical schools, the examinee’s performance in individual content areas relative to their overall Step examination performance, and information about the allocation of items across each content area.

You can view the new score report here. Click on the comment boxes for explanatory/informational text. FAQs about the score report are also available.

The USMLE program solicited feedback on the new design from a number of stakeholders, including examinees, medical school faculty, and residency program directors.

A new score report format for the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination is under development.

Questions or comments? Please send here.


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