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Moving forward: The Step 1 P/F score reporting policy change and revitalization of Step 2 Clinical Skills examination

Posted: November 02, 2020
Updated: December 28, 2020

The USMLE® program recognizes that the upcoming score reporting change for Step 1 (pass/fail) and the suspension of the Step 2 Clinical Skills examination have created new questions for medical students, faculty, and state board members. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work diligently on these two important issues.  As work progresses, we are committed to providing monthly updates on these and other topics that are important to our stakeholders.

Step 1 P/F Score Reporting

The transition to Step 1 pass/fail score reporting is on track to be implemented in January 2022. Should this schedule change, we will post an updated timeline. Specific dates and information will be made available in advance of the implementation date. 

Information about the Step 1 P/F score reporting policy change can be found here

Revitalization of Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination

As co-owners of the USMLE, the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) collected valuable input over the summer from state medical boards, medical school faculty and examinees about the prior Step 2 CS exam, including feedback on which skills are important to assess to inform medical licensure decisions. This feedback is greatly appreciated and will be essential in the development of a revitalized exam. An update on next steps and future developments will be shared by the end of November. 

Information about the revitalization of Step 2 CS can be found here.

Resources To Find Information for Testing Appointments

Posted: December 16, 2020
Updated: December 16, 2020

As the season for inclement weather approaches in parts of the United States and COVID-19 cases increase globally, the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program would like to remind examinees where to find information about the status of test centers and their testing appointments. More Info »

USMLE Step 2 CS: Design phase begins for modified assessment – new podcast available

Posted: November 19, 2020

To continue providing information to the medical regulation and education community about work progressing toward the relaunch of a modified United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam, a new podcast from the USMLE program is now posted for listening and sharing with others.

The discussion covers the following topics that were addressed as part of the discovery phase of developing and implementing a modified Step 2 CS assessment: 

  1. The USMLE program’s two-pronged strategy to revitalize performance-based assessment over the short and long term.
  2. Feedback received this summer from stakeholders in the medical regulation and education communities, through focus groups and surveys.
  3. Preliminary information about the format of the modified Step 2 CS exam.

We recognize that there will be many questions regarding when exam administrations will begin, the content that will be tested, how the exam will be scored, further specifics about exam format and delivery, and performance feedback, among others. These are being investigated and defined as part of the next phase – the design phase – of this work.  We are also cognizant of the important implications that relaunching the modified Step 2 CS exam will have on residency match timelines, curriculum calendars, and temporary eligibility policy changes that are in effect for both USMLE Step 3 and Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) certification. Ultimately, we strive to relaunch the exam at a time that balances these many factors. We anticipate that we will be able to provide information regarding a projected implementation date in early 2021

In the meantime, please visit here for more information and updates as the initiative progresses. 

Chris Feddock, MD, MS
Executive Director 
Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC) 

David Johnson, MA
Chief Assessment Officer 
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) 


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