Scoring and Score Reporting

Examination Results and Scoring


The USMLE program provides a recommended pass or fail outcome on all Step examinations. Recommended performance standards for the USMLE are based on a specified level of proficiency. As a result, no predetermined percentage of examinees will pass or fail the examination. The recommended minimum passing level is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments will be posted at the USMLE website. On the examinations containing multiple-choice items, the percentages of correctly answered items required to pass varies from form to form. However, examinees typically must answer 60 to 70 percent of items correctly to achieve a passing score.

For Step 3, your performance on the case simulations will affect your Step 3 score and could affect whether you pass or fail. The proportional contribution of the score on the case simulations is no greater than the amount of time you are allowed for the case simulations.

For up-to-date information on minimum passing scores, examination performance data, and general scoring methodology, please visit the USMLE website.

  • You must pass all three subcomponents of Step 2 CS (ICE, CIS, SEP) in a single administration to obtain the overall designation of passing on Step 2 CS.

Continue to: Score Reporting »

Score Reporting


Score Availability

Results for computer-based examinations (Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3) are typically available three to four weeks after your test date. However, a number of factors may delay score reporting. When selecting your test date and inquiring about results, you should allow at least eight weeks to receive notification that your score report is available. For Step 2 CS results, you should refer to the Step 2 CS Score Reporting Schedule. For more specific information about potential scoring delays, please visit the Announcement section of the USMLE website.

When your score is available, you will receive an e-mail notification from the organization that registered you for your examination. Your score report will remain available on the website of the organization that registered you for your examination for approximately 120 days from the date of the e-mail notification. After the score report is removed from the website, your scores will be provided to you only in the form of an official transcript, for a fee, through the organization that registered you for your examination. Visit the USMLE website for more details, including how to request a transcript for yourself or for a third party.

Reporting to Third Parties

The NBME reports the results of the USMLE to LCME- and AOA-accredited medical school programs for their students and graduates. For Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS, if you do not want your results reported to your medical school, you must send a request from your e-mail account of record to webmail@nbme.org, at least 10 business days before your scheduled test date. A separate request must be submitted for each examination administration. For Step 3, you must specify your reporting preference on your application.

The ECFMG may provide the results of the USMLE to international medical schools for their students and graduates. For Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS, if you do not want your results reported to your medical school, you must submit a request for each examination administration, via the ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA), at least 10 business days before your scheduled test date.

Examination data (including performance information and recorded patient encounters) may be used by the USMLE program or made available to third parties for research and other purposes that are disclosed to or authorized by you, as appropriate. In all instances, the data will be confidential, and individual examinees will not be identifiable in any publication. If you do not wish your examination data to be made available for such purposes, you must advise the USMLE Secretariat via e-mail at webmail@nbme.org no later than 30 days before your administration.

Incomplete Scores

If you do not open every block of your Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3 examination, your examination may not be scored and the attempt may be reported as an incomplete on your USMLE transcript.

For Step 2 CS, if you leave the test early, or otherwise fail to carry out one or more of the cases, your performance may be assessed on those cases you completed. If, based on the performance of the completed cases, a pass/fail outcome cannot be determined, the attempt may be recorded as an incomplete on your USMLE transcript.

For privacy purposes, the USMLE program does not provide scores or outcomes by telephone, e-mail, or fax to anyone. Additionally, the scoring process is not expedited or accelerated for any individual or group.

Continue to: Score Rechecks »

Score Rechecks


For all Steps and Step Components, a rigorous process is used to ensure the accuracy of scores, including a double scoring method involving independent scoring systems. Therefore, a change in your score or in your pass/fail outcome based on a recheck is an extremely remote possibility. To date, the score recheck process has not resulted in a score change. However, if you wish to request a score recheck, submit a request and service fee to the organization that registered you for your examination. Your request must be received no later than 90 days after your result was released to you.

Registration Organization

TO REQUEST A SCORE RECHECK, VISIT:

NBME

http://examinee.nbme.org/interactive

ECFMG

http://www.ecfmg.org/forms/steprchk.pdf

FSMB

http://www.fsmb.org/step-3

For Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3, when a request for a score recheck is received, the original response record is retrieved and rescored using a system that is outside of the normal processing routine. The rechecked score is then compared with the original score.

For Step 2 CS, the ratings received from the standardized patients and from the physician note raters are retrieved, re-summed, and reconverted into final scores to verify the accuracy of the original outcome. Encounters and patient notes are not re-rated and videos are not re-reviewed during the recheck.

Continue to: Score Validity »

Score Validity


The performance of examinees is monitored and may be analyzed to detect aberrancies that raise questions about the validity of scores. The USMLE program reserves the right to cancel scores that are at or above the passing level if the USMLE program has a good faith basis for questioning whether they represent a valid measure of knowledge or competence as sampled by the examination. Questions about score validity may result from irregular behavior (please refer to the Irregular Behavior section of this Bulletin on pages 26-27) or other factors. If there are questions related to the validity of your score, your score report may be delayed or withheld pending completion of further review and/or investigation. You will have an opportunity to provide information that you consider relevant.

After review and analysis of all available information, scores will be classified as either valid and reported or invalid and canceled. If your score is canceled, an annotation of “score not available” will appear on your record next to the date of your examination. If your score is canceled, you will be notified and advised of the options for retaking the examination.

Continue to: Anomalous Performance »

Anomalous Performance


Anomalous performance and/or unusual testing history may impact your access to the USMLE. If your performance raises concerns about your readiness to test or your motivation to pass, the USMLE program reserves the right to restrict your future access to its examinations and/or to impose conditions on future access. Do not test if you are not able or not ready on your scheduled test date.

  • Taking a Step examination to familiarize yourself with the examination format, or for any reason other than to pass, is prohibited and may result in restrictions on your future access to the USMLE.