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Updated Practice and Informational Materials for Step 3 Available
December 2, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 3

Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 3 examination have been posted to the USMLE website. These materials reflect new features described in a previous announcement.

Examinees who plan to take a Step 3 examination on or after January 16, 2017 should read the materials and practice with the updated sample items and cases. The materials include:

  • Downloadable practice test materials, with tutorials
  • Feedback for Step 3 CCS practice cases
  • USMLE Step 3 Sample Items booklet (PDF)  – the updated version will be available December 2, 2016
  • USMLE Step 3 Content Description and General Information booklet (PDF) – the updated version will be available December 2, 2016


Enhanced Security Policies at Prometric Test Centers
October 14, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 3

Enhanced security policies will take effect in all U.S. Prometric test centers beginning October 15, 2016. The purpose of the enhanced security procedures is to inspect for camera devices that could be used to capture exam content.

USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3 examinations are administered at Prometric test centers.

Beginning October 15, 2016, Prometric center administrators will conduct stricter inspections of any and all eyeglasses, jewelry, and other accessories.

  • All examinees will be required to remove eyeglasses for close visual inspection by the test center administrators. These inspections will take a few seconds and will be done at check-in and upon return from breaks.
  • Jewelry, except for wedding and engagement rings, is prohibited.
  • Hair accessories are subject to inspection. Examinees should not wear ornate clips, combs, barrettes, headbands, and other hair accessories. An examinee wearing any of these items may be prohibited from wearing them in the testing room, and asked to store such items in their locker.


New Features in Step 3 Examination
October 4, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 3

The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) has developed new software to deliver the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). The new software incorporates user-adjustable display features, specifically text magnification, image magnification, and reverse color (color inversion).

The new features were introduced in Step 1 examinations administered beginning May 2016, and in Step 2 CK examinations administered beginning July 2016. The Step 3 exam will incorporate the new features in exams administered beginning January 16, 2017.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.


Step 2 CS – Limited Hotel Availability in Philadelphia April 2017
September 15, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Please be advised that between April 27, 2017 and April 29, 2017, hotel availability in Philadelphia will be limited and rates may be higher than usual. Examinees planning to take the USMLE® Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam in Philadelphia should note that while the Philadelphia Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC) test centers will remain open, it may be difficult and/or more expensive to obtain a hotel room during this time.


Updated Practice and Informational Materials for the Step 2 CK Examination Are Available
June 14, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CK

Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination have been posted to the USMLE website. These materials reflect the change in number of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) per block described in a prior announcement, as well as new test delivery software.

Examinees planning to take a Step 2 CK examination on or after July 10, 2016 should read the following materials and practice with the updated sample items:

Downloadable practice test materials, with tutorials
USMLE Step 2 CK Sample Items booklet (PDF)
USMLE Step 2 CK Content Description and General Information booklet (PDF)


Step 2 CK – Delay in Score Reporting and Change in Number of Test Items
May 23, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CK, USMLE Score Reporting

Most score reporting of Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, as well as a change to new test delivery software, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of July 10, 2016.

The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing the week of July 10 through late August will be September 14, 2016. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 2 CK scores before September 14, it is recommended that they take Step 2 CK no later than July 9, 2016.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.


USMLE Takes Action Against Individuals Found To Have Engaged In Irregular Behavior

The USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR) meets periodically throughout the year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by applicants and/or examinees.

At its recent meetings, the CIR considered multiple cases involving the following:

  • falsifying information, including the creation of falsified score reports
  • seeking to obtain unauthorized access to examination materials
  • communicating about specific test items, cases, and/or answers with other examinees
  • providing unauthorized access to examination content on the internet
  • applying for and/or attempting to take an examination when ineligible
  • making notes on test day on something other than materials provided
  • failure to follow test center instructions, including typing past the ‘End Patient Note’ announcement in Step 2 Clinical Skills

Actions taken by the CIR at its recent meetings included:

  • annotating individual USMLE records with a finding of irregular behavior
  • barring access to USMLE for periods up to 3 years
  • reporting the finding of irregular behavior to the disciplinary data bank (Physician Data Center [PDC]) at the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). State medical boards routinely query this data bank as part of their licensing processes
  • canceling the examinee’s score because the validity of a passing level score is in question

As evidenced by the sanctions listed above, a finding of irregular behavior carries significant potential impact. USMLE applicants and examinees are reminded to read the USMLE Bulletin of Information carefully, follow the rules of conduct during testing, and refrain from any pre- or post-examination conduct deemed to be irregular behavior.

Applicants and examinees are also encouraged to watch the USMLE Security Video.

The USMLE is committed to maintaining the integrity of its examination so that state medical boards may continue to rely upon it as an integral part of their decision-making process for licensure. Applicants and examinees are advised to observe all USMLE policies and procedures to avoid the potentially significant implications arising from a finding of irregular behavior.

USMLE encourages you to provide information about cheating and other activity of which you are aware that may compromise the security and integrity of USMLE. Please use the contact form on the USMLE website to report such information.

ECFMG Policies and Procedures Regarding Irregular Behavior

ECFMG also regularly reviews allegations of irregular behavior in conjunction with its programs and services. ECFMG programs and services include but are not limited to, registering international medical students and graduates for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS; ECFMG Certification; ERAS Support Services at ECFMG; the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program; the ECFMG International Credentials Services; and the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials.

If the ECFMG Medical Education Credentials Committee determines that an individual engaged in irregular behavior, a permanent annotation to that effect will be included in the individual’s ECFMG record and will be provided to third parties in certain reports.

If it is determined that an individual engaged in irregular behavior, the individual also will be subject to serious sanctions. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Barring the individual from future examinations;
  • Barring the individual from ECFMG Certification and/or other ECFMG programs; and
  • Revoking the individual’s Standard ECFMG Certificate.

Individuals who apply to ECFMG programs and services should be familiar with the ECFMG Policies and Procedures Regarding Irregular Behavior, which define irregular behavior and outline possible sanctions. Representative examples of allegations of irregular behavior and actions taken by the ECFMG Medical Education Credentials Committee are also available on the ECFMG website.


Images in Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination
March 22, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Beginning May 22, 2016, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills examinees may see a case in which the standardized patient provides a digital image (for example, a photograph, x-ray, MRI, or CT) on a tablet computer. Examinees will be able to enlarge the image. During the pre-session orientation, examinees will have an opportunity to view a sample image on a tablet, and to practice enlarging the image.

Not all examinations will include a case with an image. Examinees will see a maximum of one case with an image per examination.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.


Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills Information Booklet
March 22, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

An updated Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information booklet is available. The updated booklet includes:

  • A revised version of Patient Note Example 1. A warning about writing two diagnoses on the same line of the patient note is provided in the revised sample note.
  • Language about the use of images in the Step 2 CS examination.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.


Step 1 – Delay in Score Reporting and Change in Number of Test Items
March 4, 2016
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 1, USMLE Score Reporting

Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, as well as a change to new test delivery software, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of May 9, 2016.

The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 9 through late June will be Wednesday, July 13, 2016. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before July 13, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than May 7.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.




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