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Step 2 CS Cases – Common Presenting Signs and Symptoms
September 12, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

A list of common presenting signs and symptoms that Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinees may expect to see during their examination has been posted to the USMLE website. These are examples only, and the list does not represent all possible presenting signs and symptoms that may be encountered.

The Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet has been revised to include this list.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.


USMLE Examinations and Weather – Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston
August 23, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Severe Weather, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, Step 3

For updates on the impact of weather on USMLE administrations, please go to the Prometric website (for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3) or to the CSEC website (for Step 2 CS).


Change in Performance Standards for Step 2 CS
August 7, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

This announcement describes a change in the performance standards for the USMLE Step 2 CS examination that will affect examinees testing on or after September 10, 2017.

As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, the recommended minimum passing levels for each USMLE examination are reviewed periodically (typically, every 3-4 years) and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments are posted on the USMLE website.

At its July 2017 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee voted to increase the required minimum passing level for all three Step 2 CS subcomponents: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS), Spoken English Proficiency (SEP), and Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE). Because numerical scores are not reported for Step 2 CS, the decisions of the Management Committee are reported in terms of potential impact on examinees, using data from recent administrations.

If the new minimum passing requirements were applied to the group of first-time examinees who recently tested, the overall passing rate for examinees from US medical schools would be approximately three percent lower and the overall passing rate for examinees from international medical schools would be approximately eight percent lower.

Examinees are encouraged to read the full announcement on the USMLE website.


Review of USMLE Step 1 Minimum Passing Performance
July 11, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 1

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

The USMLE Management Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing score for the USMLE Step 1 examination at its meeting on November 29-30, 2017.

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

For further information regarding the content under review, refer to the full announcement on the USMLE website.


New Features in Step 2 CS Patient Note Program
June 21, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Two user-adjustable display features, text magnification and color inversion, are now available in the patient note program used by Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinees after each patient encounter.

Please see the full announcement for more details.


UPDATE: Change to Patient Note Program for the Step 2 CS Exam
June 19, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

On or after September 10, 2017, patient notes written in the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam will automatically submit at the end of the 25 minutes allotted for each patient encounter. Examinees will no longer end the patient note by clicking “Submit.”

A program for practicing writing the patient note is available. Please practice to become familiar with all the features of the program before taking the examination.

Examinees are also encouraged to review the full USMLE announcement for more information.

NOTE: The date for the start of the automatic stop feature was originally projected to be July 16, 2017.


Updated Information and Practice Materials for the Step 2 CK Examination Available
May 30, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CK

Updated information and practice materials for the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination have been posted to the USMLE website. You may view the full announcement here.


Step 2 CS Communication Skills Cases
May 11, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Beginning May 21, 2017, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinees may see a case in which the primary task is to assist the standardized patient with making decisions and/or with disease or problem management. For these cases, a physical examination will not be required, and the data interpretation section of the patient note will not need to be completed.

Not all examinations will include a case designed to assess these communication skills; examinees will see a maximum of one case.


UPDATE: Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS
April 27, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. We strongly encourage examinees to complete their scheduling before May 31 of the calendar year in which they plan to test. Based on scheduling trends, if you try to schedule after August 1, you may find that there are no available testing appointments through the end of the year unless there are cancellations.

The graph below is an estimate of test appointment availability for the next six months as of the date at the bottom of the graph. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one location. Availability at the testing center you choose may differ. Appointment availability changes frequently, so if you are unable to schedule an appointment during a particular time period, please continue to check the Step 2 CS scheduling website. Additional appointments may become available 60 days in advance of a test date.

More information is available in the Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date section of the Bulletin of Information.

(published January 29, 2016; updated February 10, 2016, February 26, 2016, March 10, 2016, March 23, 2016, April 6, 2016, April 20, 2016, May 6, 2016, May 18, 2016, June 8, 2016, December 2, 2016, December 19, 2016, January 11, 2017, February 9, 2017, February 23, 2017, March 17, 2017, March 30, 2017, April 14, 2017, April 27, 2017, May 15, 2017, June 12, 2017, June 23, 2017, July 13, 2017, July 27, 2017, August 9, 2017)

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UPDATE: Review of USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills Minimum Passing Performance
April 21, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

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

Because severe winter weather resulted in cancellation and rescheduling of one of the standard setting panels that review test content for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination, dates for the review by the USMLE Management Committee and for possible changes in the recommended minimum passing requirements to take effect have changed.

The USMLE Management Committee is scheduled to review the minimum passing requirements for the USMLE Step 2 CS examination at its July 29 – August 1 meeting (originally scheduled for May 2017).

If the Committee determines that a change is appropriate, the new recommended minimum passing requirements will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 2 CS examination on or after September 10, 2017 (originally July 16, 2017).

Examinees are encouraged to read the full announcement and monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.




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