Step 2 CK – Delay in Score Reporting

Most Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) scores are reported within 3-4 weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pools, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning on or after the week of June 27, 2021.

If you need to receive Step 2 CK scores before August 25, 2021, the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program recommends that you take the exam before Friday, June 25, 2021.

The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing the week of June 27, 2021, through Friday, August 13, 2021, will be Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

Examinees should visit the USMLE website for the latest information.

USMLE Policy Updates Following Step 2 CS Discontinuation

Step 3 Eligibility Requirements Reinstated; New Information Added to USMLE Transcripts; Attempt Limits Set at Four

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Composite Committee, the governing body of USMLE comprised of medical educators, regulators, and members of the public, recently met to determine how the discontinuation of the Step 2 Clinical Skills examination (Step 2 CS) will impact certain USMLE policies. The Composite Committee’s role is to ensure that the program fulfills its mission to support medical licensing authorities in the United States by providing them with meaningful information from assessments of physician competencies—including medical knowledge and skills—that are important to the provision of safe and effective patient care. The decisions surrounding these policies reflect that mission.

The policy decisions made regarding Step 3 eligibility requirements, reporting Step 2 CS results, and attempt limits are described below.

Step 3 Eligibility Requirements

During the Step 2 CS suspension, the USMLE program announced temporary Step 3 eligibility requirements. Since the Step 2 CS exam has been discontinued, these temporary requirements are no longer needed.

Step 3 eligibility requirements will conform with criteria established before Step 2 CS became part of the USMLE. The requirements, which can be found here, are:

  • Passing scores on Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and
  • An MD degree or DO degree from an LCME- or COCA-accredited U.S. or Canadian medical school, or
  • The equivalent of the MD degree from a medical school outside the U.S. and Canada that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements, and obtain ECFMG Certification.
  • Meets all other eligibility criteria as listed in the USMLE Bulletin of Information.

Reporting Step 2 CS Results

As a medical licensing examination, the USMLE program has the responsibility to produce transcripts that report to state medical boards a complete exam history for each examinee. Accordingly, all Step 2 CS results will continue to be reported on the USMLE transcript.

To facilitate the interpretation of transcripts with either Step 2 CS fails or no Step 2 CS attempts, the following statement will be included on all transcripts:

“The USMLE Step 2 CS examination was suspended on March 16, 2020 and formally discontinued on January 26, 2021. Due to the exam’s discontinuation, examinees with a failing Step 2 CS outcome may not have had an opportunity to retest and remediate their performance. The USMLE defines successful completion of its examination sequence as passing Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3.”

Attempt Limits

Beginning with applications submitted on or after July 1, 2021, examinees will be limited to four attempts per Step exam rather than the six allowed under the current policy. This policy decision is designed to protect the integrity of the exam and more closely match the attempt limits imposed by state medical boards for USMLE in the majority of states.

Once the change to the attempt limit policy is effective, examinees who have attempted a USMLE Step four or more times and have not passed will be ineligible for other USMLE Steps.

If you have any questions about these policies, please contact the USMLE program by using the form available here.

Want to Know More About the Decision to Discontinue Step 2 CS?

Listen to a New Podcast: In the March 4, 2021 episode of USMLE Connection, David Johnson, the Chief Assessment Officer at the Federation of State Medical Boards, and Chris Feddock, Executive Director for the Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration, discuss the discontinuation of the Step 2 CS exam, the reasons behind the decision, and next steps.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 19-21

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 19, 2021. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2021. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System
  • Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

Announcement Regarding Eligibility Period Extensions for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK

In early 2020, in conjunction with the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program, ECFMG®|FAIMER® elected to automatically extend eligibility periods for international medical students/graduates (IMGs) who were registered for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and to temporarily waive the fee for eligibility period extensions. These accommodations were made in order to give examinees flexibility in scheduling examinations during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, Prometric indicates it has resumed operations in more than 90 percent of its global test center network. While temporary closures and unforeseen events may still occur, the direct impact of the pandemic on scheduling for examinees has declined. As a result, the automatic extension of eligibility periods and temporary fee waiver will end, effective April 1.

Effective April 1, 2021, IMGs who are registered for USMLE Step 1 and/or Step 2 CK and are unable to take the exam in the eligibility period that they are currently assigned may request a one-time, contiguous three-month eligibility period extension (EPEx) using ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) and pay the associated $90 fee.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 6-7

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 6, 2021. Services are expected to be restored by 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, 2021. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System
  • Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

Announcement Regarding Fee for Requests to Change Testing Regions for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK

In March 2020, ECFMG|FAIMER elected to temporarily waive the fee associated with testing region changes for Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) in order to give examinees flexibility in scheduling examinations during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Since then, individuals and organizations have made significant adjustments in order to resume activities. Prometric indicates that it has resumed testing in more than 90 percent of its global test centers and operationalized COVID-19 safety protocols. As availability and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine increases around the world, ECFMG|FAIMER expects a corresponding decline in the direct impact of the pandemic and a reduction in examinee need for scheduling flexibility.

Effective April 1, 2021, ECFMG|FAIMER will reinstate the $85 fee to change testing regions for Step 1 and Step 2 CK. International medical students/graduates who are registered for Step 1 or Step 2 CK and are unable to take the exam in the testing region that they selected may request to change their testing region using Form 312. International test delivery surcharges also may apply. For more information, visit the ECFMG website.

Fee Increases for 2021

Effective January 1, 2021, fees for the following ECFMG applications/service requests will increase:

  • The fee for Application for ECFMG Certification will be $150.
  • The examination fees for United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) will be $975 for each exam registration.
  • The fee for a Certification Verification Service (CVS) request will be $60.
  • The fee for an application for J-1 visa sponsorship will be $360.
  • The fee to establish an Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPICSM) account and confirm identity will be $130.
  • The fee to verify a credential through EPIC will be $100.
  • The fee to request an EPIC Report will be $50.
    • For credentials submitted to EPIC on or after January 10, 2018, the first report requested for each credential will remain free.
    • For credentials submitted to EPIC prior to January 10, 2018, the first report requested for each credential will remain $15.
    • For a previously verified credential, reports will be $50.

The new fees will be assessed for all applications/requests submitted to ECFMG on or after January 1, 2021 (Eastern Time in the United States). All fees are listed in U.S. dollars.

For more information on the fees associated with applying for ECFMG Certification and for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK, refer to the ECFMG 2021 Information Booklet and the Fees page of the ECFMG website.

For more information on the fees associated with EPIC, refer to the Fees page on the EPIC website.

Step 1 and Step 2 CK – Score Delays in 2021

Most United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) scores are reported within 3-4 weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pools, delays occur for examinees who test at certain times of the year.

Please be aware that examinees testing during the following dates may experience delays in score reporting:

  • Step 1 examinees testing early May through early July 2021 – more specific information will be posted January 2021
  • Step 2 CK examinees testing early July through late August 2021 – more specific information will be posted March 2021

Why is this important to know?
If you need to receive a score before a certain date, plan to take that exam before the projected score delay windows to avoid missing deadlines.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

ECFMG’s 2021 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and Application Materials Now Available

ECFMG’s 2021 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and the 2021 exam application materials for international medical students/graduates (IMGs) are now available on the ECFMG website. The ECFMG Information Booklet is the definitive source of information on ECFMG Certification and is required reading for applicants.

To meet the examination requirements for ECFMG Certification, IMGs have been required to pass Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). The USMLE program has suspended administration of Step 2 CS until at least June 2021. ECFMG has established pathways that will allow qualified IMGs who have not passed Step 2 CS to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification. These pathways are directed toward individuals who intend to apply to accredited graduate medical education programs in the United States for the 2021-2022 academic year. Information on the Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match is available now on the ECFMG website.

Availability of 2021 Eligibility Periods for USMLE Step 1/Step 2 CK

Applicants can use the 2021 Information Booklet and 2021 exam application materials to apply for all available Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods that end in 2021.

As announced previously by the USMLE program, all currently registered examinees who have a Step 1 or Step 2 CK scheduling permit with an unexpired eligibility period with an end date in 2020 will be extended through June 2021. ECFMG expects to complete these automatic extensions by the end of October.

Please monitor the ECFMG website, and follow ECFMG on Facebook and Twitter for updates and important information.

(published August 27; updated September 30)

REMINDER: Incomplete USMLE Exam Applications in IWA Will Be Deleted on September 29

As part of the transition to the ECFMG 2021 Information Booklet and exam application materials, any United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) exam applications that have been saved but not submitted via ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) will be deleted. If you have a saved exam application in IWA, you must complete and submit the application, including payment, by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States, on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. If you have begun but not yet submitted the on-line part of an exam application when IWA becomes unavailable on September 29, your incomplete application will be deleted. If your application is deleted, you will be required to begin a new application in order to apply for examination.

(published September 16; updated September 24)