Step 2 CK – Change in Number of Items and Schedule for Score Reporting

Starting in early August, 2012, the number of items on the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination will change. Although the change will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where this takes longer to complete. The overall transition period should last approximately 6 weeks.

Score reports for Step 2 CK are usually available within four weeks of testing. However, because of the change described above, as well as routine modifications to the test item pool, score reporting for most Step 2 CK examinations administered in August will take longer. The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees testing in August is Wednesday, September 26, 2012.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.

Delay in USMLE Step 1 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, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees testing beginning in mid-May 2012. The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing from mid-May through late June will be Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Mid-2012 Temporary Shutdown of Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Testing; Score Report Delay for Examinees Testing June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012

As previously announced, changes to the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination are scheduled for implementation beginning June 17, 2012. As a consequence of the introduction of these changes, exam scheduling and result reporting will be impacted for some individuals.

  • There will be no Step 2 CS examinations delivered from May 20 through June 16, 2012.
  • The interval between testing and score reporting for examinees testing from June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012 will be 2-3 weeks longer than for examinees testing during other periods.
  • Examinees will continue to receive a graphical performance profile on the second page of their Step 2 CS score report. However, due to the need to accumulate data on these new changes over an extended period, individuals who test on or after June 17, 2012 will see less detailed feedback on their graphical performance profiles than has been provided to examinees in the past. The performance profiles are provided as an assessment tool for the examinee’s benefit and are not reported or verified to any third party. The profiles summarize relative areas of strength and weakness to aid in self assessment.

Please note that examinees who test on or before December 31, 2012 will have scores reported in time for the 2013 “Match.”

More information about the Step 2 CS score reporting dates for examinations delivered in 2012 is provided in the Step 2 CS Score Reporting Schedule.

Additional Changes to USMLE Procedures for Reporting Scores

As was reported previously, the USMLE program has begun the process of eliminating the reporting of results on the 2-digit score scale to parties other than the examinee and any state licensing authority to which the examinee sends results.

Because USMLE will continue to report the 2-digit score to examinees and to state licensing authorities, the program will be making changes in scoring procedures to minimize the impact of future shifts in the relationship between 2-digit and 3-digit scores that result from USMLE’s periodic review of standards. The new scoring procedures will be implemented with the reporting of results for examinees who take a Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3 examination on or after October 1, 2011.

View full announcement on the USMLE website.

Important Information about Step 2 CS Testing and Score Reporting in 2012

As noted in the 2012 USMLE Bulletin of Information, changes to the assessment of communication skills and patient note are planned in mid-2012. In order to introduce these changes to the examination, there will be no Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinations from May 20 through June 16, 2012.

Please note the following information regarding the testing schedule in the second half of 2012:

  • Additional testing sessions – including evening and weekend sessions – have been added to the calendar before and after the May/June shutdown.
  • The reporting schedule for examinees testing from June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012 will be 2-3 weeks longer than for examinees testing during other periods.
  • Examinees who test on or before December 31, 2012 will have results reported in time for the 2013 “Match.”

View the 2012 Step 2 CS score reporting schedule.

Relationship between USMLE’s 2-digit and 3-digit Score Scales

It was recently announced that starting July 1, 2011, USMLE would begin the process of eliminating the reporting of results on the 2-digit score scale to all score users except the examinee and the state licensing authority to whom results are reported at the examinee’s request.

Other users of USMLE results who have focused on the 2-digit score scale in the past will need to transition to using the 3-digit score. A table that will allow users to look up the 3-digit score(s) that corresponds approximately to a specific 2-digit score on recently administered Step 1 (since January 2010) and Step 2 CK (since July 1, 2010) examinations has been posted on the USMLE website. This table will not apply for results reported October 1, 2011 and later.

View full announcement on the USMLE website.

Change in Number of Items / Delay in Score Reporting for Step 2 CK

Starting on or around August 3, a transition period will begin in which the number of items in current forms of the Step 2 CK examination will change from 352 items to 346 items. Because of this change, as well as routine modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in score reporting for most Step 2 CK examinations administered from August 3 through mid-September.

View full announcement.

Changes to USMLE Procedures for Reporting Scores

Starting July 1, 2011, USMLE transcripts reported through the ERAS reporting system will no longer include score results on the two-digit score scale. USMLE results will continue to be reported on the three-digit scale. This affects the Step 1, 2 CK, and 3 examinations only; Step 2 CS will continue to be reported as pass or fail. These changes do not alter the score required to pass or the difficulty of any of the USMLE Step examinations.

Since its beginning in the 1990s, the USMLE program has reported two numeric scores for the Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 examinations, one on a three-digit scale and one on a two-digit scale. The three-digit score scale is considered the primary reporting scale; it is developed in a manner that allows reasonable comparisons across time. The two-digit scale is intended to meet statutory requirements of some state medical boards that rely on a score scale that has 75 as the minimum passing score. The process used to convert three-digit scores to two-digit scores is designed in such a way that the three-digit minimum passing score in effect when the examinee tests is associated with a two-digit score of 75.

The USMLE program requires its governing committees to reevaluate the minimum passing score every three to four years. This process has, at times, resulted in changes in the minimum passing score, expressed on the three-digit scale, and an accompanying change in the score conversion process, to ensure that a two-digit score of 75 is associated with the new minimum passing requirement. A by-product of the adjustment of the score conversion system over time has been a shift in the relationship between the two score scales. This shift has no impact for USMLE score users who use the three-digit scoring scale or for those using the two-digit scale with a primary interest in whether the examinee has a passing two-digit score of at least 75. However, it may create challenges in interpretation for score users who are focusing on two-digit scores, other than 75, and are doing so for purposes of comparing USMLE scores that span several years.

To simplify matters and make interpretation of USMLE information more convenient for score users, the USMLE Composite Committee has asked staff to report two-digit scores only to those score users for whom the scale is intended, i.e., the state medical boards. The Committee also asked that examinees continue to receive scores on both scales so that they are fully informed about the information that will be reported when they ask that results be sent to a state medical board. When examinees request that their results be sent to other score users, only the three-digit score will be reported. Current plans call for these changes to begin with the elimination of the two-digit score from USMLE transcripts reported through the ERAS reporting system starting July 1, 2011. Other systems and procedures for reporting results will be similarly modified as soon as possible after the July 1, 2011 date.

Delay in USMLE Step 1 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, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees testing beginning in mid-May 2011. The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing from May 17 through late June will be Wednesday, July 13, 2011.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.