Understanding Your Reported Score ranges from 1 to 300 for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3. Small differences in difficulties over the forms and years are adjusted on the use of statistical procedures; therefore, scores for the given step are equivalent over the years and over the form. This is important to note, however, that all the USMLE exams evolve over time in terms of test quality, and that the examinations taken at two significantly various points in time can vary somewhat in terms of the incorporation or focus of some content areas. Stakeholders of USMLE must avoid comparing the scores obtained at dramatically varying times. Since each examination's content and format change with time, distinctions of individual scores must not be made more than 3-4 years apart in time. Table 1 illustrates the standard deviation and mean deviation for the Canadian or the US medical school first-takers who have been testing for the past 3 years.
|Table 1. Means (SDs) First Takers from the US/Canadian medical schools|
|Calendar Year||Mean (SD)|
|Step 2 Clinical Knowledge|
|Academic Year||Mean (SD)|
|Calendar Year||Mean (SD)|
The standard table (Table 2) allows you for determining the percentage of first-takers from the Canadian or the US medical schools testing Step 1 and Step 3 among January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018, and Step 2 CK scoring lower than the given USMLE Step Examination score among July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019. For instance, retrieve the score in the column marked USMLE score for comparing the given score with the scores of Canadian or the US first-takers on Step 1. Perused the percentile rank column labeled Step 1 across the table. The examinee with a score of 225 in Step 1 is in the 37th percentile.
Annually, standard tables are upgraded by dropping previous examinee groups and attaching newer ones. Even though the data may change through this boot loader, the most recent standard table available on the website of USMLE must be used for obtaining percentile ranks. Using the latest standard table eliminates confusion, and guarantees that all view the same existing data.
Although standard deviation ranks were shown in the same standard table for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3, this is worth noting that the scores are not comparable directly on the three Steps. For instance, a Step 1 score of 220 is not equivalent to the Step 2 CK or Step 3 score of 220. This is not accurate to compare the scores across Steps.
Table 2. Norm Table: Based on First-takers From Canadian and US Medical Schools Testing Between January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2018 for Step 1 and Step 3 and July 1, 2016 – June
30, 2019 for Step 2 CK
|USMLE Score||Step 1 (N=72,473)||
Step 2 CK
|Step 3 (N=58,425)|
|155 and below||0||0||0|
For each examination, administration the pass or fail result is given as the USMLE recommendation. Passing rankings are based on the achievement of designated levels of skills established before the examinations are administered. Quantitative procedures are used for ensuring that the level of skill required for passing the examination continues uniform across forms. As noted in the USMLE Information Bulletin, the score needed to meet the suggested level of competency is periodically examined and can be adjusted without prior notice. Adjustment notice is submitted in the USMLE web site’s Announcements section.
Precision of Scores
Measurement error occurs on all tests, and the normal measurement error (SEM) offers the index of the scores imprecise. Using the SEM, the score interval can be calculated which indicates how much the score could vary over repeated experiments using various sets of items surrounding similar content. Plus and minus one SEM reflects the interval, which will cover about two-thirds of the results observed for the true score given by an examinee. At present, for Step 1, Step 2CK, and Step 3, the SEM is around 6 points.
The standard differential error (SED) in results is the index used for assessing if the difference among the two scores is statistically significant. If the scores obtained by two examines differ by two or more SEDs, then the examinees are likely to be different in their skills. The SED currently has around 8 points for Step 1, 8 for Step 2CK, and 8 for Step 3.
The SEE (estimate standard error) is the additional index of the level of uncertainty used in the scores for gauging the likelihood of performing similarly on the repeat attempt.
If the examinee repeatedly tested on the various set of items covering similar content, without studying or forgetting, their score will fall two-thirds of the time within one SEE of their current score. The SEE for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 is currently around 8 points.
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