“Scoring” the new Pass/Fail USMLE Step 1 Examination
As previously reported on this blog in 2020 and again in April 2021, starting with Step 1 exams administered on January 26, 2021, the USMLE Program will change from a three-digit scoring system to pass/fail scoring system. As to what examinees can expect from the new Pass/Fail score reports, USMLE has announced that:
- Passing outcome reports will only display the notification of “Pass.” This change is intended to reduce the overemphasis of USMLE Step 1 scores on secondary uses while retaining the ability to use the exam for its primary purpose of medical licensure eligibility.
- Failing outcome reports will display “Fail” and have 1) a visual illustration showing the distance between the examinee’s overall score and the minimum passing standard and 2) content area feedback that shows whether the examinee scored lower, about the same, or higher than examinees with a low pass (ie, above but near the passing standard) for each content category. This additional information is intended to guide study plans for future exam attempts.
Individuals hoping to impress residency program directors with a high score on Step 1 must not just register, but actually sit for their Step 1 exam prior to January 26, 2021.
In addition to the changes to score reports, USMLE also today announced that it will evaluate the minimum score required to achieve a “passing” grade every 3 to 4 years.
Should you find yourself in need of advice and counsel regarding USMLE Policies and Procedures, including with respect to eligibility, or find yourself facing allegations of irregular behavior, our experienced attorney stand ready to assist.