Change in minimum passing requirements for USMLE Step 1

This announcement describes a change in the Step 1 examination minimum passing score that will affect examinees testing on or after January 1, 2014.

As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, the minimum passing score for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time.

At its December 2013 meeting, the Step 1 Committee conducted a review of the USMLE Step 1 examination minimum passing score. During the meeting, the Committee considered information from multiple sources, including:

  • Recommendations from independent groups of physicians who participated in content-based standard-setting activities in 2013;
  • Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current passing requirements for the Step 1 examination;
  • Data on trends in examinee performance;
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.

As a result of its review, the Step 1 Committee decided to raise the recommended Step 1 minimum passing score from 188 to 192.

This change will be applied to Step 1 examinees testing on or after January 1, 2014.