Changes to USMLE® 2014 – 2015

Source: USMLE.org

As medicine and medical education have changed over the years, so have USMLE examinations evolved since they were first administered in 1992. This is a brief summary of planned changes for the next few years.


USMLE STEP 3
What WILL change? What WILL NOT change?

Beginning November 3, 2014, examinees will:

  • Be able to take the exam on two consecutive or non-consecutive days;
  • NOT need to apply for Step 3 under the eligibility requirements of a specific medical licensing authority;
  • See increased numbers of items that assess an expanded range of competency-based content, including foundational science essential for effective healthcare; biostatistics, epidemiology, and population health; literature interpretation; medical
    ethics; and patient safety.

The two exam days will be named Step 3 Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP) and Step 3 Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM).

The Step 3 exam will continue to:

  • Focus on knowledge and application of the biomedical and clinical sciences necessary for independent patient care;
  • Include multiple-choice questions and computer-based case simulations;
  • Be administered over two days, for a total time comparable to current testing time;
  • Result in a single score (with graphical performance profile information) and a single pass/fail outcome after completion of both examination days.
  • Be administered at Prometric test centers throughout the United States.

 

Important to Note

  • Applications for the current Step 3 examination will not be accepted after 5:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on July 18, 2014.
  • Applications for the restructured Step 3 examination will be accepted starting on August 4, 2014.
  • No Step 3 examinations will be administered during most or all of October 2014.
  • Administration of the restructured Step 3 exam will begin on November 3, 2014.
  • There will be a score delay following introduction of the restructured Step 3 examination on November 3, 2014. The duration of the score delay will be determined by examinee volume during the early months of exam administration. Based on historic trends, we estimate that scores for Step 3 exams taken on or after November 3, 2014 will be released in April 2015.
  • Test date availability will be influenced by conditions at each Prometric test center; advance planning will enhance scheduling options.

 

USMLE STEP 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK)
What WILL change? What WILL NOT change?

In 2014 and 2015, examinees will see an increased focus on quality improvement principles; safety science; epidemiology, biostatistics, and population health; professionalism; and interpersonal and communications skills. These may be tested using item formats currently under development. If new item types are introduced into the examination, sample materials will be available on the USMLE website for examinees to review well in advance.

Step 2 CK will continue to focus on patient care and diagnosis. The format will continue to be a computer-administered examination, using multiple-choice questions.

USMLE STEP 2 Clinical Skills (CS)
What WILL change? What WILL NOT change?

Further enhancements to the assessment of communications skills are being piloted. If the pilots are successful, these enhancements to Step 2 CS will be introduced into the exam no earlier than 2015, and will be announced well in advance.

Step 2 CS will continue to focus on examinees’ ability to gather information from patients, perform physical examinations, and communicate their findings to patients and colleagues. The examination will continue to use standardized patients to simulate patient encounters.

USMLE STEP 1
What WILL change? What WILL NOT change?

In 2014 and 2015, examinees will see an increased focus on quality improvement principles and safety science.

Step 1 will continue to focus on traditional content areas in the basic sciences within a clinical context. The format will continue to be a computer-administered examination, using multiple-choice questions.

Important Note: Dates are subject to change. This fact sheet will be updated as new information becomes available. Please check the USMLE website (www.usmle.org) frequently.

More Information: Additional information, including a timeline of key dates for changes to Step 3, is available on the USMLE website at www.usmle.org/cru/. To receive updates as they become available, subscribe to the USMLE Announcements RSS feed at http://www.usmle.org/announcements/.

Questions: Contact the USMLE Program at http://www.usmle.org/contact/.

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