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USMLE Scores for the Multiple Choice Sections of the USMLE Exam
The two scores generated by the NBME are placed on a three-digit and a two-digit scale, respectively. The three-digit score is considered to be the more descriptive measure, but many medical licensing authorities specifically require a passing score of 75, and so the three-digit score is converted into a two-digit equivalent. On the three-digit scale, the vast majority of scores on the Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 exams fall somewhere between 140 and 260. The mean score is between 200 and 220, with a standard deviation of about 20. As indicated above, the minimum passing score on the two-digit scale is 75. Depending on the difficulty of the test version, candidates will typically have to answer 60 to 70% of the multiple-choice questions correctly in order to pass.
USMLE Scores for the Step 2 CS Section of the USMLE Exam
The Step 2 CS exam, meanwhile, must be scored differently since it is an observation exam. No numerical score is assigned to candidates on the Step 2 CS; the candidate will only be told whether he or she has passed or failed. If for some reason the candidate does not see the complete number of patients, he or she can still be given a grade based on performance in the rest of the exam. In other words, if the candidate performs well enough on the other patient encounters to off-set any negative result on the patients not seen, the candidate can still pass the exam.
USMLE Preparation information provided by Morrison Media LLC