Medicine and medical education changes over the years, so the USMLE® must evolve along with them. A unified content outline has been developed to organize the content across all of the steps of the USMLE®.
Examinations released in 2014 will reflect the new unified content outline. See usmle.org for test specifications. For Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS, the changes will be subtle, and the examinations will be similar to previous years. Step 3 examinations will include more substantial changes in content. Here is a summary of those changes:
- Registration for the current Step 3 examination will end July 31, 2014.
- Registration for the restructured Step 3 examination will begin August 2014.
- No Step 3 examinations will be administered during most or all of October 2014.
- Score reports will result in a single score and a single pass/fail outcome
- Expect score delays in November 2014. Based on prior trends, it’s possible that the first scores for Step 3 exams taken on or after November 1, 2014 will be released during the first week of April 2013.
- Though the exam will remain a two-day exam, examinees will be able to schedule the two test days on non-consecutive days. Read more here.
- The two days will be broken down like this: Step 3 Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP): The focus will be on applying knowledge of foundational medicine and science and will assess knowledge of diagnosis and management. The exam will consist of multiple-choice questions with some of the newer item format. Step 3 Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM): The focus will be on patient management. The exam will consist of multiple-choice questions and computer-based case simulations.
- Practice materials reflecting the exam changes should be available in mid-2014.
- State board sponsorship for Step 3 has been discontinued.
- Most likely, the recommendation will remain in place for individuals to take Step 3 towards the end of their first year of residency training. For information, click here.
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