Minimum Passing Scores

The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing score for each Step. Medical licensing authorities may accept the recommended pass/ fail result, or they may establish their own passing score. Recommended performance standards for the USMLE are based on a specified level of proficiency. As a result, no predetermined percentage of examinees will pass or fail the examination.

The recommended minimum passing level is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time.

While the percentage of correctly answered multiple-choice items required to pass varies from form to form, typically you must answer 55 to 65 percent of items correctly to achieve a passing score. A statistical procedure ensures that the performance required to pass each test form is equivalent to that needed to pass other forms; this process also places scores from different forms on a common scale.

For Step 3, your performance on the case simulations will affect your Step 3 score and could affect whether you pass or fail. The proportional contribution of the score on the case simulations is no greater than the amount of time you are allowed for the case simulations.

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