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Upcoming Delay in Step 2 CK Score Reports

  • by Michael Stephens
  • Mar 03, 2022

You may have come across the news about an upcoming delay in the release of Step 2 CK score reports, but if not, more information about it can be found here. What does all of this mean? We will walk through here why this is happening and what it might mean for you and the timing of when you may want to take the test.

What Is The Rationale For The Delay?

It can seem like two months is a long time to process the results of your exam, but the reality is developing board exams is quite an undertaking for the USMLE. The organization has a large bank of questions used to generate an individual exam. How examinees do on each of these questions is thoroughly analyzed to ensure the exam is as fair as possible. In fact, any given administration of a board and shelf exam will often contain many trial questions, and the performance of test-takers is regularly analyzed to ensure they are clear and appropriately challenging before they are eventually counted in the scoring system. See the latest USMLE updates here.

Periodically, the pool of questions will turn over to ensure the exam is adapted to reflect changes in the practice of medicine. It is during these times delays in score reporting can be expected to ensure enough examinees have answered new questions to gain meaningful data from the analysis of their performance. A motivation to want to have the results as soon as possible is understandable, but these question turnovers and the associated delays are necessary to keep the exam relevant and fair.

What Does This Mean For When I Should Take My Exam?

Step 2 CK is an exam that has been taking on increasing importance in the evaluation of applications for residency positions. Therefore, the timing of when you should schedule the test is an important decision dependent on many factors including when you have time in your medical school curriculum to study and sit for the exam, whether you would like to have the score included in your initial residency application materials, and what your performance has been on practice tests leading up to the day of your exam. Check out our blog post on tips of when to schedule your Step 2 CK exam. This of course is an added component in that calculus to consider. Cram Fighter has also created a 4 week study plan for Step 2 on our blog here.

If you are applying for residency this year, the delay will not prevent you from releasing your Step 2 CK score to residency programs concurrently with your initial application, as the first date to submit the ERAS application is September 1, 2022. In rare instances, having the score report sooner may be helpful if applying for certain research opportunities or clinical programs or if your school is requiring the report by a certain date.

If it makes no difference in your given circumstances whether you receive the score in a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you place more weight on factors other than just this reporting delay to time your exam; you should not rush to take the exam before June 25, 2022, especially if you do not feel ready, just to get the result back sooner.

So What Are The Next Steps?

As has always been the case, when you are deciding when to schedule a board exam, you should take inventory of your timeline including when you need to have the results, when you will have enough time to adequately prepare, and when nearby testing centers have availability. If you need to have a score report back for any given reason during July 2022, you may want to factor in this delay. Otherwise, if you have the ability to wait for the results or simply want to make sure the score is included in your residency application, you could accept this delay but not adjust your plan in any significant way, just recognizing you may have to standby for multiple months before you find out how you did on the test.

Either way, you should not stress about this update; it is a necessary part of the process to ensure you can take a fair exam and should not impact your preparation and performance!