USMLE Score Reporting: What to Expect

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • The only thing more nerve-wracking than studying and sitting for the USMLE exams is waiting for your score report to be released. Many of you may be wondering: what happens after I leave the Prometric center and how long will it take for me to receive my score?

    Whether you’re sitting for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3, we have answers for you.

    USMLE Score Reporting FAQ:

    1. How do I know if my testing center is open?

    To ensure your USMLE testing center is open, we recommend visiting the Prometric website for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 testing centers.

    As of August 2021, Prometric reports that 90% of their testing centers are open.

    2. What happens after I sit for my exam?

    After testing, your examination data is delivered electronically to the NBME where your responses are converted into a raw score (i.e., the sum of the points earned for correct responses). Your raw score is then converted into your scaled three-digit USMLE score.

    Before your score can be released, however, analyses are performed to detect aberrant response behavior and a final set of quality assurance procedures are performed to ensure that the correct set of score reports has been produced. Only then is your score report finally posted to the registration entity’s (NBME, ECFMG, or FSMB) secure website and made available for you to review.

    3. How long will it take to receive my Step 1 results?

    Results for all computer-based USMLE examinations are typically released within three to four weeks of your test date. That said, delays can occur for a myriad of reasons. Thus, we recommend allowing at least eight weeks for your Step 1 score report to become available.

    4. What about Step 2 and Step 3 reporting? How long will it take to receive my Step 2 and Step 3 scores?

    Scores for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 are typically available 3-4 weeks after you sit for your exam.

    4. Are any upcoming score reporting delays expected?

    As of Summer 2021, Step 2 CK score reporting is delayed due to annual test item pool modifications.

    5. How do I receive my USMLE results?

    Once your results have been released, you will receive an email notification with instructions for how to review your results. Your results will remain available for approximately 120 days from the date you receive this notification. After this period, your results can be provided to you only in the form of an official USMLE transcript.

    6. What are the 2021 minimum passing scores for each USMLE exam? 

    The 2021 minimum USMLE passing scores are as follows:

    Step 1 is 194

    Step 2 CK is 209

    Step 3 is 198

    7. Are there any recent USMLE score report format changes? 

    Though there are no reporting format changes currently, the Step 1 reporting format will change in early 2022 when the exam switches to pass/fail scoring.

    8. Can I contest my USMLE score?

    If you believe that an error was made in the scoring of your exam, you can request a score recheck through the same entity that registered you to sit for your USMLE exam. Your recheck request must be received by the registration entity (NBME or ECFMG) no later than 90 days after your score report is released. At this time, there is an $80 fee for each exam for which a recheck is requested.

    9. How do I report my results to a third party?

    To share your results with a third party institution, you must contact the NBME or ECFMG and submit an official transcript request. At this time, the fee for requesting official USMLE transcripts from the NBME is $70 for up to 5 copies, with a $5 fee for each additional request submitted at the same time. The fee for requesting official USMLE transcripts from the ECFMG is $70 for up to 10 copies.

    10. What if I don’t want my school to receive my score?

    If you do not want your results reported to your medical institution, you must submit a signed request to the NBME, which must be received at least 10 business days before your test date.

     

    As you prepare to sit for your USMLE exams, it is always worth keeping the national average scores and score distribution facts in mind when determining your ideal scores. That information is contained in the USMLE Score Interpretation Guidelines and shows a national average of 232 for Step 1 in 2019.

    We know it’s easier said than done, but try to put the USMLE out of your mind while you wait for your results. Spend time catching up with those you haven’t seen in awhile, including friends, family, and your favorite TV show. If you have any further questions regarding score reporting for Step 1, be sure to let us know in the comments below!