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Change in Minimum Passing Score for Step 3

The recommended Step 3 minimum passing score will change from 196 to 198. This change will affect examinees who take a Step 3 examination that begins on or after January 1, 2020.
 
As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, the minimum passing score for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time.
At its December 2019 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee* conducted a review of the Step 3 examination minimum passing score. During the meeting, the Committee considered information from multiple sources, including:
  • Recommendations from independent groups of physicians who participated in content-based standard-setting activities in 2019;
  • Results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current passing requirements for the Step 3 examination;
  • Data on trends in examinee performance;
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications.
As a result of its review, the USMLE Management Committee decided to raise the recommended Step 3 minimum passing score from 196 to 198.
As noted above, this change will apply to Step 3 examinees who take a Step 3 examination that begins on or after January 1, 2020.