There is no better way to start off the year than with exciting news for medical undergraduates and medical graduates. As of January 26, 2022, the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) Step 1 is transitioning from a number score reporting to a pass/fail outcome.
This still means that you must take the exam with the same amount of preparation and vigor as if it was numeric. We also must not forget the purpose of USMLE is to grant a license, road to a medical residency. Upon evaluating candidates through a holistic approach, taking this exam seriously will help increase the chances of achieving medical residency in the U.S.
What If I am Taking USMLE Step 1 exam before Jan 26, 2022?
STEP 1 is a theory-dense exam and preparing for it can be done through practice.
Medical undergraduates and medical graduates who take the USMLE Step 1 exam on or before January 25, 2022, will see in their results a numeric score, not pass/fail. The initial part of the exam is a one-day test taken on a computer, usually after completing the second year of medical school. Comprised of about 280 multiple choice questions, this Step covers basic sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, pathology, and other residency programs.
Learn more on the breakdown of USMLE step examinations
USMLE.org has provided examples of a score report showing the updating rating system
- Step 1 Score Report – Pass Examinees who pass will not receive content-based feedback and will see a ‘PASS’ in their report
- Step 1 Score Report – Fail Medical undergrads and graduates who fail USMLE Step 1 will receive factors regarding your failing score. In addition, you will also receive professional feedback to help you prepare better for your next Step 1 exam attempt.
What Does This Mean for International and Foreign Medical Graduates?
IMGs and FMGs are under immense pressure not only to pass USMLE exams but some may seek assistance with travel visas to the US aside from needing to stand out from US medical graduates. Medical undergraduates and graduate students are expected to pass Step 1 before taking Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills).
Although Step 1 will be a pass/fail exam, and you may feel less pressure, Program Directors look at other areas of expertise such as clinical rotations, research, and letters of recommendation. With this change, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) may have bigger importance on being a qualified candidate for medical residency.
Residents Medical has helped hundreds of international and foreign medical graduates worldwide. Our medical residency counselors know the secrets to attaining an exceptional score or in this case know how to make you pass the STEP 1 exam, STEP 2 CK, and STEP 3 guiding you to achieving your dream medical residency. To schedule a strategy call with a Residency Specialist Counselor, go here or call us at (310) 444-9700.