HealthDecember 07, 2017

USMLE Step 1 minimum passing score change

As stated in this USMLE announcement, the recommended Step 1 minimum passing score will change from 192 to 194. This change will affect examinees who take a Step 1 examination that begins on or after January 1, 2018.

Why the change? Here’s what they said:

  • Recommendations from independent groups of physicians who participated in content-based standard-setting activities in 2017;
  • Results of surveys of various groups concerning the appropriateness of current passing requirements for the Step 1 examination;
  • Data on trends in examinee performance;
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications

A study by the Einstein School of Medicine shows a 1-point increase in Step 1 scores for every 200 practice questions students do. And Firecracker’s study of over 3,000 medical students shows that students who use Firecracker score 15 points better than students who do not.


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