USMLE Step 2 CK Average Scores by Specialty

What Step 2 CK Score Do You Need to Match in Your Preferred Specialty? The NRMP released updated results on the 2014 Main Residency Match®. To make it easier for you, we’ve created a table showing the Average Step 2 CK Scores by Specialty for the 2014 Match, summarized some of the findings and provided general tips for the Match.

Which Specialties Had the Highest Scores?

Step 2 CK score averages were highest in Dermatology, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Vascular Surgery, all in the 250s. Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Oncology were not far behind.

When Do Students Schedule Step 2 CK Exams?

Students schedule their Step 2 CK exams at a wide variety of times. Many domestic students take Step 2 CK by June or July so that they can upload their scores to ERAS at the beginning of the residency application cycle in September. However, some domestic students decide to take the USMLE Step 2 CK exam based on how they performed on Step 1. Students who scored well on Step 1 may choose to take Step 2 CK after submitting their residency applications so that if they don’t meet or beat their Step 1 score, the lower Step 2 CK score won’t count against them. On the other hand, students that did not score as well as they hoped on Step 1 may choose to take Step 2 CK before submitting their residency application to improve their chances of getting interviews. Many students who submit their applications when ERAS registration opens in mid-September have not received their Step 2 CK score prior to applying. Keep in mind, however, that programs may be reluctant to rank an applicant whose Step 2 CK score is not available when rank order lists are finalized in late February.  Some students want to take Step 2 CK after completing third year rotations while the material is fresh.  We recommend that International students take Step 2 CS and Step 2 CK prior to applying for residency in the U.S. because ECFMG applicants cannot begin residency without successfully completing both.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding when you should schedule your Step 2 CK exam. We have provided a few scenarios for you based on what  we have heard students find useful in an effort to assist you in better determining the best solution for your unique situation.   In the end you should carefully evaluate what will work best for your individual situation, and if you are having difficulty coming to a clear conclusion, you may consider utilizing our advising services.

Average USMLE Step 2 CK Scores by Specialty for the 2014 Match

Below is a table summarizing USMLE Step 2 CK averages by specialty for those who matched, as reported in the Charting Outcomes in the Match, 2014: Characteristics of Applicants Who Matched to Their Preferred Specialty in the 2014 NRMP Main Residency Match (5th edition) (PDF, 290 pages) 

US Seniors

Independent Applicants

Specialty

Matched

Unmatched

Matched

Unmatched

Anesthesiology

241

223

239

222

Child Neurology

240

232

232

222

Dermatology

255

248

243

240

Diag Radiology

249

236

240

227

Emergency Med

243

225

237

225

Family Med

234

216

221

211

Gen Surgery

245

226

241

229

Internal Med

243

219

237

221

Internal Med/Peds

245

234

234

224

Neurosurgery

247

236

251

230

Neurology

241

236

232

219

Obstetrics & Gynecology

242

225

236

222

Orthopedic Surgery

251

238

243

239

Otolaryngology

252

245

246

238

Pathology

241

230

228

216

Pediatrics

241

219

233

217

Physical Med & Rehab

234

220

230

218

Plastic Surgery

252

241

235

239

Psychiatry

233

216

222

211

Radiation Oncology

248

240

240

239

Vascular Surgery

250

235

245

231

All Combined

243

231

234

220

 

References

Charting Outcomes in the Match, 2014: Characteristics of Applicants Who Matched to Their Preferred Specialty in the 2014 NRMP Main Residency Match (5th edition)

It’s important to have a strategy for what and when you will study. Many students find the structure of the Doctors In Training USMLE Step 2 Review Course beneficial to their exam preparations. Our course presents the high yield information you need to know and is updated annually to reflect student feedback.


About DIT Advising Team

The Doctors In Training Student Advising Team offers many advisory services including the following: customizing individual study plans for USMLE Step 1/ COMLEX Level 1 or USMLE Step 2 CK/ COMLEX Level 2, advising students with respect to combating everyday stress and test anxiety and preparing students for the residency application process.

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