Minimum Passing Score Raised for the USMLE Step 1 Examination

The USMLE Step 1 minimum passing score has been increased by 2 points.

On December 1, 2017, the Step 1 committee announced that it raised the minimum passing score for the USMLE Step 1 examination citing these reasons:

  • Recommendations from independent groups of physicians who participated in content-based standard-setting activities in 2017
  • 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 1 examination
  • Data on trends in examinee performance
  • Data on precision of pass/fail classifications

The new passing score for the USMLE Step 1 is a 194, up from a 192. The last time the score was increased was on December 12, 2013.

The new minimum passing score will become effective for all examinees who take a Step 1 examination on or after January 1, 2018. The decision of the Step 1 Committee is posted on the USMLE website along with further information.

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