The USMLE’s Step 2 Committee recently decided to increase the passing standards for the CS (Clinical Skills) portion of the exam (i.e. it will be harder to pass!).
After reviewing input from independent physicians, state licensing officials, medical school faculty, and Step 2 test-takers, as well as data on past exam performance, the committee chose to raise the standards for two components of the exam. Since the exam is graded pass/fail (and not numerically, like Step 1 or Step 2 CK) this means that a certain percentage of students would no longer pass.
The changes were made in 2 of the 3 portions of the evaluation: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS) and Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE). The grading of the Spoken English Proficiency (SEP) portion will not be changed.
Please don’t panic! Instead, invest in a copy of First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS, Fourth Edition to make sure you are prepared!
For more information, please see: “Change in the performance standard of the Step 2 CS examination that will affect examinees testing on or after January 1, 2013”