Initial Effects of the USMLE Step 1 Going Pass-Fail

Impact of Step 1 Going Pass-Fail Rx Brick Screenshot

In 2022, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) made a monumental change – the Step 1 exam became a pass-fail test. They stated that this shift was intended to benefit medical students and facilitate broader, system-wide changes to improve your transition from undergraduate to graduate medical education. Suddenly, your score on Step 1 wouldn’t determine if you’d land your desired residency. But the steep decline in passing scores shows preparation may have changed substantially.

2022 USMLE Step 1 Overview

The USMLE recently released its full report on the 2022 performance data for the Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 exams, which shows the Step 1 passing rate in 2022 dropped significantly compared to 2021. In 2021, 88% of test-takers passed; in 2022, just 82% passed. Additionally,

  • Allopathic students’ passing rate dropped from 95% in 2021 to 91% in 2022
  • DO students’ passing rate dropped from 94% in 2021 to 89% in 2022
  • IMG students’ passing rate dropped from 82% in 2021 to 74% in 2022

Why Did USMLE Step 1 Passing Rates Drop?

More research and analysis are necessary to identify which factor(s) played the most prominent role in the drop in Step 1 scores. We explore several in this Brick, hoping to find ways to help you improve your scores and study more effectively.

Proper Preparation is Key

These numbers may be alarming, but it’s important to remember that being well-prepared can help you succeed. The Step 1 exam is a crucial milestone that should not be taken lightly. Adopting a proper study plan and dedicating plenty of time to your preparation will help you approach Step 1 confidently.

Start a free trial of USMLE-Rx Today! And get ready for our Self-Assessment Exam coming your way in April – you’ll be able to take a practice exam and gauge your readiness for Step 1 soon.


Related Articles