As stated in a previous post, the level of proficiency required to meet the recommended minimum passing level for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time by USMLE committes.
At its December 2012 meeting, the Step 2 Committee decided to increase the performance levels required to receive a passing outcome on two of the three Step 2 CS subcomponents: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS) and Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE). There will be no change to minimum passing requirements for the Spoken English Proficiency (SEP) subcomponent of Step 2 CS at this time.
The changes are expectec to be applied to Step 2 CS examinees testing on or after January 1, 2013.The overall passing rate for examinees from US medical schools would decrease approximately three percent and the overall passing rate for examinees from international medical schools would decrease approximately eighteen percent lower.
Because of the changes that were made to the design and content of the ICE and CIS subcomponents earlier this year, as announced by USMLE, the ability to use historical trends to predict the impact of the changes in minimum passing requirements is limited. If the new minimum passing requirements were applied to the group of first-time examinees who recently tested under the new examination structure, the overall passing rate for examinees from US medical schools would be approximately three percent lower and the overall passing rate for examinees from international medical schools would be approximately eighteen percent lower.