What is the USMLE® Step 2 ® – All About the USMLE Step 2 Exam Guide

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What is the USMLE Step 2?

The USMLE® Step 2 CK is a licensure exam that assesses medical students’ knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential to provide patient care under supervision. Emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention, Step 2 CK challenges aspiring physicians to stay committed to the clinical science principles and fundamental patient-centered skills that form the basis of practicing medicine safely and competently under supervision.

What is on the USMLE Step 2?

The USMLE Step 2 CK is a multiple-choice exam featuring patient-centered vignettes that assess whether you understand clinical science principles and the basic patient-centered skills needed for the safe and competent practice of medicine under supervision.

The USMLE program provides a Step 2 CK Content Description outlining the distribution of disciplines, subjects, and competencies covered on the Step 2 CK exam.
Tested disciplines include:

  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry

How long is the USMLE Step 2 CK?

The USMLE Step 2 CK is a one-day examination divided into eight 60-minute blocks, administered in one 9-hour testing session. It features a maximum of 40 questions per block and 318 total questions on the comprehensive examination.

Where is the USMLE Step 2 exam administered?

The USMLE Step 2 CK is conducted at Prometric test centers across the US.

When should I take Step 2 CK?

  • Step 2 CK: Most US medical students take the USMLE Step 2 CK during their third or early fourth year of medical school, following their core clinical rotations. This timing allows the Step 2 CK score to be included in residency program applications.
  • For international medical graduates, passing scores on Step 2 CK are part of the requirements for certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

When should I start studying for Step 2 CK?

Most US medical schools give their students a dedicated 2-4 week study period or elective rotation time that they can use to focus on studying for the USMLE Step 2 CK. However, many successful students begin studying for Step 2 CK much earlier, often in parallel with studying for the NBME shelf exams at the end of each core clinical rotation

How do I study for Step 2 CK?

Start by familiarizing yourself with the 2021 USMLE Bulletin of Information, which contains essential information such as eligibility requirements, test scheduling, exam procedure, and score reporting. To study for the USMLE Step 2 CK, most medical students use a question bank (QBank) alongside a comprehensive review book.

We recommend our USMLE Step 2 CK QBank, the number one question bank for medical students. The QBank has been expanded and tailored to help you master the Step 2 CK exam and the NBME shelf exams associated with each core clinical rotation.

Using the Step 2 CK learning platform throughout the third and fourth years of medical school will test and reinforce the clinical knowledge you’re gaining on your rotations and give you a head start on studying for Step 2 CK.

How is the USMLE Step 2 scored?

Step 2 CK is scored on a 3-digit scale ranging from 1 to 300, with most students scoring between 211-275. From 2018-2019, the mean Step 2 CK score was 243 for first-time takers attending US and Canadian medical schools.

What is the USMLE Step 2 CK passing score?

The USMLE program provides a recommended minimum passing score, which usually translates to test takers answering approximately 60% of the questions correctly. The current USMLE minimum passing score for Step 2 CK is 209.

How soon will I get my USMLE Step 2 results?

Step 2 CK: It typically takes 3-4 weeks to receive your Step 2 CK score.

How many times can I take the USMLE Step 2?

You may take any individual Step exam, such as Step 2 CK, up to six times, including incomplete attempts.

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