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USMLE Step 2

Students must sit for Step 2 by December 1 of their MS IV year. Residency programs consider Step 1 and Step 2 scores. Scores are transmitted automatically by ERAS for a fee.

When students take Step 2 depends on a number of things:

  1. Does the student strengthen their application by performing better on Step 2 than they did on Step 1?
  2. Is the specialty and/or program so competitive that it will favor those who have taken and done well on Step 2?
  3. How competitive is the student overall? Will the timing of Step 2 help or hurt the application?
  4. What are the expectations of the specialty?

Students should remember there is a three to four week turn-around time in receiving scores. If taking the exam early to bolster an application, the exam should be taken by early August. If Step 2 is taken after September 15, students can choose to have the score released to programs. If taken before that time, scores will automatically be transmitted via ERAS. For more information about or to register for the USMLE exams, visit www.usmle.org

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has a new report on Residents that display statistics on USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores for first-year residents by specialty. For example, while 9.0% of first-year anesthesiology residents had Step 2 CK scores above 259, only 2.0% had both Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores above 259. Tables are available for ACGME-accredited pipeline specialties (i.e., specialties that lead to initial board certification). Data includes graduates of MD-granting and DO-granting U.S. and Canadian medical schools as well as graduates of international medical schools. Please contact residentreport@aamc.org with any comments or questions.