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USMLE Step 1 - continued

Score Reporting: USMLE Step scores are sent to you by your registration entity- for Step 1 and Step 2, either NBMEor ECFMG; Scores ready for release are released on a weekly basis on Wednesdays. Generally these will include examinees tested three to six weeks before the release date. However, there are many factors that may delay an individual score release. Usually these will be quickly resolved and the score released in the next weekly cycle. If you have not received your score within six weeks of your test date, please contact your registration entity to determine the status of your score report.
The score report consists of two scores- a two digit and a three digit score. Both scores reflect your overall performance on the examination. The number of test items you answered correctly is converted to two equivalent scores, one on a 3-digit score scale and one on a 2-digit score scale. Both scales are used for score reporting purposes. On the 3-digit scale, most scores fall between 140 and 280. The mean score for first-time examinees from accredited medical schools in the United States is in the range of 200 to 220, and the standard deviation is approximately 20. Your score report includes the mean and standard deviation for recent administrations of the Step.
The two digit score is not a percentile. The 2-digit score is derived from the 3-digit score. It is used in score reporting to meet requirements of some medical licensing authorities that the passing score be reported as 75. The 2-digit score is derived in such a way that a score of 75 always corresponds to the minimum passing score. The graphical profiles appear only on the back of your individual Step score report. They are provided as an assessment tool for your benefit and will not be reported or verified to any third party. The profiles summarize relative areas of strength and weakness to aid in self assessment. The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing score for each Step. Currently, the passing scores as set by the USMLE program are 182 for Step 1, or 75 on the two-digit scale. Each of these corresponds to answering 60-70% of the items correctly.
Statistics: In 2001, only 66% of ECFMG candidates passed Step 1 on their first attempt, compared with 91% of US and Canadian medical students and graduates. In general, students from non-US medical schools perform worst in behavioral science and biochemistry (1.9 and 1.5 SDs below US students) and comparatively better in gross anatomy and pathology (0.7 and 0.9 SD below US students). In 2002-2003, the pass rates for first-time takers from MD-granting US and Canadian medical schools were 92% and 93%, respectively, whereas for first-time takers from non-US medical schools, it was 65%.
Tips: Although few if any students feel totally prepared to take Step 1, IMGS in particular require serious study and preparation to reach their full potential on this exam. It is also imperative that IMGs do their best on Step 1, as a poor score on Step 1 is a distinct disadvantage in applying for most residencies. For a person already out of medical school, at least six months of serious studying is recommended.
Books recommended:
a) First Aid for the USMLE Step 1
b) Kaplan Medical USMLE Step 1 Home Study Program
c) USMLE Step 1 Secrets: Questions You Will Be Asked on USMLE Step 1
d) Blackwell's Step 1 Underground Clinical Vignettes
e) NMS Review for USMLE Step 1 (Book+CD-ROM)
f) Rypin's Basic Sciences Review
g) Appleton & Lange Review for USMLE Step 1
h) Cracking the Boards: USMLE Step 1
i) Clinical Vignettes for USMLE Steo 1: Pretest series
Courses for Step 1:
a) USMLE Step 1 WebPrep- Kaplan
b) Intense Prep for USMLE Step 1- Kaplan
c) Falcon Physician Reviews- USMLE Step 1
d) UMKC Institute for Professional Preparation
Question Banks:
a) Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Q bank
b) Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Q book
c) Exam master online USMLE Step 1
d) Boards prep interactive
e) Blackwell’s Step 1 Q&A Review
f) NBME self-assessment program
g) USMLEasy Step 1


USMLE Step 1 - continued

 

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About USMLE

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) sponsors USMLE.
The Three Steps of the USMLE
Step 1 tests the important concepts of basic sciences basic to the practice of medicine. It also places special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. Step 1 ensures mastery of the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine. It also tests the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning.
Step 2 CK tests the medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision. It also includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Step 2 CK ensures that due attention is devoted to principles of clinical sciences and basic patient-centered skills.
Step 2 CS tests your capacity to practice and provide good medical service in real-life situations. It also tests your communication skills.
Step 3 tests your medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. Step 3 provides a final assessment of physicians assuming independent responsibility for delivering general medical care.

 

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