USMLE® Step 1 Scores

What is a good score on the USMLE Step 1?

Scores reported for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 range from 1-300. The current minimum passing score (as of January 2020) for Step 1 is 194. 

Please note: score reporting for the USMLE Step 1 exam will change to pass/fail as early as January 2022.

When and how will I receive my Step 1 scores?

USMLE Step 1 scores are typically available through your exam registration entity’s secure website (NBME or ECFMG) within 3-4 weeks after your test date. Step 1 scores are released on Wednesdays. Once available, your results will remain available to you on the NBME or ECFMG’s secure website for about 120 days, after which point they are only available in the form of an official transcript, which you can obtain for a fee from your registration entity.

Why might my scores be delayed?

There are a number of reasons why your scores may be delayed. Several quality assurance steps are followed in order to ensure that the processing and scoring of your examination are secure. In addition, significant test changes or any irregular behavior or other issues at your test site can lead to delays. Any announcements of widespread delays will be posted on the USMLE’s website. 

What score do I need to Match?

Getting matched depends on many factors besides your USMLE Step 1 score (including your cover letter, reference letters, other academic performance, your interviews, etc.); however, that is not to say that your score isn’t important. Different specialties require different scores. The current minimum passing score for USMLE Step 1 is 194 (January 2020). We recommend setting your goals based on the NRMP®’s yearly match report.

What happens if I fail Step 1? 

If you fail Step 1, you are able to retake the exam after re-applying, as long as you meet all eligibility requirements. You may take Step 1 up to six times total; however, be aware that failing grades will remain a part of your record, so it is recommended to wait to take Step 1 until you are fully prepared and think you will be able to achieve the passing score you want. If you do pass Step 1, you are not allowed to retake the exam for score improvement.

Please note: step attempt limits will be reduced from 6 attempts to 4 attempts as early as January 2021.

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