Fermi

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1. When residency programs see your USMLE transcript, does it include the mean/SD statistics from when you took the exam? I took a year off, so my Step 1 is a year older than most, and since scores are generally higher from year to year, I'm concerned that mine will look slightly lower in comparison.

2. I've read some advice on this before, but what is the latest that you can take Step 2 (before the regular match) and still have the official results sent to programs so they can take it into account before ranking? I don't mean prior to sending ERAS or even going on interviews. Just enough that if my score is good, I could send an update letter to programs so they would have a positive reminder around ranking time. Or if my score is not so good, I wouldn't need to do anything.
 

Benzo4every1

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my school has a deadline for taking the step 2 (not sure which, but probably both) by 10/31/05
So I am surprised that other folks can wait til Jan to take their Step 2 CS
We don't have that kind of privilege here.
Sorry, do not know the answer to your other question.
 

doc05

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1. probably. but mean only changes slightly from year to year, so there won't be any significant consequence. moreover, most programs don't actually "look" at your transcript, so much as use a computer filter based on minimum score. this is especially true for programs that get tons of applicants.
2. for a late december exam, your scores will be reported by late january. then you have to release them, and wait for a program to look at your scores, though they may not re-download your eras. more importantly, I seriously doubt a jump in step 2 by several (or even many) points will make any significant difference in your ranking. at that point, they've already got your step 1, transcript, letters of reference, and personal interview. will step 2 make a huge difference?? probably not. If your step 1 is shaky, I suggest you take step 2 early (by september) and study hard so that you can ace the exam -- a big jump in score may get you several more interviews.
 
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Fermi

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Thanks for the thoughts. One school of thought about Step 2 is that it can hurt more than help if you got a good score on Step 1. I got mid-230s on Step 1 and would like to apply to fairly competetive (but not the top) IM programs. I would think it's a good enough score to get my foot in the door. However, the rest of my academic record is pretty blah; I won't be AOA and will only have a couple honors grades at most. There' s just nothing that stands out, so I'm wondering if it is worth the risk to try to crush Step 2.
 

GeneGoddess

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I actually had someone comment on my "low" Step 1 score. I took it in 1998 (I'm an MD/PhD) and it was "good" then and "average" now. The guy didn't believe that the averages changed every year. It was bizarre. The pass level when I took it had JUST changed from 176 to 179 (or something) and the average was 206. Now the average is about 220. Very annoying.
 

irrka

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GG: what i cant believe is they even cared about your step 1 score from way back when! i was hoping they'd look at how long ago i too my test and say, heeeey, it doesnt matter you didnt do so hot... guess not, huh.