Faebinder

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http://www.usmle.org/General_Information/announcements.html#Step3MinPassChange

[Posted April 15, 2008]

As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, the level of proficiency required to meet the recommended minimum passing level for each USMLE Step examination is reviewed periodically and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments are posted at the USMLE website.

At its April 2008 meeting, the Step 3 Committee conducted such a review. The Committee considered information from multiple sources, including: 1) recommendations from independent groups of physicians who participated in content-based standard-setting activities in 2008; 2) results of surveys of various groups (e.g., state licensing representatives, medical school faculty, samples of examinees) concerning the appropriateness of current pass/fail standards for Step examinations; 3) trends in examinee performance; and 4) score precision and its effect on the pass/fail decision.

The Committee decided to raise the three-digit score recommended to pass Step 3 from 184 to 187. The new minimum passing score will be applied to Step 3 examinations for which the first day of testing is on or after May 1, 2008.

Holy crap batman...will it ever stop?
 

guy_incognito

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Well at least I am taking it before May.

But it really shouldn't be that big of a deal. The pass rate for 1st time MDs is 96%, so we really don't have much to complain about (other than testing fees).
 
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Faebinder

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The question is, will their grading curves change as well?

Of course not. I am somewhat surprised step III is being raised continuously, there are no reasons to raise the difficulty to pass. It's not like it's required to get into residency, but I guess many now a days take it before residency and so it is a factor and NBME wants to keep it difficulty to pass. Plus, fellowships are looking at Step III.

It seems that the passing 3 digit scores goes up every 4 years or so. Will 200 be the passing score some day? We'll see.
 
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Blade28

MMm.... Absite is more important yes but you are kiddin yourself if you think they wont use step III to filter their candidates.. you know better than that.

Uh oh. Then I'm in trouble. :)

Seriously, though, I'd always been told that Step 3 was so much less important than the ABSITE scores because the former has almost NOTHING to do with surgery, while the latter is 100% surgical.

Plus the ABSITE is standardized and curved based on all of the other General Surgery residents around the country of the same level as you.
 

FirstMANdown

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Of course not. I am somewhat surprised step III is being raised continuously, there are no reasons to raise the difficulty to pass. It's not like it's required to get into residency, but I guess many now a days take it before residency and so it is a factor and NBME wants to keep it difficulty to pass. Plus, fellowships are looking at Step III.

It seems that the passing 3 digit scores goes up every 4 years or so. Will 200 be the passing score some day? We'll see.

200??? I certainly would not doubt it. Seems to me that the NBME people do not really care too much about residents in terms of money or time that it costs us to get through an already "Goldie Loches" set of questions. I bet the majority of the people who make these questions up are not even MDs or DOs. Anywho, a 184 to a 187 probably wont be that big of a difference anyways. :smuggrin:
 

Faebinder

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200??? I certainly would not doubt it. Seems to me that the NBME people do not really care too much about residents in terms of money or time that it costs us to get through an already "Goldie Loches" set of questions. I bet the majority of the people who make these questions up are not even MDs or DOs. Anywho, a 184 to a 187 probably wont be that big of a difference anyways. :smuggrin:

Not to the five thousand who got 184/185/186. Mmmm...

You are missing the point. Just when I went to med school it was 182, now it's 187. The generation before me claims scores of 170s to pass and even less before that. I think it's reasonable to predict 200 passing score in 15 years and unlike step I and step II which will be molded into one brand new exam, step III has no plans for substitution. I'm just observing that Step III will be a major filter for fellowships in the future. Even surgery residents admit that the fellowships that used to be easy in the past are now difficult. We'll see...
 
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