USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Test Cancelled

USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills Test Cancelled Permanently

Medical students know the importance of studying for exams. The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) determines what specialties health professionals may practice and where students can complete residencies.

In January 2021, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), sponsors of the USMLE, announced the permanent cancellation of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (Step 2 CS) test part of the USMLE.

How does the cancellation of the USMLE Step 2 CS impact your path to becoming a health professional? Here’s what you can expect for the rest of your medical journey.

When Did USMLE® Change the Step 2 Exams?

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, USMLE suspended the May 2020 Step 2 Clinical Skills Test for medical students. After deliberation to bring back a modified version of Step 2 CS, USMLE decided at the beginning of 2021 to discontinue that part of the exam.

What Does This Mean for Medical Students?

There is no replacement for Step 2 CS. Instead, assessment on the elements of clinical reasoning and communication will continue in the other Steps. As of July 2021, in addition to having a master’s or doctorate degree from an LCME- or COCA-accredited U.S. or Canadian medical school or equivalent, students only need to pass the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (Step 2 CK) portions to apply for residency.

In February 2020, USMLE announced that the Step 1 exam will switch to a pass/fail grade format starting in 2022. Changing the structure helps relieve the pressure medical students would feel as they vigorously studied for the Step 1 exam on top of the other Steps. Now, with Step 1 being pass/fail and the cancellation of Step 2 CS, medical students can focus on performing well on one exam rather than multiple.

Another perk of the cancellation of Step 2 CS is that medical students can save money. Taking the USMLE requires travel to a regional testing center, which can add up in cost when combined with the price to take the exams.

Medlearnity Tutoring Can Help

Medlearnity offers current medical students help in their USMLE test preparation process. Our accomplished, experienced and compassionate tutors care deeply about student success and want to help students accomplish their goals of passing medical exams. All sessions have a one-on-one personalized approach based on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Our team will help you prepare for the USMLE and other exams.

Ready to start learning with Medlearnity? Sign up for a free trial today!

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About the author 

Akshay Goel MD

Dr. Goel is a body-trained radiologist and an expert in medical education and imaging informatics. He completed his Radiology Residency at Columbia University Medical Center and his fellowship at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Goel has guided several students and doctors into successful careers over the past decade. He continues to help Medlearnity tutors optimize their educational methodology to drive the highest tutoring and admissions impact possible.

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