REMINDER: New Rules on Repeating USMLE Examinations

USMLE Rules
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As announced in the ECFMG website, we would also like to remind the exam applicants that the USMLE program has introduced new rules on repeating USMLE examinations.

Time between Examination Attempts
The USMLE program sets rules on how quickly examinees can repeat the same Step or Step Component. As previously published, these rules will change for exam applications submitted on or after January 1, 2012.

For exam applications submitted on or after January 1, 2012, the following rules will apply to all Steps and Step Components:

  • You may take the same examination no more than three times within a 12-month period.
  • Your fourth and subsequent attempts must be at least 12 months after your first attempt at that exam and at least six months after your most recent attempt at that exam.
  • Attempts at that examination (complete and incomplete) prior to January 1, 2012 will be counted in determining whether these rules apply.
  • When you reapply, your exam eligibility period will be adjusted, if necessary, to comply with these rules.

Attempt Limit for USMLE Examinations
As previously published, the USMLE program is introducing a limit on the total number of times an examinee can take the same Step or Step Component. When this limit takes effect, an examinee will be ineligible to take a Step or Step Component if the examinee has made six or more prior attempts to pass that Step or Step Component, including incomplete attempts.

The effective date for the six-attempt limit depends upon whether an examinee has taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012.

  • If you have not taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit will go into effect for all exam applications that you submit on or after January 1, 2012.
  • If you have taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit will go into effect for all exam applications that you submit on or after January 1, 2013.

For full announcement, please visit the ECFMG website.

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