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USMLE Step 2 CK Clinical Knowledge

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USMLE Step 2 CK - Clinical Knowledge


  • USMLE Step 2 CK tests your medical knowledge and its application to patient care. Step 2 CK predominantly assesses the clinical subjects, with the bulk of questions from Internal Medicine.
  • Other areas tested include surgery, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Psychiatry, ENT, Ophthalmology, and medical ethics.
  • USMLE Step 2 CK exam is a one-day computer based test. It is given over nine hours and consists of 370 questions (MCQs), in total. These 370 questions are divided into eight blocks. The time given to complete each block of questions is 60 minutes.
  • Your total break time (including lunch) for the Step 2 CK exam is 60 minutes. You can split this break time as you wish and use them in between blocks to have lunch, use the restroom, or just get a breath of fresh air
  • USMLE Step 2 CK exam can be taken at Prometric centers in the U.S. and in several countries, around the world.

Prometric USMLE Step 2 CK test center locations.

  • The test is given continuously, through out the year. U.S. medical students usually take the USMLE Step 2 CK in the final year of medical school. If you are a Foreign Medical Graduate (FMG), you should plan to take this test after your medical school, and preferably after you have completed your Internal medicine rotation. Most questions give clinical scenarios and ask for medical diagnosis and clinical decisions. Obtaining a good score is vital for matching to a good medical residency program.


USMLE Step 2 CK Brief Overview


15% - 20% Questions on Preventive medicine and health maintenance 20% - 35% Questions on mechanisms of disease 25% - 40% Questions on establishing a diagnosis 15% - 25% Questions on applying principles of management Fees: $ 695 (If taking the test outside the US and Canada, please add International test delivery surcharge)


Step 2 CK question formats

  • The questions are usually of 2 types.

First format: Multiple Choice questions with one single best answer. Second format: Matching Sets - Each matching set is usually related to one common topic. There will be a series of questions and between four and twenty six answer options. There is only one correct answer to each question.

  • An efficient approach to the matching sets is to read the question first and then look at the options, rather than the other way about.
  • Within each matching set, some options may be used several times, while other options may not be used at all.


USMLE Step 2 CK minimum pass scores

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  • The minimum score to pass the USMLE exams is 75 on the two-digit scale. To achieve a minimum score of 75, you must answer about 60 to 70 % of the questions correctly.
  • The two digit minimum pass score of 75 does not change. The two digit score is calculated so that a score of 75 will always correspond to the minimum passing score (even if the three digit score changes).
  • The two digit score is provided to fulfill the score reporting requirements of various state medical licensing boards. USMLE has recently clarified that the two digit score is NOT a percentile contrary to popular belief for decades. Thanks for clearing that USMLE & ECFMG folks!
  • The three digit minimum passing score may change from time to time. You are advised to check the USMLE website periodically. The current three digit pass score for USMLE Step 2 CK is 189.



  • The three digit score scale: Most scores on this scale fall between 140 and 260. First time exam takers (from US Medical schools), usually have a mean score of 200 to 220.
  • It is in your interest to get a good USMLE score. This increases your chances of getting into a good residency program. A good USMLE score also helps you get a residency spot in the highly competitive specialties like Radiology, Orthopedics and Dermatology

USMLE examination results & Scores from prior years

Minimum Passing Scores on USMLE Step Examinations

  • The requirements for passing the USMLE Step examinations are reviewed periodically. Notice of such reviews and the results of these reviews will be posted to the USMLE website.
  • There are two scales on which USMLE results are reported, a three-digit scale and a two-digit scale. On the three-digit scale, the current minimum passing scores are as follows:

Examination Minimum Passing Score

  • Step 1 185
  • Step 2 CK 184
  • Step 3 187: from 5/1/2008
  • On the two-digit scale, the minimum passing score is always a 75.
  • Performance on Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) is reported as a pass or fail only, without a numerical value.
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