The USMLE Step 2 CK is the second part of the United States Medical Licensure Examination. It comprises a 9-hour-long paper divided into eight blocks of 60 minutes each. The purpose of this examination is to check a candidate’s medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science.

Although it is not considered to be as tough as Step 1, you still need to prepare well to pass this examination. If you’re preparing for the USMLE Exam Step 2 CK, you must be wondering what a good Step 2 CK score is, what is the passing score for USMLE Step 2 and what is a good USMLE step 2 score?

The structure of the paper

Before you concentrate on what the passing score for USMLE Step 2 CK is, it is important to discuss the structure of the paper at first glance. There are two parts to this exam – the first part consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) while the second part consists of viva and practical assessment of the candidate.

In the first part, you will have to answer approximately 350 questions across a span of nine hours. These questions are divided into eight one-hour sections consisting of 40 to 45 questions each. They mainly relate to clinical science, including surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, obstetrics, and internal medicine. In this part, you will score on a numerical scale similar to the USMLE Step 1 examination.

In the second part, you will need to travel to a testing center and perform a practical diagnosis of patients. Then, there will be a viva by the chief examination officer. The result of this part will be based on the pass or fail model.

When can you expect the results to be out?

After you’ve given your examination, you might get curious about when your results are going to be declared. Generally, it takes around three to four weeks after the examination date for Step 2 CK results to be out. 

The scores for Part 1 of the exam are calculated by the computer based on the number of right answers you chose. However, the result for Part 2 has to be evaluated manually based on your performance in the practical and viva tests.

What is the passing score for USMLE Step 2 CK?

To pass the USMLE Step 2 CK, you will need to score at least 209 out of 300. It means that you will need to get a minimum of two-thirds of the points to achieve a passing score.

As we have mentioned before, there are around 350 MCQs in the paper (although this number can change from one year to the next) but the weightage of every question differs. So, you will need to choose and answer appropriately to achieve the passing threshold score of 209.

What is a good Step 2 CK score?

Although the passing score is 209, your objective should not be to score only the passing marks. Instead, you should look to achieve a good score or at least an above-average score. But for that, you should know what is the average score on USMLE step 2?

It depends on the field you want to get into. If you’re planning to become an orthopedic surgeon, you should aim to score at least 251 or more. Similarly, if you wish to take up psychiatry, you should look to score a minimum of 233.

The final word

Although the highest possible score on the USMLE Step 2 CK is 300, no one has ever achieved that. A score of around 280 is considered the best. However, even if you score something between 240 to 260, you would be able to apply for the field of your choice.