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 182 - new passing score for step 2  

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As of 5/1/2003 the new passing score for step 2 has been raised from 174 to 182!

Read the official announcement at


O well !!! like our lives were not miseable enough. thanks to the forums we are in touch with people like us to share the pain.Anyway I could never understand the concept of three digit and 2 digit scores.Would you be kind enough to explain it in simple words.Thanx


I don't think anybody knows exactly how the 3 digit score is calculated.

Official info from 2003 bulletin:


From what I heard, the three digit score is how many questions you get right after thowing away the 50 or so questions. The two digit is a curved score, depending on how hard your test was. Also the 182=75 which is the minimal passing score.


that s what heard too Rendy,
but nobody knows for sure...

anybody know why they dont tell others bout the scoring system?


they calculate the three digit score, by using some 5 year back test results and putting you in that group, and see where you stood in that group. it's like they took all scores of a year some 4-5 years back, they actually mention this which year and which month, i think it's sept to sept of next year. now they have plotted all those people of that group on a gaussian curve, remember the one we see in our biostatstics. then they converted this distribution into a normal distribution, the type in which the mean, median and mode is all in the middle at the same place. now they take this mean's score, in the first place. these stupids have actually bothered to calculated the standard deviation of this curve. now all they do is put you in this scheme
now remember 1 standard deviation plus minus 34% of the people, then 2 sd deviation is around 46 % of people above or below the mean.

so in case your percentile or the number of students below you is 84% which means in other words you are one standard deviation above the mean, so your 2 digit score is the mean score which you can see in anybody's marksheet plus one standard deviation.

for eg if the mean is 185 and std deviation is 20 ,
if you get 205 this means you are in top 84%
if you get 225 this means you are in top 95.5%

however the passing score is arbitrarily decided on the basis of the number of questions answered and your comparisons with their record group.

that's why they say you can all pass theoretically and you can all fail. in this scenario if everybody does badly someone may even get 225 and still flunk, cos their two digit which is more close to the number of questions answered will be low and below the passing mean set.

or else if everybody does fundoo on the test, he may be getting score below the mean say 165 but still pass cos he'll be answering more questions and thus getting a good 2 digit score.

therefore the two and three digits are different things, the two digit tells how much you got right on the exam and the three digit tells where you stand on the list as compared with other chaps.

when they say 75 corresponds to 186 they simply are trying to tell you, presently a student get pass score which is 75 gets something like 186 in the hiearchial scheme or ranking scheme. in fact if you use statastical charts and take your 3 digit and the mean and standard deviation data provided by the mle's score chart you can calculate your exact percentile.

hope this helps !! i know it's long and boring but there was so much confusion around.


ya,,but does anybody knows how many experimental questions will be there in step 2 exam :shock: out of 368 total questions in 8 blocks,, is it 18 or is it 68... ? (experimental questions = those questions which are not to be counted in score,, we can't differentiated them in exam.. ) :evil:
in step 1 we get score from 300 ,,but total questions are 350,, so we can say that 50 questions are experimental..
what about step 2.. :?:
my exam is on tomorrow!! 9th december..!! :wink:


I took step 2 on the 18th of December 2003.
I passed step one at first attempt with a score of 222/90, I've got 4 years of work experience in the UK - including Accident & Emergency and General Medicine.

I can say that I found Step 2 'challenging' without being big headed or arrogant.

I finished Step 1 about 1 hour before time, with step two I needed almost all the time allocated for each part of the test.

Subejcts tested heavily were O&G and Paeds, I was praying for General Medical and Surgery questions. None I can say with confidence Wegners, Sarcoid and SLE were not part of the exam.
Regardless of the fact that the test was Step two there were loads of irritating basic science questions - for example:

They gave you a history of Giardiasis - without telling you the diagnosis. Then you look for the answer (Giardia) and all of a suddent they ask you how to treat it (without telling you what it was). Lots of two step questions. Another example (same disease) asking you how the infection exerts it's pathological effects ie what does it do in the bowel to cause the symptoms.

Annoying test, very annoying.

I hope it doesn't 'wobble you' but it did me.

Later all and good luck. :o :o


I read your explanation for 3 digit scores, actually it was very interesting although very complex , but a good result is that as much u do more question your chance for higher scores is more
do n"t they add to everyscore about 20 n cause i heard that if we get for ex 70 while we are practicing or in the cd quiz they send withthe orange paper it means 90
so for evaluating ourselves when we practice could we add 20 to 2 digit and 3 digit score to estimate the real exam score

my score although i am practicing too much always is about 60 recently 68 with nms and 90 with kaplan q book but i have no idea wHAT I AM GOING TO DO IN THE REAL ONE
thanks and with best wishes


Relly it is very copmlicating thing to calculate the score .
I would like to ask the colleagues who got step 2 how many monthes do u need to prepare step 2 ?
And what r the things that you think that attributes in elevating your score?

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