Last week, in order to make testing more rapidly and widely available, the USMLE program announced plans to provide its exams at reduced length at certain test sites by excluding unscored questions. After hearing the concerns of examinees about perceived inequities, we have decided to administer standard length forms that include unscored questions at all testing sites. While we have evidence to support the score comparability and test fairness of the original plan, we do not want to take an action that may cause additional stress or confusion. We appreciate the feedback and remain committed to supporting fair and standard testing conditions to every extent possible while we address the situation this pandemic has created.
We recognize that reduced length testing for all examinees may be desirable, but we are unable to sustain the quality of the USMLE program on behalf of state medical boards without unscored questions. The use of unscored questions is a standardized practice for professional licensure and other assessments to maintain the quality and fairness of those assessments.
We remain committed to expanding USMLE testing capacity and keeping you informed of our plans.