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Date Updated: February 12, 2019

Planning for Step 2 CS

Students and graduates of accredited medical school programs in the United States and Canada who need to take and/or pass Step 2 CS to meet a school requirement and/or for the Match are strongly encouraged to apply for and schedule their exam early.

Traditionally, there has been high demand for testing appointments in the period from September through December.

To maximize your chances of obtaining your preferred test date and/or test center,

If you do not register and schedule early, it is possible that you will not obtain your preferred test date and/or test center.  Please check the Step 2 Clinical Skills Schedule for Reporting Results at the USMLE website to ensure that you schedule an appointment within a reporting period that will allow you to meet any imposed score deadlines.

Early registration and scheduling may offer a number of benefits. If you plan to apply for Step 2 CS, you should consider the following:

  • Registered applicants can schedule and take the exam during the 12-month eligibility period that follows their registration. By registering early, applicants can schedule immediately if a preferred testing appointment becomes available.
  • Registered applicants can use the E-mail Notification feature of online Step 2 CS calendar and scheduling. This feature allows registered applicants to indicate their preferred test dates/centers and receive e-mail notification when testing appointments that match their preferences become available.
  • Applicants who schedule a testing appointment can change the testing appointment without cost, provided they give more than 14 days' notice. (See Rescheduling Test Dates in the USMLE Bulletin of Information.)
  • Applicants who take Step 2 CS early and receive a failing result are more likely to have the opportunity to retake the exam and receive their result in time for the Match and/or to meet a school requirement.

Updated information on Step 2 CS scheduling is posted to the NBME website as it becomes available. Individuals planning to take Step 2 CS should monitor the NBME and USMLE websites for the latest information.

Posted January 8, 2006
Updated July 17, 2008

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