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How will COVID-19 affect USMLE testing?

Activity Forums USMLE Step 1 Forum How will COVID-19 affect USMLE testing?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar Dan S., MST USMLE Tutor 9 hours, 10 minutes ago.

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  • #282
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    Dan S., MST USMLE Tutor
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    USMLE ExpertMD or DO

    I’ll save recommendations on how to adjust study schedules for another post – or perhaps one of my colleagues will tackle that topic – but I just wanted to summarize here the information we have regarding the impact of COVID-19 on USMLE testing.
    1) Starting March 18th, all Prometric testing centers will be closed for at least 30 days (so re-opening 4/16 at the earliest). Prometric says changes impact testing centers in: USA, China, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Qatar, Kuwait, Canada, France. Follow along with updates here: https://www.prometric.com/corona-virus-update https://www.usmle.org/announcements/?ContentId=267
    2) Step 2 CS testing is postponed from at least 3/16/2020 to 4/12/2020. Hoping to resume operations 4/13, though this seems unlikely.
    3) As of March 13th, USMLE has been waiving fees for eligibility period extensions and testing region changes. Expect this to continue as long as the pandemic continues.
    3) UWorld has extended subscriptions for anyone with a subscription expiring between 3/17 and 4/29 to 4/30 in response to Prometric closure.

    Sorry for all of those test-takers being affected by these changes – I know that this is just stress being piled on stress right now. Please prioritize your mental well-being and take a day or two off from studying to process all that is happening and to connect with loved ones!

    I will keep posting here as I pick up any new information. Others please feel free to do the same!

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    #290
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    Dan S., MST USMLE Tutor
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    USMLE ExpertMD or DO

    A few updates:
    – Federal guidelines encouraging social distancing through at least 4/30 means any CS dates and Prometric closures are likely to be extended until at least that time, but these changes have not happened yet. Some Prometric centers in states where shelter in place orders already extend beyond mid April do have updated closure status. Updated prometric site specific closure dates can be found here: https://www.prometric.com/closures
    – USMLE is automatically extending all unexpired eligibility periods to December 2020
    – USMLE now has a COVID-19 page where info and FAQs are being collected: https://www.usmle.org/frequently-asked-questions/#covid19
    – NBME is making “retired” exams re-available for free with answer explanations, which students may find helpful to use in the setting of unexpectedly prolonged dedicated time. For Step 1, these are NBMEs 13, 15, 16, 17, and 19. They will become available on 4/3: https://www.nbme.org/news/free-nbmer-self-assessments-and-answer-explanations-available-april

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    #291
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    Dan S., MST USMLE Tutor
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    USMLE ExpertMD or DO

    One more bit of news:
    – Prometric updated their overall statement. https://www.prometric.com/corona-virus-update Despite acknowledging that federal social distancing guidelines now extend through 4/30, Prometric says: “As previously announced in March, Prometric made the difficult decision to temporarily close all of its test center locations in the US and Canada through April 15th with an anticipated resumption of testing effective April 16th. At this time, there is no deviation from this planned resumption of operations.” They promise some changes to the operation when it reopens, but the only specifics are that candidates will be allowed to wear masks and gloves.

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