Consensus on Step 1 score cutoff for sending Step 2

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Balls in the air

Most places find step 1 scores in the 230s just fine. I also agree with the advice someone gave to just take step 2 after august so you can release your step 2 score (or not) once you see what it is.

I also feel like I should remind everyone that although programs will ask you what percentile your step scores were (meaning your 2 digit score), the 2 digit score that goes up to 99 on your score report is not in fact your percentile.

Anonymous (not verified)


Anonymous (not verified)
I think you're probably right

I think you're probably right with that range, but having said that its like anything with your application. If your app is strong in a lot of areas, including step 1, most people won't ask about step 2. On the other hand, if your app is on the weaker side, even with board scores in the 240s you may get asked when step 2 scores are coming in. Either way, I don't think there's any hard and fast rule

Shelf scores and step 2?

I asked one of the higher ups at my school whether to take step 2 early and they said that if you aren't doing well, or just doing average on the shelf exam, that you should take it later because it will hurt. Can anyone attest to that or are the shelf exams during clinical rotations not a good representative? Any people do well on step 2 after getting an average score on the shelf exams?

Anonymous (not verified)
I did completely average on

I did completely average on any given shelf, and some pretty poorly. I had a good step 1 score so, I just put off step 2 for as long as I could. Studied a couple of weeks for Step 2 and got a 247.

Anonymous (not verified)
grown man move

Rocked out all my shelfs save one to get honors. Scoring in high eighties or nineties. Had strong step one. Took step two deep in december and got a 206. Can I hear u say fresh??


I'm also interested in this answer since it is just around 4th year scheduling time and need to schedule step 2 study time accordingly.

Can any other people give input on what the cutoff/ranges for step 1 are so that you can take step 2 later (like, October or later)? Or ranges of step 1 where you should try to take step 2 early?

Anonymous (not verified)
It's really a tough call when

It's really a tough call when you're in that 235ish range.

I got a 238 on step 1, and 2 out of 21 programs asked if I had taken step 2 yet (one on interview day, another via email just prior to interview day to "complete my file"). The rest of my application was pretty well-balanced, so I relied on that and decided to hold off on step 2 until January. For me, getting the ball rolling and starting July off with a rotation was more important than rocking step 2.

I ended up matching at my #1 and getting a 264 on step 2. Who knows how things would've turned out had I taken step 2 early...

Anonymous (not verified)
confirm date when step 2 can be taken

I just wan to confirm when would be a good time to take step 2. I also am in the upper 230s range and would like to take step 2 early. But again if I do worse on it and have to report it I would be screwed. What exactly are the dates when you can take the test and have the option of releasing them or not depending on the score. And please explain your reasoning. Thanks

Anonymous (not verified)
re iterate

got a step 1 <235, but had overall a strong app (letters, honors in all clerkships AOA, research, etc...). Got 22 interview offers and no one brought up my score. I matched at my #1 choice. I would say a strong step 2 score will never ever make up for lacking that "overall feel", why bother with an applicant with a low 230, high 250-260 score, but had no research, few honors, no leadership, no extracurricular. Just my 2 cents Good luck with the Match