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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.

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Old 08-07-2015
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Default How important is it to score well on Step 3?

I've gotten conflicting answers to this. Most people say the only thing that matters is that you pass, and that's sufficient to get you a few extra interviews. But a few people have said it's important to score in the same percentile range as your other scores, otherwise it might be seen as a red flag. What do you guys think? Is there a "minimum acceptable score", below which you might actually hurt your application? Or will passing boost your application, regardless of your score?

Last edited by kalimo87; 08-07-2015 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 08-07-2015
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What specialty are you applying for and what are your scores for step 1/2? Regardless of what you have heard, I don't know why anyone not in a residency program wouldn't want the best score possible. From what I have discussed and researched, a passing score on the first attempt is ok if you are currently in your country doing a residency or working as a physician. If you are just studying for step 3 for a few months, it better be at least on par with the rest of your scores. If you haven't done that well on step 1/2 (<220), then you would want to do well to show you know the material and are capable of improving.

Keep in mind, not having a step 3 score vs. taking it with the mindset of just passing could result in actually failing the test, and having a failed step on your record is far worse than not taking step 3 at all.
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