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Step 2 CK Guide

The Student Affairs team has developed this guide to help you successfully complete your Step 2 CK exam, a vital Phase 3 milestone and graduation requirement. We hope this resource will make preparing for the exam easier. We are confident that your increased exposure to NBME questions provided by the clerkship practice vouchers, the NBME clerkship exams and the CCSE will help with assessing your progress toward Step 2 CK success.

  • Why is Step 2 CK important?

    Step 2 CK is an exam that assesses medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science for the provision of patient care under supervision. USMLE Step Exams have traditionally been an important factor in candidate selection for residency. With the transition of USMLE Step 1 to Pass/Fail in January of 2022, Step 2 may become an important metric for residency selection. It is in your best interest to do your best on this exam.

  • Where do I start?

    Contact your lead advisor to develop an individualized study plan.

  • Register for Step 2 CK
    • You must register through the NBME.

    • Your registration will be verified by the registrar’s office. You do not need to submit any additional documentation.

    • When registering, ALL students, no matter their campus, must choose “015010 – Indiana University School of Medicine”

    • When you register for your exam, you will choose a three month window of eligibility.

    • The cost of the exam is $660. Phase 2 financial aid for “Books and Supplies” includes the cost of Step 2 CK.

  • Schedule your Step 2 exam
    • Exam slots fill up quickly, so we recommend scheduling your exam as soon as possible, but no later than April 1, 2024, so that you have the best options for dates and locations.

    • The earlier you schedule, the more options you’ll have for dates and locations.

    • Important dates to keep in mind are listed at the bottom of this guide.

    • Schedule your exam with Prometric.

  • Take the Comprehensive Clinical Science Exam (CCSE)
    • Comprehensive Clinical Science Exam (CCSE) is a practice examination for Step 2 CK. This exam is available only to institutions and given as a proctored exam. The exam consists of 200 questions and lasts 5 hours and 15 minutes (includes 15-minute optional break).

    • The CCSE is meant to help you determine your strengths and areas for improvement as you prepare for Step 2 CK.

    • The CCSE score can also be used to help determine if you will need additional resources and can help you and your advisor better estimate the amount of time you will need to prepare for Step 2 CK.

    • All students are required to take the CCSE on one of two dates: March 28, 2025, or April 29, 2025.

  • When should I take Step 2 CK?
    • The deadline for taking Step 2 CK is August 28, 2024 (Class of 2025) and August 27, 2025 (Class of 2026). This ensures that your score is available in time for inclusion in your ERAS residency application.

    • Your lead advisor will be reaching out to you if you are not scheduled to take your exam by this date.

    • The Student Promotions Committee will require submission of a delay request and plan by August 29, 2024 (Class of 2025) and August 28, 2025 (Class of 2026) if you aren’t scheduled to take Step 2 CK by the deadline. Your plan should include the study resources you plan to use, a detailed timeline and the date by which you plan to take your exam.

  • How do I prepare for the Step 2 exams?
  • How do I know how well I’ll perform on Step 2 CK?

    Each of your clerkships and their practice and actual NBME exams will help you prepare for Step 2 CK. In addition, IU School of Medicine has developed a Step 2 CK estimator to give students an early estimate of their potential performance on the Step 2 CK examination to help inform residency selection. This is an estimate based on prior performance measures and is not meant to be viewed as an exact score predictor. Your actual performance on Step 2 CK will be influenced by many factors — principally your preparation and study — and you may perform better or worse than this estimator predicts.

  • What if I plan to apply for accommodations? 
    • Students who plan to apply for accommodations for Step 2 CK are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

    • The NBME can take a minimum of 60 business days (three months) to review applications for accommodations.

    • Reach out to Perry Monnin at for help with your application for accommodations.

  • What if I finish my clerkships after April?
    • If you are scheduled to end Phase 2 after April, your Step 2 CK deadline will be 4 months after the completion of Phase 2 clerkships. The Student Promotions Committee will require submission of a delay request and plan if you aren’t scheduled to take Step 2 CK within 4 months. Your plan should include the study resources you plan to use, a detailed timeline and the date by which you plan to take your exam.

    • You will not be allowed to start any Phase 3 required clerkships until Step 2 CK is taken. Please contact Dr. Klemsz to discuss the timing of your practice exam and your Phase 3 clerkships.
  • What happens if I fail Step 2 CK?
    • We will work with you to help you reschedule the exam.

    • We will help you with your study plan and can connect you to tutors and other resources to help with your preparation.

    • You will need to meet with Dr. Deb Rusk to discuss how your Step 2 CK failure will affect your ERAS application and competitiveness.

    • Your failure will be reported to the Student Promotions Committee who may have additional actions.

  • What should I do if I feel overwhelmed?

    First, be kind to yourself. It is normal to feel anxious about things that are very important to you. Also, know that you are not alone. The student affairs team is here to support you! We believe in you! We also understand that preparing for this exam can be a source of stress and can create anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. We believe that it takes a strong network of support to get through all of the phases of medical school and have worked hard to create that support for you.

    Mental Health Services are available to work with students on many issues such as test anxiety that might interfere with exam performance. All of their services are confidential. You can log into the Mental Health Services patient portal to schedule appointments, access virtual care or communicate with the department, or contact the program coordinator at 317-278-2383 to set up a time to meet with any of the providers.

  • Other important test notes
    • Save a copy of your score report — IU School of Medicine can’t provide a copy to residency programs.

    • We strongly recommend completing all Phase 2 clerkships before taking your Step 2 exams.

    • Take Step 2 CK when you feel confident in your ability to achieve your goal score.

  • Important Dates

    Required CCSE: March 28, 2025, or April 29, 2025

    Deadline to take Step 2 CK: August 28, 2024 (Class of 2025) and August 27, 2025 (Class of 2026)

    Deadline to submit delay request plan to SPC: August 29, 2024 (Class of 2025) and August 28, 2025 (Class of 2026)

    Deadline to take delayed Step 2 CK: October 12, 2024 (Class of 2025) and October 11, 2025 (Class of 2026)