Elimination of the Test of English as a Foreign Language™ (TOEFL®) as a Requirement for ECFMG Certification
Applicants for ECFMG Certification are required to demonstrate competence in the English language. Currently, applicants satisfy this requirement by passing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Passing performance on the TOEFL exam is valid for two years from the date passed for the purpose of entering a program of graduate medical education (GME). Applicants who do not enter GME within two years of their most recent passing performance must revalidate their English test date by passing a subsequent TOEFL exam, if they wish to enter a GME program.
When Step 2 Clinical Skills (Step 2 CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination™ (USMLE™) is implemented in June 2004, the TOEFL exam will no longer be a requirement for ECFMG Certification. Additionally, when Step 2 CS is implemented, applicants who have passed an English test will no longer be required to revalidate expired English test dates in order to enter GME; all passing performances on the English test will be valid for the purpose of entry into GME programs, regardless of the length of time that has passed since the test date.
The rationale for these changes is that Step 2 CS, which will be a requirement for ECFMG Certification, will have a distinct component that assesses spoken English proficiency. This component will be scored separately from other Step 2 CS components and must be passed to achieve an overall passing result on Step 2 CS.
These changes will become effective on the first day that Step 2 CS is administered. After the effective date of these changes in mid-2004, ECFMG will provide eligible applicants with a sticker, to be affixed to their Standard ECFMG Certificate, to indicate that their English test date is no longer subject to expiration.
Passing the TOEFL exam will be required for applicants who wish to be certified by ECFMG prior to the implementation of Step 2 CS and for those who apply to take the ECFMG Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA®). Applicants whose English test date has expired and who wish to enter GME prior to the implementation of Step 2 CS must revalidate their English test date.
For specific information on the effective date of these changes, monitor the ECFMG website and subsequent issues of The ECFMG Reporter. Information on Step 2 CS is available at the ECFMG website and at the USMLE website at www.usmle.org.