The USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) is a three-step exam series conducted by the NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners) and FSMB (Federation of State Medical Boards). It assesses the medical knowledge and clinical skills of individuals seeking to practice medicine in the United States. The three steps evaluate basic medical knowledge (Step 1), clinical knowledge and skills (Step 2 CK and CS), and application of medical knowledge in patient care (Step 3). Successful completion of the USMLE is often required for medical licensure in the U.S.
What is USMLE’s test structure?
The USMLE is designed to evaluate a candidate’s ability to apply medical concepts and principles
in a clinical context. It consists of three steps:
Step 1: This exam assesses basic medical knowledge, including the scientific foundations of medicine, principles of disease processes, and organ system functions. Step 1 is typically taken by medical students after completing their second year of medical school.
Step 2: Step 2 is divided into two parts: Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS).
Step 2 CK evaluates a candidate’s clinical knowledge and application of medical principles in patient care. It includes multiple-choice questions that cover various medical disciplines.
Step 2 CS assesses clinical skills, including communication, history-taking, physical examination, and patient note documentation. It involves standardized patient encounters, where candidates interact with actors portraying patients.
Step 3: Step 3 assesses a candidate’s ability to apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science principles to patient care. It focuses on management and decision-making in various clinical scenarios. Step 3 is typically taken after the completion of the first year of residency training.
The USMLE is a crucial examination for international medical graduates (IMGs) and graduates of U.S. medical schools to obtain a medical license to practice in the United States. It is important to note that specific licensure requirements may vary across states, and successful completion of the USMLE is often one of the prerequisites for licensure.
How is USMLE scored?
Step 2 CS: Reported as pass/fail based on assessments by standardized patients and physician
Step 3: Scores range from 1 to 300, with a passing score determined by NBME and FSMB.
How long is USMLE test?
It’s important to note that the durations provided are approximate and may vary based on factors such as breaks, instructions, and individual pacing. The USMLE is a comprehensive examination series that evaluates medical knowledge and clinical skills, and each step has its own specific format and time allocation.
Here’s an overview of the estimated test durations for each step:
Step 2 CS: Approximately one full day (8 hours)
Step 3: Approximately two days (16 hours total)
What is USMLE test fee?
Step 1: $645 (as of 2023)
Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge): $645 (as of 2023)
Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills): $1,595 (as of 2023)
Step 3: $895 (as of 2023)
It’s important to note that these fees are subject to change, and additional charges may apply for services like rescheduling or score reporting. It’s advisable to visit the official USMLE website or contact the appropriate authorities for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding test fees.
Additionally, candidates may need to pay fees associated with other aspects of the licensing process, such as application fees, registration fees, and state-specific fees for medical licensure.
How can I register for the USMLE?
Create an ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) Account(if applicable): If you are an international medical graduate, you may need to create an ECFMG account and obtain an ECFMG identification number.
Access the USMLE Registration System: Visit the official USMLE website or the appropriate organization’s website (such as NBME or ECFMG) to access the USMLE registration system.
Select the Exam Step(s): Choose the specific step(s) you wish to register for, such as Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, or Step 3.
Provide Personal and Educational Information: Enter your personal details, contact information, and educational background as required during the registration process.
Select the Testing Region and Center: Choose your preferred testing region and select a testing center location convenient for you.
Choose Exam Dates: Check the availability of exam dates and select the date(s) that best suit your schedule. Note that availability may vary depending on the demand for testing slots.
After completing these steps, you will receive a confirmation of your registration, along with instructions regarding further steps, such as scheduling your exam, receiving your eligibility period, and accessing study materials. It’s important to visit the official USMLE website or the respective organization’s website (such as
NBME or ECFMG) for the most accurate and up-to-date information on registration procedures
The GRE stands for “Graduate Record Examinations”.
The GRE is owned by Educational Testing Service (ETS). A private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization based in the USA.
The GRE General Test measures skills that graduate and professional schools have identified as necessary for academic success. The GRE General Test is designed to achieve a specific intended purpose that adds value to the admissions decision-making process. The GRE scores can:
- support institutions’ efforts to identify which applicants are academically prepared for graduate-level study
- provide a common, objective measure to help programs fairly compare applicants from different backgrounds
The GRE test is administered online via two convenient options: Test at home, and Test at Center.
The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are section-level adaptive. The first operational section of each measure (i.e., Verbal and Quantitative) is of average difficulty. The difficulty level of the second section of each of the measures depends on your overall performance on the first section of that measure.
For example, if for the Quantitative measure, you do very well on the first quant section, the second section of the Quant will be at a higher level of difficulty. If you have not done well in the first section, the second section might be easier or similar.
The computer selects the second operational section of a measure based on your performance in the first section.