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USMLE FAQ

USMLE FAQ – General 

What is the USMLE?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States and is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

How much does it cost to take the USMLE?

Step 1 and Step 2 cost $645 each, Step 2 CS costs $1,300, and Step 3 costs $895. You may be subject to additional fees if you’re taking a Step exam outside of the United States. Students also need to pay for any necessary flights and hotels for when and where they take their exams.

What is the USMLE eligibility criteria?

To be eligible to take the Step exams, you must be in one of the following categories at the time you apply AND on the day of your examination:

  • a medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a US or Canadian medical school program leading to the MD degree that is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), OR
  • a medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a US medical school leading to the DO degree that is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), OR
  • a medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a medical school that is outside the US and Canada, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements, and that meets other eligibility criteria of the ECFMG.

How many times can I take the USMLE?

You are ineligible to take a Step or Step Component if you have made six or more prior attempts to pass that Step or Step Component, including incomplete attempts. Schools may have additional rules, such as granting you three attempts. We recommend checking with your university.

What is a good score on the USMLE?

A good score on the USMLE is subjective and based on specialties of your interest. The average Step 1 score is 229 while the average Step 2 CK score is 239.

When will I know my USMLE score?

It usually takes 3-4 weeks for scores to be released. For additional scoring information, please see these [Step 1 scoring FAQ] and our [2019 USMLE reporting delay] articles. [links to existing MST posts on these topics]

How long does it take to get my USMLE transcript?

It takes 3-4 weeks to receive your transcript. All score delays are reported on the USMLE website.

I’m a foreign medical graduate. Do I need to be ECFMG Certified to apply for residency? 

To participate in ERAS, you must have a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number. You may purchase a residency Token and apply to programs before you complete the examinations required for ECFMG Certification. Please note that individual programs set their own eligibility criteria and application deadlines. It is up to applicants to research their programs of interest prior to applying.”

USMLE Step 1 FAQ 

How much does it cost to take Step 1?

Step 1 costs $645. Additional reservation fees, travel, and more are not included.

How long does it take to register for Step 1?

Registering for the exam depends on where you’re at school. This is something that your med school will help you navigate.

What is the USMLE Step 1 score range? 

While most test takers score between 140 and 260 on Step 1, the technical score range is 1-300.

What is the passing score for USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 passing score is 194. 

What is the highest USMLE Step 1 score?

The highest score is theoretically 300 but a very competitive score is anything above 250. With that said, competitiveness depends on a student’s field of interest.

How long does it take to prepare for USMLE Step 1? 

If you are taking Step 1 during med school, a four- to eight-week study window should be sufficient. If you are taking the exam after med school, three to six months is more optimal.

How long is the Step 1 exam?

Step 1 lasts eight hours. It is a one-day examination. It is divided into seven 60-minute blocks and administered in one eight-hour testing session. The number of questions per block on a given examination form may vary, but will not exceed 40. The total number of items on the overall examination form will not exceed 280.

What is the Step 1 eligibility period?

Your Step 1 eligibility period lasts at least three months from the time you receive your permit.

When score expires or how long you can purchase a group of dates (three months?)

Your score can expire if you haven’t taken all your USMLEs in a seven-year period.

How do I apply or register for USMLE Step 1?

If you’re attending a school in the U.S. or Canada, you can apply and register for Step 1 here. If you’re attending a school outside the U.S. and Canada, you can apply here.

Where can I find USMLE Step 1 exam dates?

You can find exam information from your school and the NBME website.

How many times can I take Step 1?

You can take Step 1 six times but you have to fail the exam in order to be eligible to re-take it.

What subjects are included in Step 1?

The following subjects are included in Step 1: General Principles, Blood & Lymphoreticular/Immune Systems, Behavioral Health & Nervous Systems/Special Senses, Musculoskeletal, Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue, Cardiovascular System, Respiratory & Renal/Urinary Systems, Gastrointestinal System, Reproductive & Endocrine Systems, Multisystem Processes & Disorders, Biostatistics & Epidemiology/Population Health, and Social Sciences: Communication Skills/Ethics.

USMLE Step 2 CK FAQ 

How much does it cost to take Step 2 CK?

Step 2 costs $645, plus hidden costs such as transportation and lodging expenses.

How do I apply or register for USMLE Step 2 CK?

If you’re attending a school in the U.S. or Canada, you can apply and register for Step 2 CK here. If you’re attending a school outside the U.S. and Canada, you can apply here.

What is the Step 2 CK eligibility period?

 

What is the passing score for USMLE Step 2 CK?

The passing score for the USMLE Step 2 CK is 209 as of 2019.

What is the highest USMLE Step 2 CK score?

Theoretically, the highest USMLE Step 2 CK score is 300. A more realistic high Step 2 CK score is 250.

USMLE Step 2 CS FAQ 

How much does it cost to take USMLE Step 2 CS? 

Step 2 CS costs $1,300.

How do I apply or register for USMLE Step 2 CS?

If you’re attending a school in the U.S. or Canada, you can apply and register for Step 2 CS here. If you’re attending a school outside the U.S. and Canada, you can apply here.

What is the passing score for USMLE Step 2 CS?

Step 2 CS is a pass/fail examination.

What is the highest USMLE Step 2 CS score?

There is no highest possible score as it is a pass/fail examination.

USMLE Step 3 FAQ

How much does it cost to take Step 3?

Step 3 costs $895. Additional reservation fees, travel, and more are not included.

What is the passing score for USMLE Step 3?

The passing score for the USMLE Step 3 is 196 as of 2019.

What is the highest USMLE Step 3 score?

Theoretically, the highest USMLE Step 3 score is 300.