The United States Medical Licensing Examination Test
The United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is also known as USMLE is actually a 3-step exam for getting a medical licensure to practice in the USA.
So what exactly is the USMLE?
The USMLE exams is an assessment of the ability of a physician, to apply all the concepts, principles and knowledge which are crucial in disease and health and which form the very basis of effective and safe care for all patients.
This test consists of a 3 step procedure. Each of these 3 steps in the USMLE exam complements the remaining others and none of these 3 steps can stand by themselves individually in assessing readiness, which is needed for getting a medical licensure.
Eligibility for Steps 1 and 2 USMLE
- Step 1: This has 322 questions, all in multiple-choice, which are divided into 7 sixty-minute blocks (46 questions each) and this one is administered in single eight-hour long test session.
- Step 2: The CK has nearly about three hundred fifty test questions, all in multiple-choice, which are divided into 8 sixty-minute blocks (45 questions each) and this one is administered in single nine-hour long test session.
- Step 2: The CS has cases of about 12 patients wherein you have 15 minutes allotted to encounter every patient and ten minutes allotted to take a note of the patient's records. The test session is nearly 8 hours long.
- Step 3: Has nearly four hundred eighty test items, all in multiple-choice, which are divided into 35-50 blocks of items. You have between 45 and 60 minutes allotted for completing these blocks. The step 3 in fact is a 2-day exam which contains computer simulations.
You ought to be in 1 of the categories mentioned below while applying and as well on the day of your test:
Eligibility for Step 3 USMLE
- A student of medicine enrolled in officially, or a Canadian or a US medical school's program graduate leading to MD degree which is recognized by the LCME or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education
- Medical student enrolled in officially, or an American medical school graduate leading to DO degree which is recognized by the AOA or the American Osteopathic Association
- Medical student enrolled in officially, or a medical school graduate of a MED school outside of Canada or the USA who meets and fits the criteria for eligibility of ECFMG
Before submitting the application form, you should:
Fees for USMLE
- Get a degree in MD (or equivalent to it) or a DO degree,
- Clear the Step 1 as well as the CK step 2 and if needed the CS step 2 as well
- Get the certification by ECFMG or complete successfully a 'Fifth Pathway' program if you're medical school graduate from a med school outside of Canada or the US as well as
- Meet the requirements for step 3 which have been set up by the medical licensing authority - and this is the authority to which one's applying
The USMLE Step 1 fee is $590 along with a delivery surcharge for an international test (if the test region is located outside the Canada or the US)
The USMLE Step 2 CK fee is $590 along with a delivery surcharge for an international test (if the test region is located outside the Canada or the US)
The USMLE Step 2 CS fee is $1,250.
You can find out more about the fee structure in depth on the USMLE's official website.
USMLE Test Centers
The USMLE test centers are located across most of the states in the US. The Step 2 CS exam however can be only taken in at 5 CSEC's or Clinical Skills Evaluation Centers which are located in the USA at:
Los Angeles, California
Top Schools for USMLE
Below mentioned are top 10 ranked medical schools in the USA which prepare you for taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination:
- Harvard University, Boston, MA
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
- University of Pennsylvania, PA
- Stanford University, Stanford, CA
- University of California, San Francisco, SA
- Washington University, St. Louis, MO
- Yale University, New Haven, CT
- Columbia University, New York, NY
- Duke University, Durham, NC
- University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
With the exclusion of the CS Step 2 (which is actually accounted as Fail/Pass), the USMLE results in fact are based on 2 scales: a two-digit and three-digit scale.
The minimum score for passing which is required on the two digit scale is 75 always. On the three-digit scale however, the minimum current passing scores required are as mentioned below:
Step 1 - 188
CK Step 2 - 189
Step 3 - 190
Requesting for your USMLE Scores Transcript
To get the exam transcript or if you want to send it to a 3rd party, you ought to contact the FSMB, NBME or the ECFMG. The entity that you wish to contact will depend upon the Steps that you took and where exactly you wish your transcript to be sent.
Can a Step I passed be retaken if I wish to increase my total score?
If anyone passes a particular Step, then they aren't allowed to reappear or retake the Step, leaving out to abide by the time limit allotted by a medical licensing authority, which is required for completing all the Steps or if in case there's a requirement which is inflicted by another authority accredited by this USMLE program.
The Latest Attempt Limit Set for taking the USMLE Exams
Beginning 1st January 2012 onwards, all the new examinees for USMLE will get a 6-attempt limit for passing any of the Steps or components of the exam (this is applicable if one hasn't made any prior attempt at the said exam prior this date) and when this limit will get into effect, then the examinee would not be eligible to undertake a particular Step/ Component if he/she has made 6 attempts or more prior, which includes incomplete attempts.