What is 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 (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®).

The USMLE assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. Each of the three Steps of the USMLE complements the others; no Step can stand alone in the assessment of readiness for medical licensure.

Who is USMLE?


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Announcements

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  • Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS
    Posted: January 29, 2016
    Updated: December 02, 2016

    Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. We strongly encourage examinees to complete their scheduling before May 31 of the calendar year in which they plan to test. Testing appointments are typically completely filled at least three to four months in advance. If you try to schedule after August 1, you may find that there are no available testing appointments through the end of the year unless there are cancellations.
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    Updated practice and informational materials for Step 3 available
    Posted: November 30, 2016
    Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 3 examination have been posted to the USMLE website. These materials reflect new features described in a previous announcement.


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  • USMLE takes action against individuals found to have engaged in Irregular Behavior
    Posted: November 07, 2016
    The USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR) meets periodically throughout the year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by applicants and/or examinees.
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    Enhanced security policies at Prometric test centers
    Posted: October 13, 2016
    Enhanced security policies will take effect in all U.S. Prometric test centers beginning October 15, 2016. The purpose of the enhanced security procedures is to inspect for camera devices that could be used to capture exam content.


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  • Step 3 – delay in score reporting
    Posted: October 03, 2016
    Updated: October 05, 2016

    If you need to receive Step 3 scores before May 10, 2017 it is recommended that you take the exam no later than December 31, 2016.

    Most Step 3 scores are reported within 4 weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, as well as a change to new test delivery software, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test begi...
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    New features in Step 3 examination
    Posted: October 03, 2016

    The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) has developed new software to deliver the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). The new software incorporates user-adjustable display features, specifically text magnification, image magnification, and reverse color (color inversion)


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  • Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 2 CK examination are available
    Posted: June 10, 2016
    Updated practice and informational materials for the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination have been posted to the USMLE website. These materials reflect the change in number of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) per block described in a prior announcement, as well as new test delivery software .

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    New features in Step 1 and Step 2 CK examinations
    Posted: March 03, 2016
    Updated: June 09, 2016

    The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) has developed new software to deliver Step 1 and Step 2 CK of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). The new software incorporates user-adjustable display features, specifically text magnification and reverse color (color inversion)
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  • 2017 schedule for reporting Step 2 CS results is available
    Posted: May 02, 2016
    The 2017 schedule provides guidelines regarding when a result for a Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam date will be reported. Click here to view the schedule.


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    Images in Step 2 Clinical Skills examination
    Posted: March 22, 2016
    Beginning May 22, 2016, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills examinees may see a case in which the standardized patient provides a digital image (for example, a photograph, x-ray, MRI, or CT) on a tablet computer. Examinees will be able to enlarge the image. During the pre-session orientation, examinees will have an opportunity to view a sample image on a tablet, and to practice enlarging the image.

    Not all examinations will include a case with an image. Examinees will see a maximum of one case w...
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  • Important announcement regarding Fifth Pathway certificates and USMLE Step 3
    Posted: March 08, 2016
    As previously announced, the governing committee of the USMLE program and the USMLE parent organizations (the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical examiners) have determined that the USMLE will cease acceptance of Fifth Pathway certificates for the purpose of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements, effective January 1, 2017.
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    Step 1 – Delay in score reporting and change in number of test items
    Posted: March 03, 2016
    Updated: March 04, 2016

    Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, as well as a change to new test delivery software, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of May 9, 2016.


    Learn more »


    USMLE Bulletin of Information


    The Bulletin includes information on all aspects of USMLE, such as eligibility requirements, scheduling test dates, testing, and score reporting. You must review and become familiar with the Bulletin before completing your application for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 (CK and CS), or Step 3. Start reading the Bulletin of Information »

    Download the PDF version of the 2017 Bulletin »
    Download the PDF version of the 2016 Bulletin »

    Upcoming Changes to USMLE


    A summary of planned changes over the next few years is available. [Updated!]

    The Composite Committee of the USMLE initiated a process to undertake a comprehensive review of the USMLE program in 2004. The Composite Committee establishes policy for the USMLE and is composed of representatives of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and the American public.

    This multi-year project to review and revise the USMLE sequence is called the Comprehensive Review of USMLE (CRU). Additional information about CRU is available.

    Do You Need More Information?


    Check out the Frequently Asked Questions. If you still can't find answers, contact us.