Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date

Application Materials


If you meet the eligibility requirements you can apply for Step 1, Step 2 CK and CS, or Step 3. Applications are available from the appropriate registration entity. You must use current application materials to apply.

How to contact your registration entity to apply for a Step or Step Component »

Continue to: Applying »

Applying for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS


Students and graduates of LCME-accredited programs and AOA-accredited medical schools should apply for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS by following the instructions on the NBME website. Review and follow the application instructions, complete your application, and submit it to the NBME.

Students and graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada should apply for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS by following the instructions on the ECFMG website. Review and follow the application instructions, complete your application, and submit it to the ECFMG.

If you are dismissed or withdraw(n) from medical school, you are not eligible for USMLE, even if you are appealing the school’s decision to dismiss you or are otherwise contesting your status.

Applying for Step 3


To request information on Step 3 eligibility requirements and application procedures, follow the instructions at the FSMB website, or contact the FSMB or the medical licensing authority to which you wish to apply.

Application procedures for Step 3 vary among jurisdictions. You should begin inquiries at least three months in advance of the dates on which you expect to take the test.

After you obtain application materials, review and follow the application instructions to complete your application and submit it to the medical licensing authority or the FSMB as directed in the instructions.

Continue to: Personal Items & Test Accommodations »

Examinees Who Require Personal Items in the Testing Room


As more fully explained under Testing: Personal Items, unauthorized possession of personal items while you are in the secure areas of the testing center is prohibited. However, in certain limited circumstances, exceptions to this policy may be made for medical reasons, provided that permission is granted in advance of test administration. If you believe that you have a medical condition that requires you to use medication, an external appliance, electronic device, or other items in the secure areas of the test center, please contact the Personal Item Exception Coordinator by e-mail at PIE@nbme.org, by fax to 215-590-9422, or by mail to Personal Item Exception Coordinator, 3750 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 at least four weeks prior to your anticipated test date. You will need to explain your need for the exception and provide documentation from your medical professional substantiating your need to use the item(s) during test administration. Professional documentation must be typewritten on the professional’s letterhead, signed, and dated. Provide the make, model, and photograph of the actual item(s) you are requesting to bring into the testing room. Examples of appliances and devices to which this policy applies include insulin pumps, inhalers, medications, TENS units, breast pumps (for Step 2 CS), hearing aids, electronic or digitally amplified or otherwise enhanced nonstandard stethoscopes (for Step 2 CS), wheelchairs, canes, crutches, and casts. Devices with wireless or bluetooth capabilities may not be permitted. This list is not exhaustive; if you are unsure whether you should request an exception, please contact the Personal Item Exception Coordinator by e-mail at PIE@nbme.org.

You are not required to obtain advance permission to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses during testing, or to consume food or medication on authorized breaks. All personal items, including those permitted as an exception under this policy, are subject to inspection at the test center. If you bring an item, including an appliance or device, to your test administration without obtaining permission in advance, you may not be permitted to test, you may be required to relinquish the item, you may be investigated for irregular behavior, and/or your score may be held until you provide adequate documentation from your medical professional.

Examinees With Disabilities Requesting Test Accomodations


The USMLE program provides reasonable accommodations for examinees with disabilities who are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended. If you are a disabled individual covered under the ADA and require test accommodations, the following guidelines apply to you:

  • You must obtain information regarding procedures and documentation requirements in advance of applying for each Step or Step Component. This information is available on the USMLE website.
  • Your application and your request for accommodations and accompanying documentation must be submitted at the same time. Send your request and accompanying documentation to the address on the request form. All documentation received with your request will be audited, and you will be contacted if additional information is needed. Allow at least 60 days for processing your request. Processing begins when sufficient documentation of the impact of your reported impairment is received.
  • When test accommodations are granted for USMLE Steps and Step Components, score reports and transcripts may include an annotation that an accommodation was granted. Score recipients who inquire about the annotation will be provided with information only about the nature of the accommodation, not the disability.

Examinees Who Require Additional Break Time


Examinees with medical conditions, such as lactation, may apply for additional break time by submitting a written request with a letter from a qualified health care professional documenting the medical necessity. Requests should be made prior to or at the same time you register for a Step examination. For more information, call 215-590-9700 or e-mail disabilityservices@nbme.org.

Continue to: Obtaining an Eligibility Period »

Obtaining an Eligibility Period for Step 1 and Step 2 CK


When applying for Step 1 or Step 2 CK, you must select a three-month period, such as January- February-March or February-March-April, during which you prefer to take the examination. A scheduling permit with instructions for making an appointment at a Prometric Test Center will be issued to you after your registration entity processes your application and verifies your eligibility. The scheduling permit specifies the three-month eligibility period during which you must complete the examination. During peak periods, allow approximately four weeks for processing of your application. After obtaining your scheduling permit, you are able to contact Prometric immediately to schedule a test date.

http://www.prometric.com

Use the Prometric website for up-to-date information on the locations of Prometric Test Centers and to schedule an appointment.

Prometric schedules testing appointments for Steps 1 and 2 CK up to six months in advance. If your application is submitted more than six months in advance of your requested eligibility period, it will be processed, but your scheduling permit will be issued no more than six months before your assigned eligibility period begins.

If you are unable to take the test within your eligibility period, contact your registration entity to inquire about obtaining a one-time contiguous three-month eligibility period extension. A fee is charged for this service. Visit your registration entity’s website for more information. If you do not take the test within your original or extended eligibility period and wish to take it in the future, you must reapply by submitting a new application and fee(s). The USMLE Steps 1 and 2 CK fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable from one eligibility period to another or from one application to another.

Note: USMLE examinations are available year-round and you may select the testing time period that is most appropriate for you. You may reschedule your testing appointment if you decide not to test on the scheduled date (see Scheduling Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 and Scheduling Step 2 CS: Rescheduling). Except in the case of USMLE Step 2 CS, you may, for a small fee, extend your testing eligibility period if you need to defer your exam. Accordingly, you should not feel compelled to test on a particular day if you are ill, under unusual stresses of personal life, feeling unprepared for the examination, or otherwise not ready to test.

Obtaining an Eligibility Period for Step 2 CS


Step 2 CS is offered regularly throughout the year; however, there may be occasional, brief periods when all centers are closed. In planning the timing of your application, see below for information on how Step 2 CS eligibility periods are assigned. You should be aware that demand for test dates/centers at certain times during the year may exceed the number of testing spaces available.

When you apply for Step 2 CS, you are assigned a 12-month eligibility period that begins when processing of your application is completed. A scheduling permit with instructions for making a testing appointment will be issued to you.

Your eligibility period will be listed on your scheduling permit. You must take the exam during your eligibility period. You can schedule a testing appointment for any available date in your eligibility period. Once your eligibility period is assigned, it cannot be changed. If you do not take the exam within your eligibility period, you must reapply by submitting a new application and examination fee. The USMLE Step 2 CS fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable from one eligibility period to another. Although you cannot change your assigned eligibility period, you can reschedule a scheduled testing appointment within your eligibility period (see Rescheduling Step 2 CS). A fee is charged if a change is made during the 14 days before your scheduled appointment.

Obtaining an Eligibility Period for Step 3


Step 3 eligibility periods are assigned as soon as your application has been processed and approved. Time for processing will vary depending on the particular medical licensing authority and the volume of applications. Check the FSMB website for more detailed information on processing times. Upon complete processing of your Step 3 application and confirmation of eligibility, a scheduling permit will be issued to you with instructions for making an appointment at a Prometric Test Center. On receipt of your scheduling permit, you should contact Prometric immediately to schedule the test dates. The scheduling permit specifies the eligibility period (beginning immediately and extending for approximately 90 calendar days) during which you must complete the examination. If you are unable to take the test within your eligibility period, contact the FSMB to inquire about obtaining a one-time contiguous three-month eligibility period extension. A fee is charged for this service, and restrictions may apply. Visit the FSMB website (www.fsmb.org) for more detailed information. If you do not take the test within your original or extended eligibility period and wish to take it in the future, you must reapply by submitting a new application and fee(s). The USMLE Step 3 fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable from one eligibility period to another or from one application to another.

Continue to: Scheduling »

Scheduling Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3


Note: You will not be able to take the test if you do not bring your Scheduling Permit to the test center.

Note: Your Scheduling Number is needed when you contact Prometric to schedule test dates. It differs from your Candidate Identification Number (CIN), which is your private key, and is needed to test. Prometric does not have access to your CIN.

Testing Regions

Step 1 and Step 2 CK are administered in the United States and Canada and in more than 50 other countries. International testing centers are distributed among defined international testing regions. There is an additional international test delivery surcharge.

Your Scheduling Permit

Your scheduling permit will be issued to you when the processing of your application is complete, unless your eligibility period begins in more than 6 months. You should verify the information on your scheduling permit before scheduling your appointment. Your scheduling permit includes the following:

  • your name (Your name as it appears on your Scheduling Permit must match the name on your form(s) of identification exactly. Refer to your Scheduling Permit for limited exceptions. If the name listed on your Scheduling Permit is not correct, contact your registration entity immediately.),
  • the examination for which you registered,
  • your eligibility period,
  • your testing region,
  • your scheduling number,
  • your Candidate Identification Number (CIN).

Scheduling Test Dates

When applying for USMLE Steps 1, 2 CK, and 3 or scheduling test dates, please keep the following in mind:

  • You must have your scheduling permit before you contact Prometric to schedule a testing appointment. Appointments are assigned on a "first-come, first-served" basis; therefore, you should contact Prometric to schedule as soon as possible after you receive your scheduling permit.
  • You may take the test on any day that it is offered during your assigned eligibility period, provided that there is space at the Prometric Test Center you choose.
  • Prometric Test Centers are closed on major local holidays.
  • USMLE Steps 1, 2 CK, and 3 are not administered during the first 14 days of January.
  • The busiest testing times in the Prometric testing network in the United States and Canada are May through July and November through December.
  • Some, but not all, Prometric Test Centers are open on weekend days. When you schedule your Step 3 test dates, the two days on which you take the test must be consecutive, unless the center is closed on the day that follows your first day of testing. In that event, Prometric will assign you to the next day the center is open for your second day of testing. In all other cases, you must take Step 3 on two consecutive days at the same test center.

Your scheduling permit includes specific information for contacting Prometric to schedule your test date(s) at the test center of your choice.

http://www.prometric.com

Use the Prometric website for up-to-date information on the locations of Prometric Test Centers and to schedule your test.

You will be required to provide information found only on your scheduling permit. When you schedule your appointment, you will receive the following specific information:

  • the confirmed test day(s), date(s), and time;
  • the address and telephone number of the Prometric Test Center where you will test; and
  • your Prometric Confirmation Number(s).

After you schedule your testing appointment, you can print a confirmation of your appointment from the Prometric website. Scheduling a testing appointment for a specific date at a Prometric Test Center is not a guarantee that the scheduled test time or location will remain available. The Prometric Test Center at which you are scheduled may become unavailable after you have scheduled your appointment. In that event, Prometric will attempt to notify you in advance of your scheduled testing appointment and to schedule you for a different time and/or center. However, on rare occasions, it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment for a different time or center on short notice. To avoid losses you would incur as a result, you should try to maintain flexibility in exam scheduling and in your travel arrangements. You are encouraged to confirm your testing appointment one week prior to your test date. Your registration entity will not refund expenses incurred as a result of center closures (e.g., inclement weather or natural disasters).

Rescheduling Test Dates

If you are unable to keep your testing appointment on the scheduled date(s) or at the scheduled location, you may change your date(s) or center by following the instructions on your scheduling permit for contacting Prometric. You will need to provide your Prometric Confirmation Number when you cancel and reschedule.

A fee may be charged if you change your appointment, depending upon how much notice you provide when making the change. A fee schedule is posted on the USMLE website. If you reschedule, your rescheduled test date(s) must fall within your assigned eligibility period.

Scheduling Step 2 CS


Step 2 CS is administered at five Clinical Skills Evaluation Centers: Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Your Scheduling Permit

After your registration for Step 2 CS is complete, your registration entity will issue you a scheduling permit. The scheduling permit contains the following:

  • your name (Your name as it appears on your Scheduling Permit must match the name on your form(s) of identification exactly. Refer to your Scheduling Permit for limited exceptions. If the name listed on your Scheduling Permit is not correct, contact your registration entity immediately.),
  • your USMLE identification number, and
  • your eligibility period.

Scheduling Test Dates

Follow the instructions on your scheduling permit to schedule your test date(s) at the Clinical Skills Evaluation Center of your choice. To browse available test dates in your eligibility period at each of the five centers, you can access Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling from the website of your registration entity. Before accessing Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling, you should review the important information in How Test Dates Become Available.

A schedule for reporting Step 2 CS results is available on the USMLE website. Please refer to this calendar before scheduling a testing appointment if you need your results by a specific deadline.

After you confirm your testing appointment, you will be able to print a confirmation notice from the scheduling system. The confirmation notice includes your scheduled test date, arrival time, center, and other important information. If you lose the confirmation notice, you can reprint it by accessing Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling at the website of your registration entity.

Your registration entity will not refund expenses incurred as a result of center closures (e.g., inclement weather or natural disasters).

How Test Dates Become Available

  • Testing appointments are available on a "firstcome, first-served" basis (although some scheduling restrictions may be imposed). It is possible that you will not be able to obtain a testing appointment for the first time period and/or center you prefer.
  • The availability of testing appointments will change frequently as a result of examinee scheduling and rescheduling.
  • It is possible that testing appointments will become available for a time period and/or center that you prefer after you have scheduled an appointment for a different time period and/or center. In this event, you can change your scheduled test date and/or center. See below for rescheduling fees.
  • Although you can monitor available test dates for your preferred time period and center, availability is not guaranteed. You must take the exam during your eligibility period; if you do not take the exam during the eligibility period, you must reapply and pay the full exam fee in order to take the examination.

Rescheduling Test Dates

If you have a scheduled testing appointment and are unable to take the exam on your scheduled test date or at your scheduled center, you can cancel your scheduled testing appointment and reschedule for a different date and/or center, subject to availability. A fee may be charged for this service depending on how much notice you provide when canceling your appointment. To cancel or reschedule, follow the instructions on your scheduling permit for accessing Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling.

Before canceling and/or rescheduling a scheduled testing appointment, you will have the opportunity to review available test dates at all testing locations. Your rescheduled test date must fall within your assigned eligibility period. There is no limit on the number of times you can cancel and reschedule your testing appointment. However, a rescheduling fee is charged for each rescheduled testing appointment that does not meet the notice requirements described below. Any change to a scheduled testing appointment constitutes rescheduling.

You can cancel and reschedule at the same time, or you can cancel and reschedule later. You can cancel and/or reschedule at any time through the end of the day before your scheduled test date. However, no canceling is allowed beginning at 12:00 AM, Eastern Time in the United States, on the scheduled test date. If you do not cancel and you miss your scheduled testing appointment, you can reschedule within your assigned eligibility period once it is confirmed that you did not take the test.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you cancel without rescheduling or miss your scheduled testing appointment, there is no guarantee that testing appointments during your eligibility period will be available at a given test center, or at any test center, when you attempt to reschedule. If you do not reschedule within your eligibility period, you must submit a new application and payment in order to take the exam.

There is no fee to cancel a scheduled testing appointment; the fee, if applicable, is due at the time of rescheduling. However, the date that you cancel your appointment, using Eastern Time in the United States, will determine whether you pay a rescheduling fee and the amount of this fee.

  • If you cancel more than 14 calendar days before (but not including) your scheduled test date, there is no fee to reschedule.
  • If you cancel during the 14-day period before (but not including) your scheduled test date, your fee will be $150 when you reschedule. .
  • If you miss your scheduled testing appointment without canceling, your fee will be $400 when you reschedule.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled testing appointment, you should cancel your appointment as soon as possible to avoid a rescheduling fee, regardless of whether you are ready to reschedule.