Irregular Behavior

The USMLE program takes examination security seriously and is committed to protecting the integrity of its assessments. If you have evidence that someone may have violated a USMLE rule or participated in irregular behavior, contact the USMLE program via STOPit app

By preventing irregular behavior, content exposure, misconduct, cheating and other violations, the USMLE’s security efforts help to ensure that exam results are accurate and reliable, control unfair advantages and ultimately, protect the health of the public.

Irregular Behavior Defined

Irregular behavior includes any action by applicants, examinees, potential applicants or others that could compromise the validity, integrity or security of the USMLE process.

caution warning icon Please help maintain the integrity of the USMLE by reporting suspected security violations. If you have information that a person or entity has compromised the security of the USMLE or violated any exam rule, please submit a report via the STOPit app. Visit Apple or Google Play Store for a free download. Use access code: USMLE-TIP.

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Examples of Irregular Behavior

Specific examples of conduct that may be deemed to be irregular behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Registering for, scheduling/rescheduling or taking an exam when ineligible
  • Seeking, providing and/or obtaining unauthorized access to examination materials (e.g., “recalls” or “past questions”), including, but not limited to, in person or online
  • Unauthorized reproduction of examination materials by any means, including, but not limited to, reconstruction through memorization and/or dissemination via the internet
  • Communicating (including online and via social media) or attempting to communicate about test items, cases and/or answers with another examinee, potential examinee, or formal or informal test preparation group at any time before, during or after an examination
  • Providing false information or making false statements on or in connection with application forms, scheduling permits or other USMLE-related documents
  • Taking or attempting to take an examination for which you are not eligible
  • Taking or attempting to take an examination for someone else, or engaging someone to take an examination for you
  • Seeking, providing or obtaining unauthorized assistance during the examination or attempting to do so
  • Making notes of any kind while in the secure areas of the test center, except on the writing materials provided at the test center for this purpose
  • Failing to adhere to any USMLE policy, procedure, rule, or instructions of the test center staff
  • Verbal or physical harassment of test center staff or other examination staff, or other disruptive or unprofessional behavior during the registration, scheduling or examination process
  • Possessing any unauthorized materials, including, but not limited to, photographic equipment, communication or recording devices, fitness and tracking monitors, and cell phones in the secure testing areas
  • Altering or misrepresenting examination scores or outcomes
  • Making violent, threatening or unprofessional comments to USMLE or test center staff
  • Failing to cooperate fully in an investigation concerning a possible violation of the USMLE rules

caution warning icon  Test preparation courses and materials are available from individuals and companies not associated with the USMLE. It is unlawful for any test preparation service or program to use, disclose, distribute, or solicit content from recent test takers or to otherwise provide access to questions or answers from actual USMLE examinations. If there is evidence that you enrolled in, participated in, or used any test preparation program or service that distributes, provides access to, or uses USMLE content (questions or answers) or provides a forum for others to share such information, your registration and/or testing may be canceled, your scores on the USMLE may be withheld or canceled, and you may be subject to further sanctions.

Irregular Behavior—Investigation Process

The USMLE program will conduct an investigation if it receives information that an individual may have engaged in irregular behavior. During this time, anyone alleged to have engaged in such activity will be prohibited from registering for additional exams; previously unreleased scores, if any, may be withheld; and pending examination appointments will be canceled. If the evidence suggests that the alleged irregular behavior affects score validity, the score will also be reviewed as described in the Score Validity section.

If you are the subject of a USMLE investigation, you will be advised of the matter and will have an opportunity to provide information that you consider relevant. Individuals who are the subject of an investigation must cooperate fully, including providing all requested documentation and truthfully answering all questions posed during investigative interviews conducted on behalf of the USMLE program. If requested, individuals who are the subject of an investigation shall provide a signed release authorizing the USMLE program to obtain information and records from educational institutions and other third parties.

Failing to cooperate with an investigation or providing misleading or untruthful information in the course of an investigation will constitute irregular behavior that may be the basis of separate proceedings or other actions by the USMLE program.

If it is determined that you engaged in irregular behavior, information regarding this determination will become part of your permanent USMLE history. Your score report (if applicable) and USMLE transcript will contain a notation of the finding of irregular behavior. The USMLE program will provide information about the irregular behavior to third parties that receive or have received your USMLE transcript and may also report to other legitimately interested entities, as determined by the USMLE program. You may be barred from taking future examinations, and/or special administrative procedures or conditions may be implemented for your future examinations. The USMLE program also reserves the right to take such action when information regarding irregular behavior on predecessor examinations suggests that such actions may be appropriate to ensure the security of the USMLE.