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Questions about USMLE

Applying, Scheduling, and Rescheduling

  1. How do I apply for USMLE?

  2. What is the cost of the USMLE exams?

  3. Is there a fee for changing my appointment?

Preparing for USMLE

  1. How do I prepare for the test? Is there a review book for USMLE?

  2. Where can I obtain a copy of the USMLE Bulletin of Information?

Updating information

  1. How do I update my contact information (email, mailing address, phone number) or register a name change?


  1. What should I do if I have a disability that requires test accommodations?


  1. Is there a limit on the number of times Steps can be taken?

  2. Do the Steps have to be taken at particular points during my medical education and career?

  3. If a physician currently holds a license in one state and has not taken USMLE, is it necessary to pass USMLE to seek licensure in another state?

  4. I am a graduate of a medical school outside the United States and Canada. How can I get information on what is required to enter graduate medical education and/or practice medicine in the United States?

  5. I am a MD/PhD candidate and the state board where I am applying for licensure requires applicants to complete all three Steps within seven years. Is there an exception to this policy?


  1. What are the rules regarding retakes?

  2. Can I retake a Step that I previously passed?


  1. What is ERAS?

  2. How do I report a problem related to my testing administration?

  3. What are the rules regarding what I can and cannot bring into the secure areas of the testing center?

  4. Who is on the Composite Committee?

Biometric Enabled Check-In System

  1. What biometric information is collected from a USMLE® candidate?

  2. How long will my biometric information be stored?

  3. Who will have access to my biometric information?

  4. I would like to read the Biometric Enabled Check-In System Privacy Notice.

Practice Materials

  1. Where can I get sample test materials to practice taking a test?

  2. Can I use the USMLE practice materials on a Mac?

  3. Who can I talk to if I have trouble installing or using practice materials?


  1. When will I get my scores?

  2. Why does it take three to four weeks to score a computer-delivered examination?

  3. What are the passing scores for the three Steps, and do they ever change? If so, why?

  4. What are the current pass rates for the Steps?

  5. What are the group pass rates by medical school for the Steps?

  6. Can I retake a Step that I passed to raise my score?

  7. How can I request a transcript of my USMLE scores?

  8. How do I request a score recheck?

  9. Who else sees my score report?

Step 1

  1. If I received a 3-digit score on my Step 1 examination, will my 3-digit score be visible on paper and ERAS transcripts after Step 1 outcomes are reported as pass/fail?

  2. How can I compete with others who have a numeric score when I only have pass/fail?

  3. When will the policy change of reporting Step 1 as pass/fail only occur?

  4. Will my Step 1 result be reported only as pass/fail after the policy change based on my test date or score report date?

  5. What new content appeared on Step 1 exams administered after the exam was updated in October 2020?

  6. What kinds of pharmacology items are on the Step 1 exam following the October 2020 updates?

  1. How will foundational (basic) science be assessed on Step 2 CK administered after the exam is updated in November 2020?

  2. Will examinees who test before the exam is updated in November 2020 see different amounts of content in categories such as Diagnosis, Management, or Organ Systems compared with examinees who test after that date?

  3. What new content appeared on Step 2 CK exams administered after the exam was updated in October 2020?

Score Report

  1. Why have the Step examination score reports changed and how was the new format developed?

  2. How do I interpret my score?

  3. What is the minimum passing score, and is it always the same?

  4. How is my performance compared to others?

  5. What is the standard error of the estimate (SEE), and what does it tell me about my performance?

  6. What happened to the performance profile section? I want to know how close my performance is in a topic area compared to borderline performance.

  7. How do I interpret my Relative Strengths and Weaknesses?

  8. In the relative strengths and weakness section of my score report, all the boxes for every content area are the same as my overall performance. What does this mean?

  9. What is the best remediation strategy if I did not pass a Step examination? Should I focus only on content areas in the lower or same categories?

  10. How much of each content area appears on the examination?

  11. Who else sees my score report?

Attempt Limit

  1. What is the change to the attempt limit policy?

  2. Why is the policy changing?

  3. When does the change to the attempt limit policy take effect?

  4. Is there a limit on the number of times I can take an individual USMLE Step before the attempt limit policy takes effect?

  5. What does this policy change mean for someone who already has four (4) or more attempts at a Step or Step component once the policy is in effect?