Step 1 consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), also known as items, created by USMLE committees composed of faculty members, investigators, and clinicians with recognized prominence in their respective fields. Committee members are selected to provide broad representation from the academic, practice, and licensing communities across the United States and Canada.
Step 1 is designed to measure basic science knowledge. Some questions test the examinee's fund of information per se, but the majority of questions require the examinee to interpret graphic and tabular material, to identify gross and microscopic pathologic and normal specimens, and to solve problems through application of basic science principles.
The content description is not intended as a curriculum development or study guide. It provides a flexible structure for test construction that can readily accommodate new topics, emerging content domains, and shifts in emphasis. The categorizations and content coverage are subject to change.
Broad-based learning that establishes a strong general understanding of concepts and principles in the basic sciences is the best preparation for the examination.
- The term item is used to describe a test question in any format.
- You must run the Step 1 interactive testing experience to become familiar with the test software prior to your test date.
- The tutorial provided at the beginning of the Step 1 examination has fewer screens and less detailed information than the tutorial in the Step 1 interactive testing experience.
- The Step 1 interactive testing experience includes items with associated audio findings. Become familiar with how these types of test items function before your test day.