Starting and Completing the Test

After you start taking an examination, you cannot cancel or reschedule that examination. If you experience a computer issue during the test, notify test center staff immediately. The testing software is designed to restart the test at the point that it was interrupted, without loss of time.

The test session ends when you have started and exited all blocks or the total test time expires. You will receive a notice during checkout that you have appeared for the test. If your test is scheduled for multiple days, be sure to bring a copy of your scheduling permit with you each day or you may not be permitted to test.

In the rare event that a technical problem occurs that does not permit you to complete your examination, please send a written description of the incident to Test Administration Services at the NBME. Test Administration Services must receive your notice within 10 days of your testing date or it may not be possible to fully investigate your concerns. Your correspondence should include your name, your USMLE ID number, the examination name (Step 1, 2 CK, or 3), the date of administration, and a message with a detailed description of the difficulty experienced. Please allow at least 15 business days for your report to be investigated and evaluated. You will receive written notification of the investigation results.

If you start the examination but do not complete it for reasons other than a technical problem or expiration of time, you should promptly write to Test Administration Services explaining, in detail, the reasons you did not finish the examination. The attempt may appear as an incomplete on your USMLE transcript.

For more information on how to report a test administration problem, see common questions.

 Caution  Cautions 

  • The USMLE program may prohibit an examinee from completing the exam and/or may impose conditions on retesting if the examinee appears to represent a health or safety risk to the test center staff. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, an examinee exhibiting signs of illness (e.g., persistent coughing or sneezing) during the examination or showing visibly open skin lesions or active bleeding.
  • If you do not feel well on the day of your test, we strongly encourage you to consider rescheduling your examination. If you become ill during your exam, inform a proctor promptly.
  • The USMLE makes every effort to ensure that your registration information is properly processed and that the Step examinations are properly prepared, administered, and scored. In the unlikely event that an error occurs in the preparation, processing, administration, or scoring of your USMLE examination or in the reporting of your USMLE scores, the USMLE program will make reasonable efforts to correct the error, if possible, or permit you either to retest at no additional fee or to receive a refund of the examination fee. These are the exclusive remedies available to examinees for errors in the registration process; in preparing, processing, or administering exams; or in determining or reporting scores.