Exam Security

How can you help?

  • Please help maintain the integrity of USMLE by reporting suspected security violations. You may submit a report anonymously.
  • If you see or hear about breaches in exam security, let us know by submitting a report via the STOPit app. Visit Apple or Google Play Store for a free download. Use access code: USMLE-TIP.

Why does USMLE Security matter?

  • Helps to maintain the integrity of USMLE to assess competence to practice medicine safely
  • Promotes a testing environment where no examinee has an unfair advantage
  • Helps to control increases in exam fees by minimizing the number of items removed from USMLE due to exposure

"Want to Have a Positive USMLE Experience?"

Path 4

DO’s and DON’Ts on exam day

DO:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Rules of Conduct.
  • Take a break only when on an authorized break screen.
  • Place all personal belongings, including watches, electronic devices (cell phones, etc.), study materials, notes, and purses/wallets/bags in your locker or cubicle.
  • Maintain confidentiality of all USMLE content.
  • Share general exam day experiences, such as how to dress or where to stay.

DON’T:

  • Attempt to register for or take an exam unless you are eligible.
  • Bring study materials, notes, papers or electronic devices (cell phones, etc.) into secure areas of the test center.
  • Discuss your exam with others at the center or otherwise communicate about test items, cases, and/or answers.
  • Remove exam materials from the test center in any form (written, printed, recorded or in any other medium) or attempt to reproduce exam materials through memorization or any other means.

Remember the stakes are high. Don’t do something that might jeopardize your future!

Examples of Security Violations

Specific examples of conduct that may be deemed a security violation include, but are not limited to, the following:

Before the examination

  • seeking, providing, and/or obtaining unauthorized access to examination materials
  • providing false information or making false statements on or in connection with application forms, scheduling permits, or other USMLE-related documents
  • applying for an examination for which you are not eligible
  • communicating or attempting to communicate about specific 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

During the examination

  • taking an examination for which you are not eligible
  • taking an examination for someone or engaging someone to take an examination for you
  • giving, receiving, 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, or rule, including 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 photographic equipment, communication or recording devices, fitness and tracking monitors, and cell phones, in the secure testing areas
  • communicating or attempting to communicate about specific 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

After the examination

  • altering or misrepresenting examination scores
  • any unauthorized reproduction by any means, including, but not limited to, reconstruction through memorization, and/or dissemination of copyrighted examination materials by any means, including the Internet
  • communicating or attempting to communicate about specific 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
  • failure to cooperate fully in any investigation of a violation of the USMLE rules

Sanctions Imposed for Security Violations

Security violations are investigated by USMLE staff and reviewed by the USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR). If the committee makes a finding of Irregular Behavior, the penalties include one or more of the following:

  • Cancellation of your exam scores
  • Ban on future testing for periods ranging from 1 year to a minimum of 3 years
  • Permanent annotation of your USMLE transcript
  • Report to the Federation of State Medical Boards' Physician Data Center*
  • Possible legal action

*State medical boards routinely query the FSMB Physician Data Center as part of the licensing processes.