Step 1 assesses whether you understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. It ensures mastery of not only the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine in the present, but also the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning. Step 1 is constructed according to an integrated content outline that organizes basic science material along two dimensions: system and process.
Step 1 is a one-day examination. It is divided into seven 60-minute blocks and administered in one 8-hour testing session. The number of questions per block on a given examination form may vary, but will not exceed 40. The total number of items on the overall examination form will not exceed 280.
The examination also includes a minimum allotment of 45 minutes of break time and a 15-minute optional tutorial. The amount of time available for breaks may be increased by finishing a block of test items or the optional tutorial before the allotted time expires.
Content Outline & Specifications
Review the Step 1 content outline, as well as specifications for the systems, physician tasks/competencies, and disciplines covered on the exam.
Step 1 is administered at Prometric test centers. Visit the Prometric website to schedule or reschedule an exam, locate a test center, confirm or cancel your appointment, and find information on test center policies.
Bulletin of Information
The Bulletin includes information on all aspects of the USMLE, such as eligibility requirements, scheduling test dates, testing, and score reporting. At the time you apply for Step 1, you will be asked to certify that you agree to comply with the policies and procedures within the USMLE BOI.
Examinees must meet certain requirements before becoming eligible to take the USMLE Step 1. Click the link below to review these requirements and find information on time and attempt limits, retakes, what to do about a change in eligibility status, and more.
Prepare for Your Exam
Once you’ve completed the registration process, you can explore resources designed to help you get ready for test day, including the interactive testing experience, which provides tips on navigating the USMLE interface and access to sample test questions.
The USMLE Program is committed to providing test accommodations to examinees with documented disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Click the link below to learn more about the types of accommodations available and for instructions on submitting a request.
In addition to contacting us directly, you can visit the Common Questions section for answers to the most frequently asked questions.