USMLE FAQs

How can I apply for the USMLE?
If you are a student residing within the United States seeking to take either Steps 1 or 2 of the USMLE, please visit the NBME Web site to obtain current application materials. If you reside elsewhere, visit the ECFMG Web site to obtain application materials.

Step 3 applicants must contact the medical authority to which they will apply in order to obtain information about applications. Additional information for Step 3 applicants can be obtained by contacting the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

How long will it take to score my exam?
Test scores must be secure and accurate; therefore, it can take anywhere from three to six weeks to receive a score. Testing authorities must evaluate any issues at testing centers around the country to ensure that no violations have occurred. It is crucial to maintain the integrity of the examination. Students who have completed Steps 1 and 2 CK can expect test results within three to four weeks after the testing date. Students who have taken Step 3 can expect test results within four to six weeks of the testing date.

What is the retake policy if I fail the exam?
Any students who fail all or part of a Step must submit a new application and pay the full testing fee. Students are allowed to take Steps 1, 2 CK, and 3 up to four times in a 12-month period. Step 2 CS may be taken up to three times in a 12-month period. Students who pass the exam are not allowed to retake it to attempt a higher score.

USMLE FAQs What scores do I need to pass the USMLE?
Each step of the USMLE has a minimum passing score. Step 1 has a minimum passing score of 185, Step 2 CK is 184, and Step 3 is 187 on the three-digit scale or 75 on the two-digit scale. Each minimum passing score is the equivalent of answering approximately 60%-70% of the test question correctly.

Do I have to take the steps in any particular order?
Students must pass Steps 1 and 2 before becoming eligible for Step 3. Generally, Steps 1 and 2 can be taken in any order. Most students will take Step 1 near the end of their second year of school, Step 2 near the end of their fourth year, and Step 3 during postgraduate training. All steps must be completed within a seven-year period.

Last Updated: 04/23/2014