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USMLE FAQ

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a set of exams that assess whether or not you’re ready to practice medicine.

The USMLE consists of 4 exams. Each Step is taken at a different point in your medical career and requires different levels of USMLE prep. Consider each USMLE Step its own individual exam that you’ll need to prepare for.

Step 1 consists of multiple-choice questions designed to measure basic science knowledge, including questions in anatomy, behavioral sciences, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and interdisciplinary topics, such as nutrition, genetics, and aging.

Step 1 is administered by appointment on a year-round basis. Step 1 is typically taken by U.S. medical students at the end of their second year of medical school, or international medical graduates who are already licensed doctors in their home countries, but wish to practice medicine in the United States. As an international medical graduate, you must first register with the ECFMG at www.ecfmg.org. After registering, you’ll receive an ECFMG identification number. To actually book your exams, you’ll need to book an eligibility period for your exam.

Step 1 is a one-day examination with seven 60-minute “blocks” administered in one 8-hour testing session; computer tutorial: 15 minutes; breaks: 45 minutes, self-scheduled.

Step 1 consists of 280 multiple-choice questions, broken down into 7 one-hour blocks of 40 questions each.