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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.

GMAT FAQ

The answer to “how hard is the GMAT?” is “it depends”. If you haven’t worked with math in some time, you may find the quantitative section challenging. If grammar isn’t your strong suit, you may find the verbal section difficult. Remember that unfamiliar does not equal difficult. As you get to know the GMAT’s content in your prep course, you’ll also learn strategies for conquering the test.

How long you’ll spend studying for the GMAT depends on where you start, what your target score is, and what your schedule is. Many students will study as many 100 total hours over 3 months. You’ll want to study until you are consistently scoring in your goal range on full-length computer-adaptive practice tests. Make sure you allow enough time to learn new content and get plenty of realistic practice.

How you study for the GMAT depends on your goals, preferred study style, schedule, and more. The best way to study for the GMAT is to find a method that works for you, make a plan, and stick with it. You may want to study in a traditional classroom, live online, on your own, or even with a tutor. Your GMAT study plan should include reviewing basic content, as well as realistic, computer-adaptive practice.

GMAT scores fall between 200 and 800. This combines performance on the verbal and quantitative sections. The other scores are 0-6 for the analytical writing assessment, and 1-8 for the integrated reasoning section. Remember that the GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, or CAT. Your GMAT score will be determined by the number of questions you answered correctly, and their respective level of difficulty.

You can take the GMAT once every 16 calendar days, but no more than 5 times in a rolling 12-month period and no more than 8 times total lifetime. Even though you can cancel your GMAT exam and score, you should prepare for the exam so you only need to take it once. If you think you may need to test more than once, make sure to allow yourself enough time to meet application and round deadlines.

Kaplan’s computer-adaptive practice tests (CATs) for the GMAT are constantly updated to match the GMAT test blueprint so you get the most realistic practice. You’ll be able to select the order of your exam sections, just like on test day. Our GMAT CATs have also been updated to match the shorter test length announced in April 2018.