Unlocking the Mysteries of USMLE Exams: 10 FAQs for Medical Students and Doctors!


Unlocking the Mysteries of USMLE Exams: 10 FAQs for Medical Students and Doctors!

Do you have some questions in your mind about the USMLE exams? No worries, I’ve got you covered! Check out these top 10 common questions that people usually ask about USMLE examinations. Let’s dive in and find out the answers!

  1. Did you know there are three parts to the licensing examination to become a physician in the US? 

These are called:

  • USMLE Step 1
  • USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge)
  • USMLE Step 3

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2. Can you tell me more about the USMLE STEP 1 and when I need to take it?

The USMLE STEP 1 is an exam that every physician in the U.S. must pass to show that they have the knowledge and skills required to practice medicine safely in the country. USMLE stands for “United States Medical Licensing Examination”.

3. Do you know when you’re supposed to take the USMLE Step 1?

Typically, people take the USMLE Step 1 after their second year in med school. By then, they’d covered all the basic sciences tested on this exam. Most international medical school grads take the USMLE Step 1 after finishing their studies, but as an international medical grad, you can take it after the second year of med school.

4. Do you know when to take the USMLE Step 2CK?

Most med students in the US take the USMLE Step 2CK after finishing clinical rotations in their third year. That’s because Step 2CK is based on what you learn from these rotations. As for international med school graduates, they usually take the USMLE STEP 2CK after completing their studies.

5. When do you take the USMLE Step 3?

It’s recommended to wait at least a year after med school before taking the USMLE Step 3. That’s why most peeps take it during their residency program. If you graduated from an international med school, you can take it during your residency, too.

6. Do you know how many questions there are on the USMLE Step 1?

Just to let you know, the USMLE Step 1 test has 280 multiple-choice questions. The test covers a variety of topics, such as:

  • Cardiovascular System
  • Endocrine System
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Respiratory System
  • Renal and Urinary Systems
  • Reproductive System
  • Musculoskeletal, Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue
  • Blood & Lymphoreticular/Immune Systems
  • Biostatistics & Epidemiology/Population Health
  • Social Sciences: Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Behavioral Health & Nervous Systems/Special Senses
  • Among others …

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7. Do you have any idea about the duration of the USMLE Step 1 exam?

The test lasts a day, and you’ll have to sit for eight hours straight. You’ll be tested on everything from the basic sciences, and the exam is broken down into seven 60-minute sections. You get a minimum break of 45 minutes, and there’s an optional 15-minute tutorial. Each section will have a maximum of 40 questions.

8. Who is eligible to take the USMLE exams?

To become a doctor in the US, you need to be a medical student from any accredited medical school in the US or a foreign doctor with ECFMG registration. The registration fee is $660 for US and Canada students and graduates. If you’re an international medical graduate, you must pay a $150 fee for ECFMG certification. The USMLE Step 1 application fee costs around $1000, and you must pay an additional $180 if you choose a testing region outside the U.S. and Canada.

9. Hey, I heard they might have changed the USMLE Step 1 to Pass/Fail. Do you know if that’s true

Starting January 2022, the USMLE Step 1 is no longer scored with numbers. Instead, you only get a pass or fail report.

10. Do you know how long it takes to get the results of Step 1?

After you finish your exam, you should get your test results in around 3 to 4 weeks. If you ace the test, they won’t tell you what you got right or wrong. But if you don’t pass, they’ll give you feedback on where you fell short and what you need to work on.

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