What is USMLE?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination ® (USMLE®) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States and is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®).

The USMLE assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. Each of the three Steps of the USMLE complements the others; no Step can stand alone in the assessment of readiness for medical licensure. Find out more about the USMLE »


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  • Computer-Based Case Simulations (CCS) Field Trial
    Posted: August 17, 2015
    Updated: September 19, 2015

    The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) has developed new software to deliver the Primum® Computer-based Case Simulations (CCS) component of Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®), which is jointly owned by the NBME and the Federation of State Medical Boards. The new software incorporates user-adjustable display features, specifically text magnification and reverse color (color inversion).
    Learn more »

    Review of USMLE Step 3 minimum passing performance
    Posted: September 09, 2015
    The USMLE program recommends a minimum passing level for each Step examination. The USMLE Management Committee is responsible for establishing and monitoring these standards, and is asked to complete an in-depth review of standards for each examination every three to four years.

    Learn more »

  • Updated information and practice materials for the Step 2 CK examination available
    Posted: July 07, 2015
    Updated information and practice materials for the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examination have been posted to the USMLE website. They include:

    Learn more »

    Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills orientation video
    Posted: May 29, 2015
    An updated version of the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) orientation video has been posted to the USMLE website.

    The video includes updated information regarding break time, personal items, and use of hand sanitizer.

    Learn more »

  • Step 2 CK - Schedule for score reporting and change in number of items
    Posted: May 19, 2015
    The USMLE program usually reports Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) scores within four weeks of testing.  However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test between the week of July 13th through late August.  The target date for reporting Step 2 CK scores for most examinees who test during this time period will be Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

    Learn more »

    2016 schedule for reporting Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) results is available
    Posted: April 07, 2015
    The 2016 schedule provides examinees, and others who rely on Step 2 CS results, with guidelines regarding when a result will be reported for a given exam date. Click here to view the schedule.

    Learn more »

  • Expanded Version of USMLE Content Outline
    Posted: April 06, 2015
    An expanded version of the USMLE Content Outline, which provides a common organization of content across all USMLE examinations, is now available.
    Learn more »

    Upcoming changes to USMLE
    Posted: November 14, 2013
    Updated: March 17, 2015

    A summary of changes to USMLE planned for 2015-2016 is available. This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

    Learn more »

  • Break time for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinations
    Posted: February 04, 2015
    Beginning Monday, February 9, the break schedule for all Step 2 Clinical Skills examinations will change:

    - 10-minute break after the 3rd patient encounter
    - 30-minute break (which includes a light lunch) after the 6th patient encounter
    - 10-minute break after the 9th patient encounter

    The Step 2 CS examination consists of 12 patient encounters and lasts approximately 8 hours.

    Learn more »

    Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS
    Posted: February 04, 2015
    Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. We strongly encourage examinees to complete their scheduling before May 31 of the calendar year in which they plan to test. Testing appointments are typically completely filled at least three to four months in advance. If you try to schedule after August 1, you may find that there are no available testing appointments through the end of the year unless there are cancellations.

    More information is available in the Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date&...
    Learn more »

  • Step 2 CS Rescheduling Fees
    Posted: January 06, 2015
    Beginning January 1, 2015, the rescheduling fees for the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination will change. If you have a scheduled testing appointment and are unable to take the exam on your scheduled test date or at your scheduled center, you may cancel your scheduled testing appointment and reschedule for a different date and/or center, subject to availability. You may cancel and/or reschedule at any time through the end of the day before your scheduled test date. However, no canceling is allowed beginning at 12:00 AM, Eastern Time in the ...
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    USMLE Score Interpretation Guidelines
    Posted: October 30, 2014
    USMLE Score Interpretation Guidelines (SIG) have been posted to the USMLE website. Topics include:

    Learn more »

    USMLE Bulletin of Information

    The Bulletin includes information on all aspects of USMLE, such as eligibility requirements, scheduling test dates, testing, and score reporting. You must review and become familiar with the Bulletin before completing your application for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 (CK and CS), or Step 3. Start reading the Bulletin of Information »

    Download the PDF version of the 2016 Bulletin »
    Download the PDF version of the 2015 Bulletin »

    Upcoming Changes to USMLE

    A summary of planned changes over the next few years is available. [Updated!]

    The Composite Committee of the USMLE initiated a process to undertake a comprehensive review of the USMLE program in 2004. The Composite Committee establishes policy for the USMLE and is composed of representatives of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and the American public.

    This multi-year project to review and revise the USMLE sequence is called the Comprehensive Review of USMLE (CRU). Additional information about CRU is available.

    Do You Need More Information?

    Check out the Frequently Asked Questions. If you still can't find answers, contact us.

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