Special Note About Tutorials

Tutorials are optional on the day of the examination. It is very important, however, to use the tutorial to check for headphone volume even if you skip all other parts of the tutorials.

Quick Tip

After installation, if you do not see folder(s) on your desktop, please press F5 to refresh your desktop or click on your start button and select All Programs. Folder(s) with USMLE Practice Materials will be on this list.

Contact Us

If you have problems using the practice materials, feel free to contact us.

Email: usmletech@nbme.org


Practice Materials Instructions

About the Software


Please note: MacIntosh (Mac) and Linux are not supported.

Software Description

The software you install has over 100 practice test items and a software tutorial for each Step examination. Some practice items may include multimedia files, such as video or audio clips. The Step 3 materials also contain sample cases for the Primum Computer-based Case Simulations (CCS) portion of the exam. All Step 3 applicants must review the Primum CCS tutorial and practice with all the practice cases well in advance of the testing day to have a thorough understanding of how Primum CCS works.

System and Software Requirements

  • Windows® XP, Vista® or Windows 7 with administrator privileges
  • Intel® Pentium® or higher processor recommended
  • 1 GHz or higher
  • 512 MB RAM or higher
  • 100 MB available on the hard drive
  • Mouse
  • Windows® Media Player
  • Adobe® Reader®
  • Adobe® Flash® Player, 20.0 or higher (32-bit)
  • Adobe® Flash® Player NPAPI for downloadable Step 3 materials
  • Color display set to 24-Bit or True Color
  • Resolution set to 1024 x 768 (or higher)

Please note: MacIntosh (Mac) and Linux are not supported.

Step 1 and Step 2 CK practice materials may be launched in a web browser.

Step 3 practice materials may be downloaded.

Intalling the Software


Using files from the website

The Download Menu indicates which portions of the practice materials must be downloaded. The remaining links can be viewed or used online. All downloadable files are zipped.

Downloading from the website:

  1. From the main menu, click the link for the practice software or video you want to download.
  2. At the file download prompt, choose 'save'.
  3. Make a note of the name of the file you are downloading.
  4. In the dialog box that appears, you must designate a location on your computer to store this file. Choose "Desktop" or make a note of where this file is being saved.
  5. You can close your Internet browser when finished.

Unzipping downloaded files:

  1. If you use Vista or Windows 7, click here for help unzipping the downloaded file.
  2. If you use Windows XP, click here for help unzipping the downloaded file.
  3. The Video does not need to be installed; it can be watched once it is unzipped. (please see "Watching the Step 2 CS Video" under Using the Software).

Installing practice materials:

  1. If you have any previous version of the USMLE practice materials installed you may be asked to remove them before installing the new practice materials.
  2. During installation, if you see a menu asking if you want "modify, repair or remove" components, this means that the installation program has detected a previous installation. Select Remove to uninstall any component currently on your machine and then run the installation program again to install the component you want to use.
  3. Navigate to the unzipped version of the file (it will end in .exe).
  4. Double click on the file to begin the installation.
  5. Depending on your computer, you may see a warning message.
  6. If you see a security warning "authenticode signature not found," click 'Yes' to continue the installation.
  7. If you see a message that says that "the publisher could not be verified," click 'Run' to continue the installation.
  8. On-screen prompts will guide you through the installation.

When installation is complete you should see entries on your program menu and one or more folders on your desktop for running the tutorials and practice test materials. After installation, if you do not see folder(s) on your desktop please click on your Start button and select All Programs. Folder(s) that start with "USMLE practice materials" will be on this list.

Using the Software


Running the Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 Tutorials, Practice Multiple-Choice Questions ("Test Items"), and Primum® Computer-based Case Simulations (CCS)

For Step 1 and Step 2 CK tutorials and practice multiple-choice questions, use the web-based version, in a Chrome browser.

For the Step 3 tutorial and practice multiple-choice questions and CCS simulations:
Once your resolution is set, open a USMLE folder on your desktop and double click on the practice software that you want to use.You may also access the USMLE folder(s) by clicking on your Start button and selecting All Programs. The MCQ items are found in the NBME Test Delivery Software. The Primum Computer-based Case Simulations are also run from the NBME Test Delivery Software.

Watching the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Video

The video does not need to be installed. Click the Play button to view the video.

Reading the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information Booklet and the Sample Patient Notes

You must use Adobe® Reader®, which can be installed on your computer for free, to view and print the booklet.

Technical Support


If you have problems that you cannot resolve, review frequently asked questions or call (215) 590-9700 between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM (US Eastern Standard Time) Monday through Friday, for technical support.

Please note: MacIntosh (Mac) and Linux are not supported.