All you need to know about USMLE 2021

USMLE

The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), a medical licensure exam. It is mandatory for the candidates to qualify for this exam in order to get a medical license and residency after completing MBBS in Russia, Philippines, Ukraine or any other country. This exam is sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards. 

The USMLE exam is conducted in 3 steps: Step 1, Step 2(Clinical knowledge & Clinical Skills), and Step 3.

Importance of USMLE exam:

  • Students are required to pass USMLE Step 1 to graduate (sometimes they also have to pass USMLE Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS to receive their degree in most of the U.S medical schools).
  • The scores from Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS play a vital part in assessing medical students for residency training positions in the U.S.
  • Passing Step 3 is required to get admitted into the U.S.-based specialty boards, and also required by state medical boards that license doctors to practice in their specialty. 

Eligibility criteria for each step under the USMLE exam: Students are required to meet the criteria mentioned below during the application process and on the USMLE test day as well.

USMLE Step 1USMLE Step 2Clinical KnowledgeUSMLE Step 2Clinical SkillsUSMLE Step 3
Students must be officiallyenrolled in medical schoolapproved by any of thefollowing organizations around the globe: WHO, AOA, LCME, ECFMG Students must be officiallyenrolled in medical schoolapproved by any of thefollowing organizations around the globe: WHO, AOA, LCME, ECFMG  Students must be officiallyenrolled in medical schoolapproved by any of thefollowing organizations around the globe: WHO, AOA, LCME, ECFMG MBBS degree from a medical school approved by the following organizations WHO, AOA, LCME, ECFMG.

USMLE Test Date Schedule:

USMLE Step 1USMLE Step 2Clinical KnowledgeUSMLE Step 2Clinical SkillsUSMLE Step 3
You can schedule USMLETest date via Prometric Website.
Keep a 3-month buffer inthe band for a preferable test date. It can be scheduled Up to 6 months.
Students who fail to appearWithin schedule date, are required to make fresh application.
You can schedule USMLETest date via Prometric Website.
Keep a 3-month buffer inthe band for a preferable test date. It can be scheduled Up to 6 months.
Students who fail to appearfor Step 2, within schedule date, are required to make fresh application.
Includes 12-month Eligibility period.
Students receive USMLEExam permit via email.
Students who fail to appearwithin schedule date, are required to make fresh application.
Keep a 3-month buffer inband for preferable test date.


USMLE Exam Format: The exam format varies from one step to another step.

USMLE StepsFormatDuration
Step 1280 MCQ (divided into 60 minutes blocks)One day (8 hours)
Step 2Clinical Knowledge316 MCQ (divided into 60 minutes blocks)One day (8 hours)
Step 2Clinical Skills
12 patient cases(15+10 minutes each)
One day (8 hours)
Step 3 (Day 1)MCQ divided into (6) 60-minute blockOne day (9 hours)
Step 3 (Day 2)MCQ divided into (6) 45-minute block 
13 Computer-based simulations
One day (9 hours)

Documents required for applying USMLE exam:

  • Passport
  • National Identity Card
  • Driver’s License with photo

Registering for the USMLE exam:

Students who are in the USA and Canada can register for the USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Students who are outside the USA and Canada can register for USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 at Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). Medical graduates who have passed USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS can register for USMLE Step 3 can register at the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

USMLE Results:

Students can get the results within 3-4 weeks from the test date. Advance notification for the USMLE result date will be sent to students. Once the results are announced, students will receive an email notification. You can also check your result on the website of the organization you registered with for 120 days.

Hope you find this article helpful, and all your doubts about the USMLE Exam are cleared. You can also seek help from overseas education consultants to plan your future goal and get admission to top colleges to pursue MBBS in Ukraine, Russia, the Philippines, Bangladesh listed under World Health Organization and National Medical Commission.