All About USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1: Everything You Need to Know

All You Need to Know About USMLE Step 1: Pass Rate, Passing Score, Percentile, Average Score, Study Schedule, Questions, Preparation, Fees, Dates, Registration, Pricing, Schedule, Reschedule, Exam Format, Tips, Resources, Qbanks, Notes, Books, Secrets, Practice Tests, Tutors, Videos, Review Courses, Strategies, Live Classes, Online Sessions, and Best Step 1 Prep Courses.

All About USMLE Step 1

Embarking on a medical career in the United States requires overcoming some critical milestones, and one of the most formidable among them is the United States Medical Licensing Examination, better known as the USMLE. Here, we dig deep into one of its most critical components: the USMLE Step 1. This first step is the cornerstone of your medical career, often influencing your future specialty and residency location. Here, we’ll cover everything from what the test involves, how to prepare for it, the recent scoring changes, and much more. The aim is to give you a panoramic view of this all-important exam.

The Three USMLE Steps

Navigating a medical career in the U.S. involves passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Composed of three distinct steps, the USMLE assesses a candidate’s medical knowledge, clinical skills, and readiness for practice. Each step serves as a milestone and covers different aspects of medicine, from basic science to clinical practice.

Step 1: The Foundation

Step 1 tests your understanding of essential medical science topics like anatomy and pharmacology. A foundational exam often influences your residency and future specialty choices. The exam is significant in competitive residency applications and is now graded as pass/fail.

Step 2: Clinical Skills & Knowledge

USMLE Step 2 consists of Clinical Knowledge (C.K.) and Clinical Skills (C.S.). C.K. tests your grasp of clinical science for patient care, while C.S., a practical exam, has been permanently canceled. Step 2 bridges your theoretical knowledge and practical abilities and plays a role in your residency program selection.

Step 3: Real-world Medical Practice

USMLE Step 3 evaluates your ability to practice medicine independently, focusing on high-level clinical reasoning and decision-making. It includes multiple-choice questions and computer-based case simulations and is essential for medical licensing in the U.S.

The USMLE serves as a structured pathway for medical career development in the United States. Each step becomes progressively more complex and clinically oriented, aligned with your journey through medical school and early residency.

What is USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 is a one-day, 8-hour computer-based exam and a critical first step toward practicing medicine in the U.S. It evaluates your understanding of basic medical sciences like anatomy, physiology, and pathology. The exam comprises seven 60-minute blocks of up to 40 multiple-choice questions covering various subjects such as biochemistry, microbiology, and biostatistics.

Preparation for this test is rigorous, often involving months of focused study. The exam challenges your recall abilities and skills in interpreting research data and applying theoretical knowledge to clinical scenarios. In essence, Step 1 assesses both your foundational medical knowledge and your capability for interdisciplinary thinking, making it a comprehensive and demanding examination.

Who Takes the USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 is a vital exam for anyone aspiring to practice medicine in the United States. This exam is taken by various audiences, including U.S. medical students, International Medical Graduates (IMGs), and osteopathic medical students. Step 1 serves multiple purposes, from a graduation requirement to a critical entry point into the U.S. healthcare system, testing foundational medical knowledge across the board.

U.S. Medical Students

Step 1 usually follows two years of foundational medical education for U.S. medical students. These students dedicate several months to rigorous preparation, often investing up to 12 hours daily in study sessions. The exam is a rite of passage, marking the shift from academic learning to applied clinical skills. Its significance is substantial, affecting choices for competitive residency programs and being considered one of the most crucial tests in a medical student’s career.

International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

For doctors trained abroad, the USMLE is a gateway to the U.S. healthcare system. A strong Step 1 score can bolster their residency applications, especially since they may need more brand recognition of a U.S. medical degree. The USMLE Step 1 is an equalizing platform where they can showcase their medical knowledge in a globally accepted format. The stakes are high; a strong score can provide entry to top-tier residency programs and offset disadvantages as international graduates.

Osteopathic Medical Students

Osteopathic students may also take the USMLE exams in addition to or as an alternative to the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). While COMLEX is accepted for licensure in most U.S. states, some residency programs prefer or require USMLE scores. Taking both exams allows these students to keep all options open, and the USMLE Step 1 score may offer an additional advantage in securing competitive residencies.

Requirement for Advancement

Clearing the Step 1 exam is often mandatory for progressing into the clinical years of medical school for both U.S. and international students. Failure to pass can lead to delays and may even require considering alternative career paths, adding gravity to this already pivotal examination.

When Should I Take the USMLE Step 1?

Deciding when to take the USMLE Step 1 is crucial for your medical career. Conventionally, U.S. medical students take it after their preclinical years, typically at the end of the second year. However, timing can also depend on personal readiness, clinical obligations, and testing center availability. So it’s not just about when your curriculum suggests but also when you’re fully prepared for this challenging exam.

Timing is Key

The timing for taking the USMLE Step 1 exam varies for different students, but there is a general trend. In U.S. medical schools, most students opt to take this high-stakes exam after their second year, following their preclinical education. This timing is not accidental; it is structured around the U.S. medical education system and aims to align with the moment when your foundational medical knowledge is at its peak.

Preclinical Foundations

The decision to schedule Step 1 right after the preclinical years is strategic. This is the period when you have deeply engaged with the basic sciences that are critical to Step 1, including but not limited to anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and microbiology. The exam aims to assess how well you’ve absorbed and can apply this corpus of knowledge, making it logical to take the exam when these subjects are still fresh in your memory. This timing also allows you to go into your clinical years with Step 1 behind you, enabling you to focus entirely on gaining practical experience.

Balancing Clinical Rotations

Some students, however, need more time to take Step 1 immediately after their preclinical studies. Those in extended programs like MD-PhD tracks or those whose schedules were affected by unpredictable circumstances, such as a global pandemic, may juggle clinical rotations alongside Step 1 preparation. While clinical experience can enrich your understanding of medicine, it is also time-intensive. Striking a balance between the demands of clinical processes and the rigorous study schedule needed for Step 1 prep can become challenging.

The Waiting Game

In addition to determining the optimal time for your preparation, you must also consider testing center availability. Test slots are in high demand because Step 1 is required for all aspiring U.S. physicians. Even if you are academically ready to take the exam, you may find yourself waiting for an available time slot. This underlines the importance of early registration. The earlier you register, the better your chances of securing a test date that aligns with your preparation and academic schedule. Some students even recommend registering as much as six months in advance to ensure a spot.

Where Will I Take the Step 1 Exam?

The venue for your USMLE Step 1 exam is a crucial aspect that demands your attention as much as the preparation for the exam itself. Typically, the exam is conducted at authorized Prometric testing centers, ensuring a secure and standardized testing environment for all examinees. While the centers are available across the U.S. and in several international locations, the experience can differ slightly based on your geographical area and legal status. Thus, knowing where you’ll be taking the exam can help you prepare not just mentally but also logistically for the challenges of the test day.

Prometric Test Centers

The USMLE Step 1 is administered at Prometric testing centers across the United States and several other countries. Prometric is a global leader in test administration, ensuring that the facilities meet the stringent requirements for high-stakes exams like the USMLE. Availability of testing slots can be a limiting factor, especially in peak seasons, so early registration is strongly advised.

Test Center Atmosphere

The environment at Prometric centers is highly controlled to prevent cheating and to create a standardized testing experience for all examinees. You will have your identification verified multiple times, and strict timing will be enforced for each exam section. The atmosphere is designed to be quiet, clean, and devoid of distractions, allowing you to concentrate on the test material fully. Cameras and proctors are present to monitor the exam sessions.

Test-Day Logistics

Upon arrival at the testing center, you’ll be subjected to a thorough security check, which may include fingerprinting or palm vein scanning. You’ll then be required to lock up your belongings in a provided locker, and a test administrator will guide you to your assigned computer terminal. Orientation material will be provided on-screen before you start your exam. The entire process is designed to minimize disruptions and logistical issues so that you can focus solely on the exam. Scheduled breaks are allowed, but eating or drinking within the exam room is typically prohibited.

International Examinees

The testing experience often comes with different logistical challenges for international medical graduates. In some cases, obtaining a visa to take the test in a designated country is necessary. While Prometric centers are available worldwide, only some countries have a test center. This may necessitate travel to another country to take the exam. Additionally, international examinees should consider the time and cost associated with travel and lodging when planning for the Step 1 exam. Keeping tabs on any travel restrictions or requirements is also advisable, especially with changing global health advisories.

What’s on the USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 exam is a comprehensive assessment that challenges you on a range of medical subjects, both foundational and patient-centered. It’s structured in a way that requires not just memorization but also the application of basic medical science knowledge in clinical settings. The exam is divided into seven blocks, each lasting 60 minutes, and features many multiple-choice questions. What sets Step 1 apart is its integrated format, which demands that you synthesize and apply knowledge across disciplines to answer questions based on patient scenarios, clinical vignettes, and more.

A Broad Curriculum

The USMLE Step 1 covers a multitude of subjects that you would have encountered during your preclinical medical education. These subjects can broadly be divided into traditional disciplines like anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology and modern patient-centered topics like immunology, nutrition, and aging. The exam is not just a test of recall but a measure of your understanding of these subjects as they apply to medical practice. You may find questions that pull from two or more disciplines, making it crucial to have an interdisciplinary grasp of medical sciences. This expansive curriculum ensures that aspiring doctors are well-rounded in their knowledge, which is essential for problem-solving in real-world medical settings.

The Blocks

As mentioned, the test is divided into seven blocks, with 60 minutes allocated. While the questions primarily come in a multiple-choice format, you’ll often find them accompanied by vignettes requiring you to apply basic science concepts to clinical scenarios. Each block is carefully constructed to assess different facets of your medical understanding. The vignettes are particularly important, as they simulate the decision-making you must exercise when dealing with actual patients. Don’t be surprised if a single vignette leads you through questions that touch on pharmacology, pathology, and ethics in a coherent clinical narrative.

The Integrated Format

One of the challenges of the USMLE Step 1 is the integrated format of questions. You could be asked to identify a biochemical process that leads to a specific pathological condition or be provided a patient history to diagnose and recommend appropriate next steps. The aim is to push you to synthesize information across subjects, forcing you to think on your feet. This format also mimics the conditions you’ll encounter as a practicing physician, where a patient could present with symptoms that don’t neatly fall into one medical discipline. Therefore, a strong performance in this integrated format proves your knowledge and demonstrates your ability to apply it in complex, multidimensional medical situations.

USMLE Step 1 Classification

The USMLE Step 1 assesses your understanding of foundational sciences like anatomy and physiology and your clinical ability to apply this knowledge. Its dual-layered system tests your academic depth and practical skills. The classification framework includes subject-based questions and those that evaluate physician tasks and competencies, aiming to prepare you for real-world medical practice.

Scoring: The Change to Pass/Fail

Effective January 26, 2022, USMLE Step 1 switched to a pass/fail scoring system. This change aims to reduce stress and encourage a more holistic evaluation of the residency selection process. Although the passing standard remains at 196, examinees now receive only a “pass” or “fail,” emphasizing the need for well-rounded applications.

Subject-Wise Classification

The Step 1 exam groups questions into foundational science disciplines like biochemistry and physiology. Physician tasks and competencies, such as medical knowledge and patient care, are also categorized. This dual classification aims to ensure the exam is comprehensive, assessing your scientific knowledge and real-world application.

Why is Step 1 So Important?

USMLE Step 1 has been described as the “make-or-break” exam for many medical students. Why? A high score could open the door to competitive specialties like dermatology or plastic surgery, whereas a low score could limit one’s options. It’s worth noting that residency program directors have traditionally used Step 1 scores as an essential criterion for resident selection.

In recent times, however, Step 1 has transitioned to a pass/fail scoring system, which adds another layer of complexity to its importance. This shift has led many medical communities to question how residency programs will adapt their selection criteria. Regardless, the exam is a foundational evaluation of a candidate’s grasp of the basic sciences and ability to apply it in a clinical context. Failing Step 1 not only puts a dent in your academic record but can also significantly disrupt your medical training timeline, requiring you to spend additional time and resources to retake the exam.

Moreover, for International Medical Graduates (IMGs), Step 1 is a critical benchmark to level the playing field. A strong performance on Step 1 can substantially strengthen an IMG’s residency application and provide an opportunity to demonstrate competence in medical sciences, compensating for any potential lack of familiarity or recognition associated with foreign medical institutions. In this way, Step 1 is a universal standard that helps to ensure a baseline level of competency and knowledge fo

The Shift to Pass-Fail Scoring

The USMLE made a paradigm shift on January 26, 2022, by transitioning Step 1 scoring to a pass-fail system. Let’s dive into the reasons and the impact of this significant change.

Students found that taking the exam pass-fail didn’t necessarily reduce stress. Still, it allowed them to focus better on other aspects of medical training without feeling overwhelmed by exam prep. This shift to a pass-fail grading system has also ignited conversations about how medical students allocate their time. While the pressure of achieving a high score may have decreased, the passing stakes are still extremely high. With this pass-fail system, students now spend more balanced time between Step 1 preparation and other essential training activities like research or clinical rotations, thereby fostering a more holistic approach to medical education.

Impact on Residency Selection

One of the key goals in transitioning to pass-fail was to create a more holistic residency application process. Traditionally, Step 1 scores had become an outsized factor in residency selection, leading to anxiety and overemphasizing test preparation. The true impact of the scoring switch on residency selection remains to be seen, as students typically take the exam up to three years before applying to residencies. However, it’s fair to say that there will likely be a more balanced evaluation of candidates in the coming years.

Impact on Student Well-Being

Part of the decision to switch to pass-fail grading was to relieve the emotional and mental strain it placed on medical students. Early evidence suggests that the change “appears to have decreased the stress specifically related to this examination experienced by second-year medical students.” Still, this stress reduction wasn’t sustained as they moved into their study period for Step 1.

How to Succeed on the USMLE Step 1

Success in USMLE Step 1 hinges not just on study volume but also on adequate preparation. The exam evaluates your knowledge and its practical application. A balanced preparation approach—incorporating planning, time management, and well-being—is vital.

Crafting a Study Plan

A solid study plan is your preparation roadmap. Divide topics week-by-week to make the extensive curriculum manageable. Primary texts like ‘Gold USMLE Review High Yield Notes’ and ‘First Aid for the USMLE Step 1’ are foundational but supplement them with resources like Pathoma or SketchyMedical. Digital flashcards like Anki decks for Step 1 also help. A well-crafted plan includes reading, videos, question practice, and self-assessment.

Time Management

Effective time management is vital. Aim for 6-10 hours of daily study in focused 50-minute sessions, using short breaks for rest. Adapt your plan according to progress, allotting more time to challenging topics. If you need to catch up, readjust your schedule and keep going.

Practice Exams and Question Banks

Practice exams and question banks like UWorld’s QBank offer essential application practice. They help you understand and apply what you’ve learned. Take full-length practice tests regularly to build stamina and familiarize yourself with test conditions. Use these scores as indicators to refocus your study time.

Balancing Well-being with Preparation

Maintaining well-being is crucial. Exercise can improve cognitive function and mental health. Even short walks or stretches during study breaks can help. Techniques like meditation or deep-breathing exercises can manage stress. Adequate sleep enhances cognitive functions like memory.

Remember, the USMLE Step 1 is a formidable but conquerable challenge. A strategic, balanced, and consistent approach to preparation will pave your way to success.

Step 1 Study Material and Resources

Preparing for the USMLE Step 1 requires suitable study materials and resources. While the market is awash with options, some resources are particularly recommended by successful test-takers.

Books to Invest In

The go-to book for Step 1 prep is “First Aid for the USMLE Step 1,” known for its bullet-point format and comprehensive review. This is often supplemented with “Pathoma,” essential for understanding pathology. “Gold USMLE Review QBank” and “UWorld Step 1 QBank” are highly recommended for practice questions. They mimic the exam’s format and offer detailed explanations, which is invaluable for active learning.

Online Resources

In the digital age, plenty of online resources complement your book learning. Websites like SketchyMedical have revolutionized how medical students memorize and recall complex topics, employing innovative techniques like sketches and storytelling. Platforms like Pathoma and Boards and Beyond offer video lectures that break complicated subjects into digestible chunks. Gold USMLE Review, Kaplan, and Lecturio provide comprehensive courses that cover the entire Step 1 syllabus and also offer practice questions.

Peer and Faculty Support

Remember to consider the value of study groups and faculty advice. Group study provides diverse perspectives and mutual support, enhancing your preparation. Consulting faculty can offer targeted advice, additional resources, and study schedule tips.
Remember, the key to Step 1 success is a balanced study approach, combining books, online platforms, and collaborative learning for a well-rounded mastery of the material.

Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses

Making an informed decision can be daunting in the crowded marketplace of USMLE Step 1 prep courses. We recommend the Gold USMLE Step 1 prep course which is among one of the best USMLE prep courses.

Here’s a closer look at what you should consider when choosing the best prep course.

Choose Wisely

The options for prep courses are nearly endless, with each promising an impressive outcome. Gold USMLE Review, Kaplan, and Becker are the go-to choices for many, thanks to their years of experience and vast resources. However, UWorld and Sketchy Medical have also received high marks for their focused and interactive approaches to Step 1 prep. Do your homework and read reviews or ask for recommendations to make a well-informed choice.

What to Look For

When comparing courses, look for a multi-faceted approach that suits your learning style. This could include live lectures, on-demand video content, Q&A sessions, practice exams, and adaptive learning technology. Adaptive learning, in particular, personalizes your study plan and dynamically adjusts question difficulty based on your performance, helping you focus on weak areas. Also, check if the course offers NBME practice exams or Gold USMLE Review / UWorld question banks, as these are closely aligned with the actual Step 1 exam.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

High-quality prep courses often come with a high price tag. While it’s tempting to opt for the most expensive course, thinking it offers the best quality, weighing the benefits against the costs is crucial. Look at the course structure, the volume of material, the flexibility, and any guarantees they may offer. You can also balance out costs by supplementing your study with free or low-cost resources. Online platforms like Anki Decks, Khan Academy, or academic journals can offer valuable insights without breaking the bank.

How to Register for USMLE Step 1

Registering for the USMLE Step 1 is a multi-step process that requires careful attention to detail. The registration process usually opens about six months to a year before the exam dates, allowing ample time for preparation and scheduling.

Understanding Eligibility Criteria

Before you proceed with registration, it’s crucial to ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria. This often means enrolling in or graduating from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

Getting Your Identification Number

First-time test takers will need to obtain a USMLE identification number. You can get this from the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) or the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), depending on your status as a U.S. or international medical graduate.

Filling Out the Application

The application itself is comprehensive. You’ll need to provide educational history identification and pay the registration fees, which, as of 2022, are around $645 for the exam. Take your time filling out the application; double-check for any errors.

Selecting a Time Slot and Testing Center

After your application is accepted, you can schedule your exam. The USMLE Step 1 is administered at Prometric centers. Availability can vary significantly, especially during peak testing times like June and July, so it’s advisable to schedule as soon as possible.

Document Verification

Document verification might be required for international students and in some specific cases. Ensure all submitted documents, like your diploma and identification, are accurate and up-to-date to avoid delays.

Confirmation and Pre-Exam Procedures

Once you’ve scheduled your exam, you’ll receive a confirmation email outlining the specific details, including the time and location of your exam. Make sure to read any pre-exam requirements, which could include recommendations for study materials or restrictions on what you can bring into the testing center.

Rescheduling and Cancellation Policies

Life happens. Read and understand the policies thoroughly if you need to reschedule or cancel. Rescheduling too close to your exam date could incur hefty fees, and there’s a strict no-refund policy once you’re within the 30-day window of your test date.

Payment and Financial Aid

The exam fees must be paid during the initial registration and are non-refundable. However, some medical schools and organizations offer financial aid or scholarships for the USMLE fees. Research thoroughly to see if you’re eligible for any financial assistance.

Navigating through the registration process for the USMLE Step 1 can be just as overwhelming as the exam preparation itself. However, understanding each step, adhering to timelines, and being organized can make the journey easier. Remember to keep copies of all your documents and confirmation receipts, as you never know when you need them for reference or verification.

USMLE Step 1 Fees

Preparing for the USMLE Step 1 is not just an intellectual commitment but also a financial one. Your costs will vary based on various factors, including your academic background and geographical location. Knowing what expenses to anticipate will enable you to focus on your studies without unexpected financial distractions. Here’s a breakdown of the fees you can expect:

Domestic Students (USA/Canada)

2022 Fee Structure

  • USMLE Step 1 Exam Fee: $645
  • Eligibility Period Extension: $70

2023 Fee Structure

  • USMLE Step 1 Exam Fee: $660
  • Eligibility Period Extension: $70

International Students

If you’re an international student not enrolled in a medical institute recognized by the LCME or AOA in the USA or Canada, the fee structure changes substantially.

  • USMLE Step 1 Exam Fee: $985
  • Eligibility Period Extension: $100
  • Region Change: $90/region
  • Score Rechecking: $80

Unpredictable Costs and Expenses

Life can throw curveballs, and you might need to adjust your testing schedule. Rescheduling fees fluctuate depending on the time notice:

  • 31 or more days before the exam: No fee
  • 6 – 30 days before the exam: Variable (typically around $50)
  • 1 – 5 days before the exam: Substantial (often upwards of $250)
  • Within 24 hours of the exam: Rescheduling is generally not permitted

Additional Costs

While the fees mentioned above cover the exam and associated administrative expenses, they don’t account for the costs of study materials, practice tests, or prep courses, ranging from $1,000 to over $4,000.

Payment Methods

For your convenience, various payment options, such as credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) and electronic fund transfers (EFT), are available.

Refund Policy

Be advised that exam fees are typically non-refundable except under exceptional circumstances, as outlined by the test administrators.

Financial Assistance

Some medical schools and professional bodies offer financial aid or scholarships for the USMLE Step 1. It’s worthwhile to investigate these avenues to mitigate your expenses.

Navigating the financial aspect of the USMLE Step 1 requires planning and awareness. While the exam fee may seem straightforward, ancillary costs can accumulate rapidly. Factor in possible rescheduling fees, study material costs, and potential eligibility period extensions when budgeting for this pivotal stage in your medical career.

USMLE Step 1 FAQs

How long is Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 exam spans about 8 hours, which includes time for brief breaks. The test is broken down into seven blocks, each lasting 60 minutes and typically containing 40 questions. Additionally, there’s a 45-minute cumulative break time and a 5-minute tutorial to acclimate to the test interface.

How to study for Step 1?

Preparing for Step 1 is a multifaceted approach that involves a mix of study materials and methods. Resources like First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, UWorld question banks, and NBME practice exams are popular choices. Creating a tailored study schedule that aligns with your learning style is also crucial for success.

How many questions on Step 1?

The Step 1 exam features up to 280 multiple-choice questions. These are divided into seven blocks, each usually containing around 40 questions. It’s essential to pace yourself, as you’ll have approximately 60 minutes to complete each block.

What happens if you fail Step 1?

Failing Step 1 is a setback, but it’s not the end of your medical career. You will need to retake the exam, which may postpone your entry into clinical rotations, delay your graduation, and make you less competitive for residency programs.

When do you take USMLE Step 1?

Step 1 is usually taken after you’ve completed the pre-clinical coursework in medical school, generally at the end of your second year. Timing can vary, so consult with your academic advisor to determine the best plan for you.

What is a passing Step 1 score?

As of January 26, 2022, Step 1 has shifted to a pass/fail scoring system, removing the numerical score previously associated with the exam. Now, you either pass or fail the exam, with no numerical grades assigned.

What is USMLE Step 1?

Step 1 is the initial part of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). It assesses your understanding and ability to apply essential medical knowledge, concepts, and foundational principles for effective patient care.

What is the purpose of Step 1?

The goal of Step 1 is to assess whether you can understand and apply medical science essentials for providing quality patient care. The exam serves as a foundational step towards further licensure tests and your future clinical practice.

What is a good Step 1 score?

Since the transition to the pass/fail system in January 2022, the concept of a “good” or “bad” Step 1 score has been eliminated. The key metric now is whether you pass or fail the exam.

When do medical students take Step 1?

Although timing can vary, most medical students typically opt to sit for Step 1 after completing their second year of medical school once the basic sciences have been covered in the curriculum.

When do Step 1 scores come out?

Your Step 1 scores are generally released on Wednesdays and usually take 3 to 4 weeks from your exam date to become available. This allows for sufficient time for the validation and tabulation of your score.

How long to get Step 1 score?

Expect to wait 3 to 4 weeks for your Step 1 score after your exam date. This period is necessary for accurate scoring and validation procedures.

When to start studying for Step 1?

Experts recommend starting Step 1 preparations at least six months in advance, although some students begin up to a year ahead. The key is to establish a solid foundational knowledge early on.

How long to study for Step 1?

Study periods can vary from student to student. Generally, expect to spend between 6 and 12 months preparing for Step 1. Many students dedicate about 10-12 hours daily, especially during the intensive study period leading up to the exam.

How many times can you take Step 1?

You’re allowed to retake Step 1 up to six times. However, multiple attempts can raise red flags when applying for residencies, so it’s best to aim for a pass on your initial attempt.

How is Step 1 scored?

As of January 26, 2022, Step 1 has transitioned to a pass/fail scoring system. This means that you’ll either receive a “Pass” or “Fail” outcome on the exam without a numeric score. The focus now shifts towards meeting the established competency standard.

How to check Step 1 score?

For U.S. medical students, Step 1 scores are usually accessible through the NBME website. International medical students can typically check their scores via the ECFMG website. Be sure to review the specific instructions provided during your registration.

Which NBME to take for Step 1 2023?

Informal student feedback suggests that NBME 28 and UWSA 2 are the most predictive for Step 1 performance. Taking these practice exams closer to your test date can offer valuable insights into your readiness.

How hard is Step 1?

USMLE Step 1 is considered one of the most challenging exams in the medical education pathway. It requires a solid understanding of basic medical sciences and the ability to apply this knowledge in a clinical context.

How long for Step 1 results?

After taking the Step 1 exam, you can expect to receive your scores within 3 to 4 weeks. These results are generally released on Wednesdays, allowing ample time for thorough validation and processing.

When is Step 1 taken?

Typically, students take Step 1 after completing the pre-clinical phase of their medical education. This often falls at the end of their second year in medical school.

How many people fail Step 1?

The frequency of Step 1 failures saw a noticeable uptick in 2022, with about 9,700 unsuccessful attempts compared to roughly 5,700 the previous year. In terms of pass rates, M.D. students experienced a dip from 95% in 2021 to 91% in 2022. The passing rate declined from 88% in 2021 to 82% in 2022. These statistics highlight year-over-year volatility in Step 1 performance.

What percent correct to pass Step 1?

With the shift to a pass/fail scoring system, there is no specific percentage requirement to pass Step 1. Instead, your performance is evaluated based on whether you meet or exceed the established competency standard.

What is Step 1 medical school?

Step 1 is an integral examination within the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) series. It assesses your grasp of fundamental medical knowledge and your ability to apply it to clinical scenarios.

How many blocks is Step 1?

The Step 1 exam consists of seven blocks, each lasting 60 minutes. Each block features approximately 40 multiple-choice questions, adding up to a potential total of 280 questions for the entire exam.

What is the passing score for Step 1?

With the switch to a pass/fail system, there is no specific passing score for Step 1 as of January 26, 2022. The outcome is binary, indicating whether you have passed or failed the exam.

When did Step 1 become pass/fail?

Step 1 transitioned to the pass/fail grading system on January 26, 2022. This change aims to shift the focus away from numeric scores and toward assessing your competency for clinical practice.

How to prepare for USMLE Step 1?

Preparing for Step 1 requires a comprehensive approach. Utilize resources like First Aid, Gold USMLE Review High-Yield Notes, UWorld question banks, and NBME practice exams. Construct a study schedule that aligns with your learning style and allows ample practice and review time.

How much time per question on Step 1?

With approximately 40 questions per block and 60 minutes per block, you’ll have around 1.5 minutes to answer each question on average. This emphasizes the need for time management during the exam.

How hard is it to pass Step 1?

Passing Step 1 requires dedicated preparation and a firm grasp of foundational medical knowledge. While it’s challenging, most students who adequately prepare pass the exam.

How to extend the eligibility period for USMLE Step 1?

If you need more time to take the Step 1 exam, you can extend your eligibility period for a fee. U.S. students pay $70, while international students pay $100. You can request an extension through the registration entity you used (NBME or ECFMG).

How much does Step 1 cost?

As of 2023, the cost of Step 1 is $660 for U.S. and Canadian medical students. For international students, the fee is $985. Additionally, international students must pay an extra $160 for ECFMG certification.

What happens if you don't pass Step 1?

You must complete Step 1 to retake the exam. Failing could delay your progress in medical school, impact your timeline for clinical rotations, and affect your competitiveness for residency programs.

How many times can you reschedule Step 1?

The ability to reschedule Step 1 depends on the policies of the Prometric test center you’re registered with. Remember that excessive rescheduling may result in additional fees and scheduling challenges.

How to apply for USMLE Step 1?

To apply for USMLE Step 1, register via the appropriate registration entity, such as the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) or the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

How to study First Aid USMLE Step 1?

To study First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, actively read the material, take notes, create flashcards, and integrate it with other resources like question banks and lectures.

How to study biochemistry for USMLE Step 1?

To study biochemistry for USMLE Step 1, concentrate on high-yield topics, use review books, practice with question banks, and engage in active learning through self-assessment and group discussions.

When is USMLE Step 1 pass/fail?

The USMLE Step 1 is now Pass-Fail. For USMLE Step 1, a passing result is achieved if a candidate meets or exceeds the minimum required performance. USMLE Step 1 was turned into pass/fail scoring system in January 2022.

How to prepare for USMLE Step 1 in 6 months?

To prepare for USMLE Step 1 in 6 months, develop a detailed study plan, utilize high-quality resources, practice with question banks, and consistently review challenging topics.

How to register for USMLE Step 1?

Register for USMLE Step 1 through the appropriate registration entity, such as the NBME or ECFMG.

How to pass USMLE Step 1?

To pass USMLE Step 1, create a study schedule, use review books and question banks, attend review courses, and participate in active learning through self-assessment and group discussions.

When is USMLE Step 1 taken?

USMLE Step 1 is usually taken after completing the second year of medical school.

How to study for USMLE Step 1 in 3 months?

To study for USMLE Step 1 in 3 months, develop an intensive study plan, use high-quality resources, practice with question banks, and consistently review challenging topics.

What percentage of questions are right to pass USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 is now Pass-Fail. For USMLE Step 1, a passing result is achieved if a candidate meets or exceeds the minimum required performance. USMLE Step 1 was turned into a pass/fail scoring system in January 2022.

How many blocks is USMLE Step 1?

USMLE Step 1 consists of seven 60-minute blocks.

How many sections are in USMLE Step 1?

USMLE Step 1 is divided into seven sections or blocks.

What is on the USMLE Step 1?

USMLE Step 1 covers basic scientific knowledge and understanding of medical practice, including anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.

What percentage is correct to pass USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 is now Pass-Fail. For USMLE Step 1, a passing result is achieved if a candidate meets or exceeds the minimum required performance. USMLE Step 1 was turned into pass/fail scoring system in January 2022.

USMLE Step 1: How many questions can you miss?

The USMLE Step 1 needs to disclose the specific number of questions you can miss and still pass. The USMLE Step 1 is now Pass-Fail. For USMLE Step 1, a passing result is achieved if a candidate meets or exceeds the minimum required performance.

USMLE Step 1: How many questions can you miss?

The USMLE Step 1 needs to disclose the specific number of questions you can miss and still pass. The USMLE Step 1 is now Pass-Fail. For USMLE Step 1, a passing result is achieved if a candidate meets or exceeds the minimum required performance.

How to score HIGH PERFORMANCE on USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 is now Pass-Fail. For USMLE Step 1, a passing result is achieved if a candidate meets or exceeds the minimum required performance. USMLE Step 1 was turned into a pass/fail scoring system in January 2022. To pass USMLE Step 1, follow these strategies:

  • Create a comprehensive study plan covering all relevant subjects and allocating time for focused review.
  • Utilize high-quality resources, such as First Aid, UWorld, and Pathoma, to reinforce your knowledge.
  • Engage in active learning techniques, like flashcards, mnemonics, and summarizing concepts in your own words.
  • Practice with timed question blocks and full-length exams to improve test-taking skills and build stamina.
  • Periodically assess your progress and adjust your study plan as needed.
  • Maintain a healthy balance between studying, exercise, sleep, and relaxation to optimize retention and performance.

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