The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a four-step process for licensure. Individual state medical boards grant medical licenses, but all require applicants to pass the USMLE test battery. The USMLE has contracted with Prometric Testing Centers to administer the written (computer) exams for Steps 1, 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge), and 3. Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills) is conducted at five NBME testing centers.
The UT College of Medicine requires students to obtain a passing score on the USMLE Step 1 exam to be promoted to the M-3 year, and a passing score on USMLE Step 2CK and Step 2CS to receive a diploma from the College. The Step 3 exam is usually taken near the end of the first year of residency. You must typically answer 60-70% of the items correctly to pass a USMLE exam.
You may take a step exam no more than three times within a twelve-month period. If you pass a step exam, you are not allowed to retake it unless you have exceeded the seven-year time limit for taking all Step exams.
USMLE Examination Fees 2013
US and Canada
|2013 Fees||Effective Dates|
for 2013 Fees
|Step 1||$560*||Three month eligibility periods beginning November 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013 and ending October 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013|
|Step 2 CK||$560*|
|Step 1 and 2CK||$65||Eligibility Period Extension (requests received starting January 1, 2013)|
|Step 2 CS||$1,200||For completed applications received starting January 1, 2013.|
USMLE Examination Fees 2014
The 2014 USMLE fee schedule for students in and graduates of medical schools in the United States and Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation is shown below:
|Examination||2014 Fee||Effective Dates|
|USMLE Step 1*||$580||Three month eligibility periods beginning November 1, 2013 - January 31, 2014 and ending October 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014.|
|USMLE Step 2 - Clinical Knowledge||$580|
|USMLE Step 2 - Clinical Skills||$1,230||For completed applications received starting January 1, 2014.|
|USMLE Step 3||$800||Three month eligibility periods beginning November 1, 2013 - January 31, 2014 and ending October 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014.|
Days Until Site Visit
Office of Medical Education
910 Madison Avenue, Rm 1002
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Robert G. Shreve, Ed.D.
David M. Stern, M.D.
USMLE Examination Fees
2013 Application materials will be available in the second half of September 2012.
* For information about taking Step 1 and Step 2 CK at international centers and regional surcharges call 215-590-9700 or email USMLEreg@nbme.org
Please note: If you submit a check in payment of registration and/or examinee records services that is uncollectible and returned to the NBME, you will be charged a $25 fee. No further services will be provided until payment is received.
The USMLE provides for "reasonable accommodations" for examinees with disabilities who are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please check the USMLE web site for information. The USMLE site also provides regular updates on testing information.
USMLE Step 1 Exam
Step 1 is administered by computer through the Prometric Testing Centers.
The exam covers basic science content in the areas of: anatomy, behavioral science, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and interdisciplinary topics such as nutrition, genetics, and aging. Step 1 consists of 322 multiple-choice questions, is divided into seven 60-minute blocks, and is administered in one eight-hour session. The minimum passing score is 188, and the national mean averages around 220.
The mean for UT College of Medicine students each year is generally at or near the national mean, as is the first time pass rate (approx. 94%), and an overall pass rate of 98.7%. Over the past three years, our students have tended to perform their best in Biochemistry, Genetics and Pharmacology. Areas with lower performance over this time period were Anatomy/Embryology, Respiratory Systems, Cardiovascular Systems, and Epidemiology.
USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) Exam
Step 2CK is administered by computer through the Prometric Testing Centers.
Step 2CK is more integrated, frequently requiring interpretation of tables, lab data, imaging studies, specimens, etc. Much of the content is organized around organ systems.
Step 2CK has approximately 346 multiple-choice questions and is divided into eight 60-minute blocks and administered in one nine-hour test session. The minimum passing score is 196.
The mean for UT College of Medicine students each year is generally at or near the national mean. The first time pass rate for COM students is normally 97% (national rate 96%) with a mean score of 233; and a 99% pass rate overall. Our students tended to perform their best in Diseases of Blood and Blood Forming Organs; Diseases of the Nervous System and Special senses; Disorders of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Puerperium; and Obstetrics & Gynecology. The lowest performance occurred in Immunologic Disorders; Cardiovascular Disorders; and Renal, Urinary and Male Reproductive Systems.
USMLE Step 2CS (Clinical Skills) Examination
Registration is available at http://www.nbme.org/.
The USMLE Board has added a clinical skills exam to the USMLE licensing process.
Cost to students is $1,200, plus whatever travel and lodging expenses are incurred. The NBME has five testing centers - Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.
The exam consists of 12 encounters with standardized patients (SP). The cases are developed around common situations typical of an ambulatory clinic setting. Students will have 15 minutes to interview the SP and 10 minutes to record pertinent history and physical findings, diagnostic impressions, and follow-up if necessary.
The NBME has been working for over 15 years to develop an objective, fair, and reliable exam process, and has field tested the exam with a number of medical schools and the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (USFMG). All foreign medical graduates seeking US licensure have been required to complete a clinical skills exam since 1998. Why a clinical skills exam? There is considerable concern that as many as 25% of medical school graduates report never having been observed by a faculty member while interviewing a patient. Also, while a multiple-choice exam can adequately test medical knowledge, it does not measure well skills such as interviewing and physical exams. One study found that foreign medical graduates that pass the ECFMG Clinical Exam demonstrated better physical exam skills than US graduates. The NBME believes that the entire battery of tests will help identify physicians who may pose risks to patients.
The UT College of Medicine requires that all students pass the Step 1, Step 2CK, and Step 2CS exams prior to graduation. The College introduced a clinical skills assessment in 2000. Currently, all Principles of Clinical Medicine (PCM) students complete a 5-station assessment at the end of years one and two. Standardized patient encounters have been integrated into the weekly clinical skills sessions in the M-2 PCM curriculum.
Subject Exams – Clerkships
The third-year clerkships in Family Medicine, Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry use the NBME web-based Subject Exam as a final written exam for the clerkship. Information about the subject exams can be found on the NBME web site.
Students generally will take the exam on the last day of a rotation and have two and a half hours to complete an exam. The exams provide a measurement of knowledge in the content area and a means for comparing student performance with national scores. The subject exams require students to solve clinical problems and concentrate heavily on application and integration of knowledge rather than recall of isolated facts. A useful description of the content covered in each exam can be found here.
Exams count for approximately 10-35 % of clerkship grades. This page has Study Tips for NBME Subject Exams.