USMLE Step 1 Exam

The United States Medical Licensure exam USMLE Step 1 exam also known as the Boards, is a standard test which check the ability of medical students to apply basic science fundamentals to the practice of medicine.
There are three steps to undergo in this exam, this blog will tell you about the first step.

Students undergo step 1 after their second year of medical school.
This test is carried out by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of state Medical Boards (FSMB).

If you have any question concerning the step 1 your answers are just below keep reading. Often times , people ask question about the USMLE Step 1 Exam, we are here to put you through the basic thing you need to know and understand about this exam.

What is the USMLE Step 1 Exam format?

  • This exam is computer-based and is being taken 8 hours in the day of the exam.
  • It comprises of multiple choice questions and it has seven sections which contains up to 40 questions in each and a total of 280 questions.
  • You have one hour to finish each section which implies that you have only one minute and 30 seconds to answer one question.
  • 45 minutes break is given to the examined.
  • You need to be fast enough to finish up with the rest before the time given, you will add the remaining minutes to your break time.
  • A total of 6 break is given through out the test period.
  • There is also an added 15 minutes mapped it for tutorial (optional), this occurs before the test begins and you can choose not to take part in it and add the 15 minutes to your break time.
  • Get ready for the exam because you are only allowed to bring in a soft foam earplugs. Other things like bags, electronics phonesand jackets is not allowed into the test room.
  • Ensure you get full details from the exam monitor before you go into the test room.

How do I apply for the USMLE Step 1 Exam?

  • Students or graduates of Canada and United States Medical School while applying for this exam must apply using the NBME.
  • Students or graduates from any other medical school apart from Canada and United States are to register using the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
  • Tests are given via appointment through out the year.

How much does the USMLE Step 1 exam cost?

For the year 2023, $660 is being paid by the students and graduate of United States and Canada who partake in the USMLE step 1.

What is covered on the exam?

Based on the USMLE Step1 Content outline, the questions are being divided in 1 of 18 major area.
The questions majorly oversees the basic scientific principles such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Behavioral Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Biostatistics and epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology and physiology.

It also covers interdisciplinary topics such as:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Nutrition
  • Immunology
  • Molecular and cell biology
  • Epidemiology and
  • Medical ethics.

Note that some of the questions that will be asked is there to ascertain you level of understanding of the basic scientific principles. For instance:

  • They can ask you to explain a certain graph
  • To identify normal specimen, microscopic pathology and gross.
  • To use the concepts and the principles important to individual organ systems.

When should I take the test?

People usually write the test in their second and third years in medical school, right after they are done with basic science courses just before going for their clinical clerkship.

The exam favors many people who take it two months after they are done with basic medicine courses due to the fact that everything is still very fresh in their memory, coupled with the fact that they have extra month or two of studying.

What Score Do I Need To Get To Pass?

You must get up to 196 which is the pass mark for the USMLE Step 1.

When do I get my USMLE test results?

Every Wednesday, the test result is brought out. After the exam, a gap of three to four weeks is given before the result starts coming out. Once your results are ready, an email will be sent to you via the body you registered with (NBME or ECFMG).

You will see the result on the boards website as the results are always uploaded there if not, you are advised to reach out to the board yourself.

How is the USMLE Step 1 graded?

For the grading, the USMLE Step 1 is being graded on a pass and fail. No number will be written.

I didn’t pass the first time. Can I retake the exam?

Of course, the USMLE Step 1 exam can be re-taken for four times , so don’t loose hope if you fail the exam once. You won’t be able to apply for the exam again after 4 attempts.
You can start reading and getting ready for the exam from today!

If you have any question please ask it below, we wish you Good luck on your USMLE Step 1 Exam!


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