USMLE 2020 - Sponsored by FSMB and NBME, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for earning a license to practice medicine in the United States. USMLE 2020 steps include - Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3. Step 2 has two separately administered components - Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Skills (CS). Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS of the USMLE can be taken in any sequence, provided the candidate meets the eligibility criteria. However, Step 3 can be taken only after passing Step 1 and Step 2 components. The USMLE 2020 examination for Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 will be conducted in computer-based mode. The Step 2 CS component will be offline-based and conducted at six testing centres in the US. Step 3 will also be administered in the US only. Step 1 and Step 2 CK of USMLE 2020 will be conducted at Prometric centres across the world. Go through the rest of the article to learn the full details of USMLE 2020.
Name of the exam
United States Medical Licensing Examination
Purpose of USMLE exam
Obtaining a license to practice medicine in the US
The exam is co-sponsored by Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)
USMLE is comprised of three steps:
Step 2, which has two components: Clinical Skills (CS) and Clinical Knowledge (CK)
Mode of USMLE exam
Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3 examinations are computer-based tests that are administered at Prometric Centers worldwide.
Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination is administered at six
testing centers across the US and is composed of three components:
Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS),
Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE), and
Spoken English Proficiency (SEP)
Sequence of steps
Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS can be taken in any sequence.
However, Step 3 can be attempted only after passing Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS.
NBME will declare USMLE results for all Steps and Step Components and also issue score cards.
The same examination cannot be attempted more than three times within a 12-month period.
Who is not allowed to take a retake: If a candidate has passed an examination, he/she can’t retake the Step or Step Component.
Number of attempts
An examinee cannot take a Step or Step Component more than six times, including incomplete attempts. All attempts, irrespective of when they are taken, are counted toward the limit.
How to apply
Applications for Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS have to be submitted on-line using Interactive Web Applications (IWA).
FSMB accepts applications for Step 3.
USMLE is composed of Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3. The applicant has to complete each Step before he/she can obtain a license to practice medicine in the US.
Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK)
Each Step and Step Component of USMLE has a specific eligibility criteria. For example, before appearing in Step 3, the candidate needs to have completed Steps 1 and 2. However, Step 1 and Step 2 CS, and Step 2 CK can be attempted in any sequence. To understand the intricacies of USMLE eligibility criteria, refer to the table below.
STEPS 1, 2 CK, AND 2 CS
Officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a medical school outside the US and Canada listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements;
Further, the candidate needs to meet any other ECFMG criteria.
Must meet eligibility requirements at the time of application AND on test day
If the candidate is dismissed or withdraw (n) from medical school, the candidate is not eligible for the USMLE, notwithstanding whether the candidate is appealing the decision or is otherwise contesting the status.
Possess an MD degree (or its equivalent) from a medical school outside the US and Canada listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements.
The candidate must also:
Pass Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS
Possess ECFMG Certification
Must meet eligibility requirements prior to submitting an application AND on test day.
Number of attempts and time limits
The same exam can be taken a maximum of three times in a 12-month period.
Fourth and subsequent attempts must be at least 12 months after the first attempt, and at least six months after the most recent attempt.
If a candidate has passed a step, retake of the step isn’t allowed except for compliance with any requirement approved by USMLE governance committee.
A candidate is ineligible to retake a Step or Step Component if the candidate has already made six or more prior attempts, including incomplete attempts and regardless of when the examinations were taken.
Most state medical boards require that the candidate completes all Steps of the USMLE within a specific time period.
Sequence of examination: If candidates meet the eligibility requirements, they are free to take Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS in any sequence.
However to take Step 3, the candidate has to complete Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS.
The USMLE 2020 is a three-step process; further Step 2 has two components. The candidate will have to fill USMLE 2020 application form separately for each Step and Step Component. While Step 1 and Step 2 components(CS and CK) can be taken in any sequence, Step 3 can be attempted only after completion of Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CK.
To apply for USMLE examination, the USMLE 2020 application form has to be submitted through the appropriate registration entity as shown in the table below.
Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS
For students / graduates of LCME-or AOA-accredited medical programs in the US or Canada:
For students / graduates of medical schools located outside the US and Canada:
All medical school graduates who have passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS:
Apply through NBME on NLES (NBME Licensing Examination Services)
Apply through ECFMG on IWA (Interactive Web Applications)
Apply through FSMB.
The applicant must note that Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3 are not offered around the first 2 weeks of January or on major local holidays. Applicants will be able to check available dates in the scheduling system.
Type of applicant
Organization contact information
STEPS 1, 2 CK, and 2 CS
Students and graduates of medical schools outside the US and Canada
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
Telephone: (215) 386-5900
All medical school graduates who have passed Step 1 and Step 2 (CK and CS)
400 Fuller Wiser Road
Euless, TX 76039-3856
Telephone: (817) 868-4041
Carefully review the Rules of Conduct recommended for the exam
Feel compelled to take the test if you are sick, unprepared for under stress; the test can be rescheduled by contacting the organisation that registered you for the test.
Follow instructions of test centre stuff
Bring family members and friends to the test venue; rather, meet them after completion of the exam
Bring a copy of the scheduling
permit (electronic or paper) and ID proof
Bring unauthorized inside the exam venue; soft-foam earplugs are however allowed
Those appearing for Step 2 CS must need to bring only their white lab coat and stethoscope
Reach the exam venue 30 minute prior to start of the computer-based examination
for Step 2 CS, candidate must arrive at the time mentioned on the confirmation notice
Write on laminated note boards before entering the Candidate Identification Number (CIN) and starting the test session or write on anything other than the laminated note boards
Confirm that the headphone is working properly:
before the examination
during the tutorial
Keep working past the announcement instructing to stop
Use personal items only during authorised breaks; access to locker is not permitted during unauthorized breaks
Access your locker or use your cell phone on
an unauthorized break
Complete all the sections
Documents accepted as ID proof:
Driver’s license with photograph
National Identity Card
Other form of government-issued identification
The valid ID must be presented with:
The candidate’s photo
Name as it appears on the scheduling permit
The candidate’s signature
Step 1 and Step 2 CK examinations will be delivered at Prometric test centers, which are located across the world. The Prometric's test centers are grouped into testing regions like - India, Middle East, Japan, Europe, China, etc. The applicant must choose a testing region where he/she wants to take the exam.
The applicant must note that the availability of test centres at a testing region is subject to change without notice, so it is a good idea to visit the Prometric website or contact Prometric to get the latest information on the availability and location of test centers for Step 1 and Step 2 CK. The Prometric website will also inform candidates about test centres closest to them.
The Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination will be administered at six testing centers in the US: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia (2).
Step 3 is administered only in the US and its territories.
Location of Prometric Testing Centers
Step 1 Surcharge
Step 2 CK Surcharge
United States and Canada
Test centers are located in every U.S. state, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Test centers are located in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.
Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda
(For centers in Egypt, select Middle East testing region.)
Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal, People’s Republic of China (For Hong Kong, select Asia testing region. For centers in other available cities in the PRC, select China testing region.), Philippines, and Singapore
(For centers in India, select India testing region.)
Australia and New Zealand
People’s Republic of China
(For Hong Kong, select Asia testing region. For centers in other available cities in the PRC, select China testing region.)
Armenia, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela
Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates
(For centers in Israel, select Europe testing region.)
Note: The surcharge is in addition to the examination fee.
The Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3 will be computer-based tests that will be held at Prometric Centers, which are grouped into testing regions. USMLE 2020 exam pattern 2020 will tell candidates about the exam format, test duration, and also purpose of each Step and Step Component. By consulting the exam pattern of USMLE 2020, the candidate will be able to orient their preparation to exam requirements.
Step and purpose
Assesses the applicant's
understanding of and ability to apply important concepts of the basic sciences to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy
Approximately 280 multiple-choice questions, divided into seven 60-minute blocks
The exam will be computer-based and administered at Prometric test centers around the world
STEP 2 assesses the examinee’s ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of
patient care under supervision, with an emphasis on health promotion and disease Prevention
Clinical Knowledge (CK)
Around 318 multiple-choice questions, divided into eight 60-minute blocks
Computer-based exam that will be administered at Prometric test centers.
The Clinical Skills examination is
a separate component of STEP 2
that uses standardized patients
to test the examinee’s ability to
gather information from
patients, perform physical
examinations, and communicate
their findings to patients and
Clinical Skills (CS)
12 patient cases: 15 minutes for
each patient encounter plus 10
minutes to record each patient
Administered at six test centers
in the US – Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia (2)
Composed of three subcomponents: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS), Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE), and Spoken English Proficiency (SEP).
STEP 3 assesses the examinee’s
ability to apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine, with
emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings
Day 1: FOUNDATIONS OF
(FIP) assesses the examinee’s
knowledge of basic medical and
scientific principles essential for
effective health care
Day 2: ADVANCED CLINICAL
MEDICINE (ACM) assesses the
examinee’s ability to apply comprehensive knowledge of health and disease in the context of patient management and the evolving manifestation of disease over time
Day 1 FIP:
Approximately 232 multiple-choice test questions, divided into six 60-minute blocks Computer based, administered at Prometric test centers in the US
Day 2 ACM:
Approximately 180 multiple-choice test questions, divided into six 45-minute blocks
Thirteen computer-based case simulations (CCS). Each simulation is allotted a maximum of 10 or 20 minutes of real time
Computer based, administered at Prometric test centers in the US
NBME will determine the results of all Steps and Step Components of USMLE 2020. It will also issue score cards. When Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS score reports are available, ECFMG will send an e-mail notification to international medical students/graduates notifying about it.
FSMB will notify examinees when their Step 3 score reports are available.
USMLE 2020 score reports will be available in electronic format only and can be accessed using ECFMG's OASIS; paper scores will not be sent separately to the candidate by post mail.
The result of USMLE 2020 for Steps 1, 2 CK and Step 3 is declared typically within three to four weeks after the test date. Delays however may happen due to unavoidable circumstances. It is therefore recommended that when selecting test date and inquiring about results, candidates allow at least eight weeks to receive notification that their score report is available.
USMLE 2020 results for Step 2 CS will be available as per Step 2 CS schedule for Reporting Results, which will be uploaded on the USMLE and ECFMG websites.
USMLE results, with the exception of Step 2 CS, would be reported on a 3-digit scale. The candidate would have to score a certain minimum mark in the respective Step or Step Component to be considered pass; refer to the minimum marks given below.
The current minimum passing scores are as follows:
Step 1: 194
Step 2: CK: 209
Step 3: 196
The result of Step 2 CS would be reported simply as pass/fail.
Reporting Start Date
Reporting End Date
January 1 - January 25
March 4, 2020
March 25, 2020
January 26 - March 28
April 29, 2020
May 27, 2020
March 29 - May 23*
June 24, 2020
July 22, 2020
May 24 - July 18
August 19, 2020
September 16, 2020
July 19 - September 12
October 14, 2020
November 11, 2020
September 13 - November 7
December 16, 2020
January 13, 2021
November 8 - December 31
February 3, 2021
February 24, 2021
*No Step 2 CS exams will be delivered March 22 through March 30.
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If you are planning to settle abroad do PG in abroad and make sure that MCI has approved it. The medical council of India has approved PG courses only from these 5 countries- USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.
I can get from your question that you are willing to write the US Medical License Exam (USMLE). Since you are an international applicant you need to score higher than the average marks scored by the US applicants.
All the best.
Thank you for your query. If you want to study in USA you need to first get through IELTS with a score of atleat 7-8 in academic overall. Then you have to pass the medical exam in USA which is required to being qualified to get for a course on Internal medicine.
All the best
Raja, we have been discussing your career and aspirations for a while now and we appreciate that you want to take Career360's opinion on the matter of your career. So by now, you are aware of the fact what it takes to become a neurosurgeon and what it is to clear USMLE, practise as a resident in the US. We also have discussed the life style and the salary part. Now regarding the first half and later half of the career, we only wish we could predict our timeline on this planet. We do not which might be the first half or which might be the later part. But no wish is bad. If you want to achieve something, you should lest you regret for the rest of your lofe. Now to practise in the US, you may have to appear for USMLE, clear the step 1 and then practise as a resident before you can get the license to practise as a full time neurosurgeon. That is a long process that might take good 4-5 years. You study MBBS in India for 50 months and then complete the 1 year rotational internship and it takes you as many as 5 years. And appearing for USMLE and then working as a resident take another 4 years and so 10 years of your life are spent getting a valid license to practise in the US. And then lets say after 5 years you want to move to Singapore, that takes a whole different processing because you need to appear for their license exam. And you work in Singapore for lets say another 5 years and you come back to India. 15 years of your life are spent studying and getting licenses. But the beauty is within 15 years you can actually get license to practise in 3 countries. So you need to take a call. Or how about you finish MBBS in India, move to Singapore to study your MD/MS and plan on moving to the US? That way the transition is going to be smoother.
Well I guess they are because they get very good six figure salary and have a great job security although it's stressing but still they like their job cause they got into it knowing the stress it may carry. Neurosurgery is very much in demand and is a very great speciality in medical field.
I hope my answer helps.
It will all depend upon the lifestyle and the office hours you put in the work. The number of opd days, OT days and the visit to the wards for rounds. It all affect the free time period for a doctor. In USA,you have to pay tax for the services thus it can be little less than what you make in india
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