About USMLE 2018

Aspirants interested to practice medicine in the USA are required to qualify a screening test, the United States Medical Licensing Examination(USMLE). The USMLE 2018 is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners) and Step 3. Aspirants are required to take the USMLE Step, 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Science (CS) when they are in medical school. The USMLE Step 3 is taken after the aspirant graduates from medical school. National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). FSMB and NBME are not-for-profit organization representing the 70 state medical and osteopathic boards of the Country and its territories. The USMLE 2018 is a three-step examination. The three steps are USMLE 2018, Step1, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and USMLE Clinical Science (CS), and USMLE Step 3.

Exam level: University Level Exam
Languages English
Conducting Body: Federation of State Medical Boards
USMLE Step 1 - Duration 8 Hours +3 More

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USMLE Eligibility 2018 for Step 1

According to the USMLE 2018 guideline, candidates residing outside the USA and Canada interested to take the USMLE 2018 exam, are required to be either a student or a graduate of a medical school which is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

Among others, the eligibility criteria should also be according to the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) certification. Eligibility of the candidates who are interested in continuing their residency programme in the USA will be evaluated by the ECFMG. The candidates are required to apply through the Interactive Web Applications (IWA) of ECFMG.

USMLE 2018 Eligibility Criteria: Step 2 (CK and CS)

USMLE 2018 Step 2 (CK and CS) aspirants are required to be either enrolled or should have graduated from a medical school in a country outside the USA and Canada. 

The medical school from which the aspirant is enrolled in or has graduated is required to be listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

The candidate is also required to meet the ECFMG certification eligibility criteria.

The aspirant should also meet the USMLE 2018 eligibility requirements during application.

USMLE 2018 Step 3 Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria of USMLE 2018 Step 3 states that the candidate should have successfully cleared the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS. 

USMLE 2018 Step 3 aspiring candidates are required to possess an MD or DO from LCME- or AOA- Accredited USA or Canadian medical school or an equivalent medical school which is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

The aspirants should have earned their MD or DO equivalent degree from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

Mode of Application : Online

Mode of Payment : Credit Card

The application for all parts of the USMLE 2018 can be completed online via the official registration link for the USMLE examination. The applications for Step 1, Step 2 CS and Step 2 CK are available for international students through ECFMG and students in the US and Canada must apply through NBME. 

USMLE application for Step 3 for all candidates must be made through FSMB. 

For the USMLE application process, candidates are required to fill the requisite details followed test date and centre scheduling. The final step in the USMLE 2018 application process is the application fee payment.

USMLE 2018 Application Fee

USMLE ComponentFee
Application for ECFMG Certification
USD $75
USMLE Step 1
USD $910 (country dependent surcharge: $0-$365)
USMLE Step 2 CS
USD $1,565
USMLE Step 2 CK
USD $910 (country dependent surcharge: $0-$410)
USMLE Step 3
USD $850
Extension of Eligibility Period (for Step 1/Step 2 CK)
USD $70
Testing Region Change (for Step 1/Step 2 CK )
USD $65
Rescheduling Fee (for Step 1/Step 2 CK)
USD $0 – $569 (depending on exam, testing region, and date of cancellation)
Rescheduling Fee (for Step 2 CS)
USD $0 – $1,285 (depending on date of cancellation)
Score Recheck (for Step 1/Step 2 CK/Step 2 CS)
USD $80

 

USMLE E-books and Sample Papers

USMLE 2018 Exam Pattern

USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1 2018 is a 1 day exam lasting a duration of 8 hours. The exam comprises 7 different 60 minute blocks and covers the following topics:

  • Anatomy
  • Aging
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biostatistics and epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular and cellular biology
  • Nutrition
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology


The USMLE Step 1 test content can be classified into the two dimensions of system and process. The broad categorisation of the Step 1 test material can be done on the basis of these two dimensions.

USMLE Step 1 2018 Exam Pattern : System and Process

System Percentage of Test Content
General Principles of Foundational Science15% - 20%

Immune System ; Blood & Lymphoreticular System ; Behavioral Health ; Nervous System & Special Senses ; Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue ; Musculoskeletal System ; Cardiovascular System ; Respiratory System ; Gastrointestinal System ; Renal & Urinary System ; Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Puerperium ; Female Reproductive & Breast ; Male Reproductive ; Endocrine System

60% - 70%
Multisystem Processes & Disorders ; Biostatistics & Epidemiology ; Population Health ; Social Sciences
15% - 20%
Process
Percentage of Test Content
Normal Processes
10% - 15%
Abnormal Processes
55% - 60%
Principles of Therapeutics
15% - 20%
Other10% - 15%



USMLE Step 1 2018 Exam Pattern :  Physician Competency/Task

In addition to test content categorisation on the basis of system and process, the USMLE Step 1 exam can also be categorised by physician competency and task. 

Physician Competency/TaskPercentage of Test Content
Scientific Concepts/Medical Knowledge
55% - 65%
Patient Care: Diagnosis 
  • History/Physical Examination
  • Laboratory/Diagnostic Studies
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis/Outcome
20% - 30%
Patient Care: Management
  • Health Maintenance/Disease Prevention
  • Pharmacotherapy
15% - 20%
Communication Professionalism
2% - 5%
Practice-based Learning and Improvement
4% - 8%

USMLE Step 2 CK

The USMLE Step 2 CK 2018 examination or USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge examination comprises 8 different 60 minute blocks which are administered over a 9 hour examination session. The number of test items varies with each block although it remains under 40 per block. The total number of test items for the examination does not exceed 318. 

The USMLE Step 2 CK test content is classified into 18 areas of organ systems and general principles. 

USMLE Step 2 CK 2018 Exam Pattern - System

SystemPercentage of Test Content
General Principles of Foundational Science1% - 3%
Immune System ; Blood & Lymphoreticular Systems ; Behavioral Health ; Nervous System & Special Senses ; Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue ; Musculoskeletal System ; Cardiovascular System ; Respiratory System ; Gastrointestinal System ; Renal & Urinary Systems ; Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Puerperium ; Female Reproductive System & Breast ; Male Reproductive System ; Endocrine System ; Multisystem Processes & Disorders85% - 95%
Biostatistics & Epidemiology/Population Health
Interpretation of the Medical Literature
1% - 5%


Additionally, the test content for USMLE Step 2 CK can be divided in accordance to Physician competencies and tasks. 

USMLE Step 2 CK 2018 Exam Pattern - Physician Competency and Task

Physician Competency/TaskPercentage of Test Content
Scientific Concepts/Medical Knowledge10% - 15%
Patient Care: Diagnosis
  • History/Physical Examination
  • Laboratory/Diagnostic Studies
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis/Outcome
40% - 50%
Patient Care: Management
  • Health Maintenance/Disease Prevention
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Clinical Interventions
  • Mixed Management
  • Surveillance for Disease Recurrence
30% - 35%
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based Practice/Patient Safety
  • Practice-based Learning
3% - 7%

USMLE Step 2 CS

The USMLE Step 2 CS 2018 exam or the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam comprises of 2 major components on the day of the test:

  • On-site Orientation
  • The Patient Encounter

The Patient Encounter is the component of USMLE Step 2 CS which determines the candidate's Pass/Fail status. It comprises a total of 12 patient encounters, each 15 minutes in duration. Of these 12 patient encounters, a small number are intended for pilot testing and will therefore not count towards the candidate's final score. 

Scoring for the USMLE Step 2 CS examination is done on the basis of the candidate's performance in three separate sub-components:

  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS)
  • Spoken English Proficiency (SEP)
  • Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE)

USMLE Step 3

The USMLE Step 3 2018 examination is the final assessment in the USMLE examination series and leads to a medical practitioner certificate upon successful completion. The exam is conducted over a 2 day duration and is split into two parts:

  • Day 1 - Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP)

The Step 3 Day 1 exam is of a 7 hour duration and comprises 6 different 60 minute blocks. Each of these blocks have around 38 - 40 questions each and the total examination for Day 1 does not exceed 233 questions.

  • Day 2 - Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM)

The Step 3 Day 2 exam is of a 9 hour duration and comprises 6 different blocks of 30 questions in each. Additionally, 13 case simulations are a part of the assessment and the total number of questions is 180. 

The overall test content can be divided on the basis of system and process as well as on the basis of physician competencies and tasks. 

USMLE Step 3 2018 Exam Pattern - System 

SystemPercentage of Test Content
General Principles of Foundational Science
1% - 3%
Immune System ; Blood & Lymphoreticular System ; Behavioral Health ; Nervous System & Special Senses ; Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue ; Musculoskeletal System ; Cardiovascular System ; Respiratory System ; Gastrointestinal System ; Renal & Urinary System ; Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Puerperium ; Female Reproductive System & Breast ; Male Reproductive System ; Endocrine System ; Multisystem Processes & Disorders
80% - 85%
Biostatistics & Epidemiology/Population Health, & Interpretation of the Medical Literature, Social Sciences
14% - 18%


USMLE Step 3 2018 Exam Pattern - Physician Competency and Tasks

Physician Competency/TaskPercentage of Test Content
Day 1 - FIPDay 2 - ACM
Scientific Concepts/Medical Knowledge
18% - 22%
Patient Care: Diagnosis
  • History/Physical Examination
  • Laboratory/Diagnostic Studies
  • Diagnosis
40% - 45%
Patient Care: Diagnosis
  • Prognosis/Outcome

20% - 25%
Patient Care: Management
  • Health Maintenance/Disease Prevention
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Clinical Interventions
  • Mixed Management
  • Surveillance for Disease Recurrence

75% - 80%
Communication and Professionalism
8% - 12%
Systems-based Practice/Patient Safety and Practice-based Learning
22% - 27%

Documents Required at Exam

  • Scheduling permit for USMLE
  • Valid government issued photo ID (preferably passport)

The USMLE 2018 results are generally released every Wednesday and scores are available online for candidates 3-4 weeks after the date of the examination. 

The scores for USMLE 2018 Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 3 are reported on a three digit scale. The minimum passing scores for these examinations are required in order for a candidate to successfully clear the examination. The USMLE Step 2 CS result is only reported with a Pass/Fail status and no accompanying scores. 

USMLE 2018 Minimum Pass Marks

USMLE ComponentMinimum Pass Marks
USMLE Step 1194
USMLE Step 2 CK206
USMLE Step 3196

Qualifying Marks Trend

Year Category Cutoff
2018 General 196

General Information

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