5 Things you must know while taking the USMLE Step-1 Exam

The USMLE or United States Medical Licensing Examination is used to test the candidate’s ability to apply fundamental scientific and medical knowledge to the practice of medicine. The USMLE exam is conducted by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners. The USMLE course has 3-steps in total, but in this article, we are focusing on the USMLE step-1 exam. This exam is usually taken for the students in the second year of medical school. Below are few things that you must know before taking the USMLE Step-1 Exam.

1. The Format of USMLE Step-1 Exam.

The USMLE Step-1 Exam consists of the multiple choice questions and is the computer-based test conducted for during of 8 hours followed by the personal breaks in between. The test consists of seven sections and a total of 280 questions. The total questions in each section are 40 and time allotted to solve single section is 1 hour. Students can take up to six breaks during the test, and there is an optional tutorial period for 15 minutes at the beginning of the exam. Students are not allowed to take bags, electronic devices and jackets etc in the examination center.

2. How to apply for the Step-1 Exam?

Graduates or students pursuing in the medical school of the United States and Canada can apply for the USMLE step-1 exam with the NBME. Others students from abroad can register themselves with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

3. When to appear for the USMLE step-1 test?

Since it contains the basics of medical science, most of the students appear the test between their second and third year of medical school before the clinical clerkship. Some even take the test after two months of completing the basic courses.

4. What is needed to pass the Exam?

Total score of the 192 is required to pass the Exam.

5. What is covered in the test?

It includes the fundamental scientific principles like anatomy, biochemistry, biostatistics, behavioral science, pathology, pharmacology, environmental, physical, microbiology, and epidemiology. It also contains the interdisciplinary topics like genetics, aging, nutrition, immunology, cell biology, and medical ethics.

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Zara McMorran

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