USMLE Exam Guide 2023: Everything You Need to Know



The USMLE United States Medical Licensing Exam is a three-part assessment that both US and foreign medical students must pass to practice medicine in the US. The exam measures your capacity to use your healthcare knowledge and treat patients. It is done to guarantee that you are capable of providing medical treatment that is secure and efficient. The exam includes the whole curriculum of a medical school.

If you are an international student interested in taking the USMLE Exam, your chosen medical institution must be listed in the World Network of Medical Schools. This Medical Licensing Examination Exam is remarkable for two reasons. To begin, each section is taken at a separate stage of your medical study. Second, unlike many specialized tests, the USMLE evaluates your understanding of the topic rather than how well you take the test.  

Some test-taking tactics will help you perform better. Still, you will only pass if you thoroughly understand the sciences and can apply that information in a clinical context. 

To practice medicine in the United States of America (USA), you must pass the USMLE United States Medical Licensing Examination Exam. The Federation of State Medical Boards-FSMB and the National Board of Medical Examiners-NBME are co-sponsoring the USMLE. 

The USMLE is a three-part exam that measures a candidate’s ability to apply data, concepts, and the patient-centered competencies at the heart of safe and effective care. However, each medical licensing organization has its norms and regulations for passing the exam and obtaining a license. As a result, understanding the USMLE exam specifications is crucial.

Continue reading the blog to learn amazing facts about the USMLE certification exam in 2023.

What is USMLE?

The USMLE-United States Medical Licensing Examination is a vital series of standardized tests used in the US to measure medical learners’ and practitioners’ proficiency. The USMLE is divided into three parts, each assessing a distinct component of medical understanding and therapeutic ability. It is overseen by the National Board of Medical Examinations (NBME) and the National Association of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

Step 1 includes evaluating a candidate’s sympathy and application of central concepts in basic medical field science. Clinical Knowing-CK and Clinical Specialties-C) are subsections of Step 2. CK assesses an apprentice’s keen clinical expertise and valid reasoning, while CS evaluates the ability to gather and present quantifiable or medical data professionally.

Step 3 includes assessing a candidate’s profound capacity to apply in-depth medical expertise and their solid grasp of genetic and clinical investigation, both of which are compulsory for the independent practice of medication after the first year of any graduate school.

The USMLE is a requirement for anyone who wishes to practice medicine in the US. It is essential for obtaining a medical license and is frequently required for residency opportunities. The complete scope of the test ensures that medical professionals have a firm basis in both academic expertise and practical abilities, enabling high-quality medical care across the country.

What is USMLE Exam Certification?


The United States Medical Licensing Examination includes a 3-part exam for earning an authorized medical license in the US or United States. 

  • Step 1 assesses the examinee’s comprehension and ability to apply basic scientific ideas to medical practice, emphasizing the concepts and processes underlying health, disease, and treatment procedures.
  • Step 2 divides Clinical Knowing (CK) and Clinical Specialties (CS) into two sections. CK assesses medical knowledge and scientific understanding required for medical treatment. In contrast, CS assesses the ability to gather patient information, execute physical examinations, and convey findings to colleagues and patients.
  • Step 3 tests the examinee’s ability to use scientific knowledge and grasp the biological and clinical sciences necessary for the unsupervised ambulatory execution of medicine.

The USMLE exam guarantees that physicians fulfill the requirements to offer patients secure and efficient treatment. Additionally, graduates from foreign medical institutions must undertake postgraduate studies and operate in the US.

Benefits of Passing the USMLE Exam


Successfully passing the USMLE United States Medical Licensing Examination Exam is a critical step for every aspiring healthcare worker. The benefits are vast and extend beyond simply obtaining a medical license.

To start with, completing the USMLE provides a wealth of opportunities. It’s required for medical students from other nations and foreign-trained doctors who want to practice in the US. Physicians who have successfully completed the USMLE certification exam are qualified to apply for the US resident programs necessary to acquire hands-on information and capability in their field.

USMLE Exam can be an economic game changer. Doctors who pass the exam often have a chance at higher-paying jobs and a more comprehensive range of work opportunities. It can also be a stepping stone into more specialized and lucrative medical fields.

Successfully passing the USMLE exam also delivers you a sense of achievement and authentication. It is the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and a solid grasp of medical science. This exceptional achievement may boost hopefulness and drive for upcoming career progression and medical study.

It is more than just a test; it is the first step toward a fulfilling and prominent medical career in the US. It demonstrates a commitment to exceptional patient care and establishes the framework for future success. If candidates desire to practice medicine in the US after finishing their MBBS, they must pass the USMLE exam. The initial two phases of the USMLE exam are typically taken while students remain in medical school/university, while the third step is done after graduation.

How to Apply for the USMLE Exam?

Medical learners and recent graduates of LCME- or COCA-accredited medical education programs in the US and Canada may apply to the National Board of Medical Examinations (NBME).

To take the USMLE Exam, international doctors must sign up with the Educational Council for Foreign Medicine Graduates (ECFMG).

Then, while learning for your Medicine degree, you’ll have to take the USMLE First Step (Basic Medical) & Step 2 (Clinical Knowledge) tests.

Graduates need to hold full ECFMG accreditation to be accepted into Graduate Entry Medical (GEM) courses in the US, and between one and three years of GEM are necessary for practice. 

The third final examination level, USMLE Step 3, is generally taken after the first level of GEM. During your graduate admission program, you can apply for authorization in the state where you desire to practice medicine in the United States).

All components of the USMLE are administered at a testing center. Medical schools educate students on practicing medicine and achieving an acceptable score to be admitted into one of the residency programs available. Students who score high can select the best residency courses and clinical experiences.

3 Steps of the USMLE United States Medical Licensing Examination Exam

Here, you can find all the information about the three major phases or steps for the USMLE exam and 

how you can prepare for it:

USMLE Step  1 Here  you can find all the information regarding the USMLE Step 1 Exam:

  • What is USMLE Step 1?

The first step is a 9-hour MCQ or multiple-choice exam. It is divided into seven blocks of 60-minute segments. This phase assesses your understanding of basic medical science. It covers various topics, including anatomy, biological chemistry, behavioral sciences, immunity, and pharmaceuticals.

Questions will frequently describe a patient’s medical condition or a situation, and multiple-choice responses typically require you to name the patient’s condition or tell you which investigations you should administer to them.

According to the National Resident Matchmaking Program (NRMP) poll of residency program directors, 87.2% consider the USMLE Step 1 score essential in determining who gets to interview.

Step 1 is a one-day exam administered at the end of the second academic year of medical school. It stresses fundamental science knowledge, such as anatomy, life sciences, behavioral sciences, microbiology, immune science, pathology, pharmaceuticals, and physiology. Dietetics, inheritance, and longevity are also discussed. All questions have multiple-choice answers.

  • USMLE Step 1 Cost

USMLE Exam Step 1 costs $660 for United States and Canada learners.

International medical school graduates must pay $160 while applying for ECFMG accreditation, followed by $1,000 in Step 1 expenses.

  • How to Prepare for the USMLE Step-1 Exam?


Getting Ready for the USMLE Exam of Step 1 is expected to take about six months; thus, rushing is not advised! You ought to carefully examine the content of each exam following USMLE. Additional details about Exam Content are available here.

The USMLE website also has many Step 1 Training Questions and Solutions. Because practice makes perfect, try answering as many inquiries as possible to understand how different topics are tested.

It’s an excellent plan to start analyzing early to discover what works best for you. For example, do you study better in a group situation when you can converse with others? Or do you learn more effectively if you study independently and make your timetable? When you know, you can start making plans, such as meeting with a buddy once a week, registering for a USMLE Exam course, or setting up time to study independently in the library.

  • USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge)

Here you can find all the information regarding the USMLE Step 2 Medical Licensing Examination Exam:

  • What is USMLE Step 2 (Clinical Knowledge)?

The USMLE Step 2 CK will examine your abilities to care for patients using your medical expertise and clinical science. The nine-hour open-ended exam is organized into eight structures, similar to Step 1, and covers general health care and school subjects.

Questions include pharmacotherapy, testing, and rehabilitative therapies. The circulatory system, the muscles and tendons, and biostatistics are among the disease categories being researched.

Step 2 is a two-day exam done in the 4th year of the medical program. It is divided into two parts. The initial test (Clinical Knowledge, or CK) assesses your understanding of clinical disciplines such as surgery, medical school, pediatrics, gynecology, and obstetrics. 

The next test, Step 2 CK, evaluates the understanding and utilization of the basic medical sciences taught during basic clinical rotations. There was a related Step 2 clinical abilities test, but it was phased out in 2021.

Most medical schools and fellowships require candidates to pass Step 2 CK to graduate and start the first term of residency. The Step 2 test is often taken around the end of a student’s third year or at the start of their final year of medical college.

  • USMLE Step 2 Cost

Step 2 exam fees, like Step 1, are $660 for the United States and Canadian medical learners. USMLE Step 2 is $ 1,000 for people who graduated from a medical program outside the United States and Canada.

  • How to Prepare for the USMLE Step-1 Exam?

Working through USMLE’s Step 2 Practice Concerns, just like Step 1, will help you understand how the inquiries are formatted. The more practice exams you take, the more familiar you’ll grow with the framework and train your mind to comprehend each patient-focused scenario quickly.

Because much of the knowledge will be current in your mind, it’s usually best to go through Steps 1 and 2 (Clinical Knowledge) while continuing to study for your medical degree. Start learning immediately if you want to take the USMLE Exam.

  • What is USMLE Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills)

The second (known as Clinical Knowledge, or CS) requires you to assess and diagnose actors disguised as patients. To take the Step 2 CS, students must attend one of five exam centers nationwide.

Before COVID-19, the USMLE United States Medical Licensing Examination Exam Step 2 had a second component. The Federation of State Medical Boards-FSMB and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) requested that this be abolished indefinitely in 2021. More cooperation, communication, and clinical skills situations were added to Steps 1 and 2 to support this.

The Step 2 CS was a twelve-patient Examination designed to assess your clinical abilities by utilizing professional actors taught to behave as actual patients with clinical concerns. This Step 2 CS allows you fifteen minutes for every client you see in person or call.

  • USMLE Step 3

Here you can find all the information regarding the USMLE Step 3 Medical Licensing Examination Exam:

  • What is USMLE Step 3?

USMLE Exam Step 3 assesses physicians with independent responsibility for providing general medical care.

The USMLE Step 3 exam is two days long. The first day, dubbed “Foundations of Individual Practice,” is a 7-hour multiple-choice exam comparable to Steps 1 and 2. It is divided into six sessions of 60 minutes, all with 45-minute pauses in between. It assesses your ability to identify medical problems, interpersonal skills, and comprehension of scientific papers and medical advertisements.

On the second day, you will be assessed on how to care for patients and how illnesses evolve. This is broken down into 198 multiple-choice inquiries and 13 computerized care scenarios that run 10-20 minutes each. This nine-hour test is broken down into six 45-minute sections. This day will test your understanding of diagnosing, administering care, and making medical decisions.

USMLE Exam Step 3 is a two-day exam usually given after the first year of residency. Step 3 is akin to Step 2 in that it concerns patient diagnosis and treatment. It includes both multiple-choice exams and digital representations of medical care.

  • USMLE Step 3 Cost

The USMLE Exam final step 3 exam will cost you $915.

  • How to Prepare for the USMLE Step-3 Exam?

USMLE Exam Step 3, like other multiple-choice tests, provides practice Step 3 problems on their website. Examples include single-item queries (a patient-focused scene with a single question and a set with several choice answers) and numerous-item sets (a compassionate vignette with a few inquiries and multiple-choice responses associated with the vignette that can be replied to in any order).

Moreover, ordered sets (a patient-focused illustration with a few queries and multiple choice responses testing an alternative viewpoint that must be replied to in order). Examine these questions thoroughly and note any that you are unclear about. Then, return and adequately inspect them.

Perquisites for the USMLE Exam

International students must be aware of these specific USMLE requirements: 

  • Upon finishing the application process, applicants will receive an email informing them of scheduling permission availability. 
  • To schedule the USMLE exam, they must go to the authorized Prometric website. 

Applicants ought to keep their examination rescheduling permissions in a safe place. 

Aspirants ought to examine the Test Rules thoroughly, follow all instructions at the examination center, and produce copies of their scheduled licenses and identity papers. They cannot bring any extra siblings or guests to the testing site. 

They should avoid wearing unauthorized attachments. However, soft-foam earphones are permitted. Only your stethoscope and white medical coat are allowed for Step 2 CS. They should not write on laminate note sheets before visiting the CIN (Candidate Identity Number) and starting the session. 

How to Pass the USMLE Exams?

Here are the three steps you can follow to prepare for the USMLE exams:

  • Get In the Habit of Taking Breaks: Steps 1-3 can be performed with 45-50 minute pauses. You can take these whenever possible, but only six at a time. You can also skip an optional tutorial at the start of every exam. You can include the time in your breaks if you do. It’s an excellent choice to review a broken structure once you start taking practice examinations to get used to working under these circumstances.
  • As Much as Possible, Practice: For Steps 1, 2, and 3, practice inquiries (many questions!) are the way to proceed. Step 2 (CS or CK): Practice spelling and writing so that your patient notes are as correct as feasible, and run over patient situations in 15-minute intervals with your buddies. Many platforms feature an essential amount of high-quality practice exams and mock tests to assist you in studying for all elements of the USMLE exam.


  • Examine The Requirements: Check the USMLE’s Exam Day and Test website for details on what you must bring on the test day and whatever you may bring inside the testing facility – and when you must arrive!


Here are the additional expert tips from which you can pass the USMLE exams:

  1. Create a study plan.
  2. Purchase USMLE preparation resources.
  3. You could join study groups.
  4. Participate in a USMLE study quiz.
  5. Get acquainted with their website.
  6. Avoid temptations at all costs throughout this exam period.
  7. Get sufficient sleep and eat various healthy meals to improve your memory.
  8. Study your medical college materials as well.
  9. It is widely held that proper preparation minimizes poor performance, so you must prepare well.
  10. Ensure you’ve already sat for your examinations at least 30 minutes before they start.


For USMLE exam preparation, a detailed study plan is essential. Official USMLE preparatory materials, review books, scenarios, and practice exams are all recommended. Many students feel that participating in study groups, attending review classes, and using online resources are advantageous. Time management, consistent study, and concentration on areas of difficulty are all required to prepare successfully.

The USMLE is a popular medical licensure exam. It is challenging to crack due to its sturdiness and competition. Medical licensing agencies in the US, Israel, the Republic of New Zealand, the UAE, and Doha recognize the USMLE curriculum. These nations accept USMLE scores and waive extra eligibility restrictions for candidates. Comment if you have any related queries about USMLE exams. We will try our best to respond to your queries accordingly!


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