Looking to achieve a high score on USMLE® Step 1? Here’s what you need to know…

What is USMLE Step 1?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1 assesses a medical student’s ability to apply basic science fundamentals to the practice of medicine. USMLE Step 1 is a computer-based exam taken after your second year of medical school and is administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). The test is taken over the course of one 8-hour session, which is divided into seven 60-minute sections, and has approximately 280 multiple choice questions.

What topics are covered?

USMLE Step 1 covers these general disciplines: anatomy, behavioral sciences, biochemistry, biostatistics and epidemiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology as well as these interdisciplinary areas: genetics, aging, immunology, nutrition and molecular and cell biology.

Who takes USMLE Step 1?

Medical students who are officially enrolled in, or a graduate of:

  • A US or Canadian medical school leading to the MD degree (LCME accredited)
  • A US medical school leading to the DO degree (AOA accredited)
  • A medical school outside the US and Canada listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements; and meet other ECFMG criteria

Where can I take USMLE Step 1?

USMLE Step 1 is administered at various Prometric test centers worldwide.

What is a good Step 1 score?

USMLE Step 1 has a minimum passing score of 194 and is based on a maximum score of 300. Although, passing is good, aiming for a score of 240 or higher will be best to open more doors to residency positions. Scores are generally released in about three to four weeks after the exam is taken. Testing done during early May through early July may result in delayed scores due to necessary annual modifications to the test item pools. For more information about your score, visit: USMLE Score Interpretation Guidelines.

How can I prepare for USMLE Step 1?

While preparing to achieve a high score on USMLE Step 1, you will want to use the best preparation tools with a combination of the following features:

  • A comprehensive learning platform
  • An Adaptive Learning Qbank
  • Supports your preparation with statistics
  • Detailed explanations of correct and incorrect answers
  • Offers self-assessments
  • Charts and illustrations to help conceptualize complex processes

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