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The United States Medical Licensing Examination ® (USMLE®) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the U.S. The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.

Step Exam Content Duration Min Score to PASS
STEP 1 Basic Medical Science 8 hours / approx 310 questions 192
STEP 2 CK Clinical Knowledge 9 hours / approx 350 questions 209
STEP 2 CS Clinical Skills 1 Day / 12 patient encounters Pass / Fail
STEP 3 Patient Management Skills 2 Days / approx 410 question + 13 case simulations 196

Step 1 One-day examination

Test is divided into seven 60-minute blocks and administered in one 8-hour testing session. The number of questions per block on a given examination form may vary, but will not exceed 40. The total number of items on the overall examination form will not exceed 280.

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Step 2 CK One-day examination

It assesses an examinee’s ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision and includes emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.

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Step 2 CS

This test uses standardized patients to test medical students and graduates on their ability to gather information from patients, perform physical examinations, and communicate their findings to patients and colleagues.

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Step 3 Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP)

This test day focuses on assessment of knowledge of basic medical and scientific principles essential for effective health care. Content areas covered include application of foundational sciences; understanding of biostatistics and epidemiology/population health, and interpretation of the medical literature; and application of social sciences, including communication and interpersonal skills, medical ethics, systems-based practice, and patient safety.

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