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What do you need to be eligible to take the USMLE step1 Exam?


The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is an important component for international medical graduates seeking to practice medicine in the US. The first step of the exam, USMLE Step 1, assesses a candidate's knowledge of basic science concepts that are essential to the practice of medicine. But before you can even register for the exam, there are certain eligibility requirements that you must meet. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what you need to be eligible for the USMLE Step 1 exam in English language. Read on to find out if you have what it takes to sit for this critical component of your medical career.


What Do You Need to Be Eligible for the USMLE step1 Exam ?

You are eligible to take the USMLE step1 Exam! If you are a US citizen, you must be officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a US or Canadian medical school program leading to an MD degree accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or a US medical school leading to a DO degree accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)

International medical graduates (IMGs) must be enrolled in, or a graduate of, a medical school that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and meet the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) eligibility requirements. 

Those who graduated from non-accredited medical schools in the US or Canada may be eligible to take the USMLE if their medical licensing authority makes a specific request.

Can Osteopathic Physicians take the USMLE?

You will only need to take either the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States of America (COMLEX-USA) or the USMLE if you’re trying to get your osteopathic physician license. Although, since osteopathic medical schools require the COMLEX-USA, you won’t have to take both exams.

While a few allopathic residency programs may prefer not to use COMLEX-USA because its scoring system is different than that of the USMLE, it’s not necessary for DO students to take the USMLE to get accepted into an allopathic residency.

Are IMGs Eligible to Take the USMLE?

Yes, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are eligible to take the USMLE. To be eligible, their school should be listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) eligibility requirements. 

IMGs are expected to complete USMLE Steps 1, 2 CK, and 2 CS to be certified by the ECFMG, which is also required for visa sponsorship and for them to be eligible to take Step 3 of the USMLE.

What If You Graduated from a Non-Accredited Medical School?

If you graduated from a non-accredited medical school in the U.S. or Canada, you can take the USMLE only when the medical licensing authority makes a specific request. The medical licensing authority should submit the sponsorship request to the USMLE Secretariat before you apply for each Step.

ECFMG USMLE transcript

If you are a medical graduate and have taken the USMLE exam, you will most likely need to have an official transcript of your score. To do this, you can contact one of the three registration entities: ECFMG, FSMB or NBME. For those who have taken the USMLE exam as an international medical graduate, contacting ECFMG is the best route. You can find out the official USMLE transcript fees currently at brocali.co where the cost covers up to ten applications. If you need to send the text to more than five recipients, an additional fee will apply to each recipient. Once the fee is paid and the necessary form is submitted, ECFMG will send the transcript to designated programs for a one-time fee. Obtaining an official USMLE transcript may seem daunting, but with ECFMG's help, it can be a straightforward process.

Frequently Asked Questions about the USMLE step1 Exam

what's the USMLE meaning?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a crucial series of exams for medical students who aspire to acquire their license to practice medicine in the USA. The USMLE is administered in three steps and covers various disciplines, including anatomy, biochemistry, and behavioral sciences.

The USMLE is not just like any other test; it is an assessment that thoroughly evaluates a student's understanding of medical concepts and their application, rather than just focusing on knowledge-based questions.

Medical students can take either the USMLE or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMEX) if they are osteopathic medicine students.

The USMLE program supports medical licensing authorities in the United States by providing high-quality assessments of students' medical knowledge and skills.

How long does Step 1 take?

8-hour, The USMLE Step 1 exam takes a total of 8 hours to complete, divided into seven one-hour blocks of 50 questions each. The test is administered in one 8-hour testing session and is computer-based.

It is recommended that test-takers begin studying at least three months before the exam for optimal results, with students across the United States even acing the exam after studying for 60 days.

After taking the test, scores are typically released every Wednesday, three to four weeks after the exam. Overall, the USMLE Step 1 requires significant preparation time and focus, but with dedication and hard work, test-takers can successfully pass this exam.

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