The USMLE® exams
Passing all four tests of the United States Medical Licensing Exam® (USMLE) sequence is required for any doctor to obtain a license to practice medicine in the United States.
- Students and physicians trained outside the US take the same test, and are scored by the same standard as US medical school students.
- USMLE examination is designed to test problem solving, not simple memorization.
USMLE Step 1 is a multiple choice computerized USMLE examination that tests knowledge of subjects learned in the first two years of US Medical School and most of EU Medical Schools.
- Basic Medical Science Exam
- Assesses mastery of basic medical knowledge using clinical vignettes
- 350 questions / 7 hours + 45 minutes break time
- Average Question Length: 60 to 70 words
- We recommend that this USMLE exam be taken first!
USMLE Step 2 CK is a multiple choice computerized USMLE examination that tests clinical subjects learned during the last years of Medical School.
- CK = Clinical Knowledge
- Basic clinical problems assessing preparedness to practice under supervision.
- 370 questions / 8 hours + 45 minute break time
- Average Question Length: 100 to 110 words
- Primary Care focus with emphasis on Internal Medicine (60% of more of the exam)
- A good background in Basic Sciences essential to do well.
- We recommend that this USMLE exam be taken after Step 1.
USMLE Step 2 CS is a “practical” live exam using standardized patients that is meant to test a doctor’s interpersonal, communication and clinical skills. The Step 2 CS USMLE exam tests how doctors take a patient history, perform a physical exam, and write up the appropriate patient note. It also evaluates “bedside manner”, patient interaction, and spoken English skills.
- CS = Clinical Skills
- One day exam with 12 simulated patients (11 scored, 1 experimental)
- Can only be taken in the US (Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia)
- Exam Basics
- 25 minutes per encounter (15 minutes per patient / 10 minutes for clinical note)
- Step 2 CS Scoring; 3 dimensions
- Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE)
- Communication/Interpersonal skill (CIS)
- Spoken English proficience (SEP)
- Failing one part of CS, means failing ALL !
- Standardized patients do the scoring using a prepared check-list
- Encounters are videotaped, and a subset scored independently to ensure reliability
- Step 2 CS can be taken whenever students want, but we recommend that it be taken after the completion of Step 1 and 2CK.