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USMLE Exam Details - Eligibility, Age, Syllabus, and Everything in 2024

"Around the world," there are many medical licensing exams, but none is as famous and widely recognized as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Clearing this exam is the dream of many aspiring medical students as it provides them the opportunity to settle in the USA. Passing the USMLE exam allows students to start medical practice in the USA. However, before appearing for the USMLE exam, it is important to obtain the USMLE exam details.

The USMLE is a three-steps exam that assesses medical students' and graduates' knowledge and skills in the basic and clinical sciences. It is required for all medical graduates who want to practice medicine in the United States, regardless of where they attended medical school. The USMLE exam is typically a 2-3 year process, but it can vary depending on the individual student's preparation and performance.


Why USMLE Exam?

The USMLE exam is a gateway to get a permanent residency in the USA, as it is not possible to start practicing medicine without being permitted the residency. So we have aligned each and every step of USMLE exam details for Indian students to have a clear idea about it.

There are total three steps in this exam:

  1. Step 1 - To assess the basic understanding of medicine.
  2. Step 2 - Test clinical knowledge.
  3. Step 3 - To earn a license of practice.

USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 are mandatory exams that must be passed before residency. Step 3 can be taken later.

It assesses candidates' ability to apply the knowledge, concepts, and patient-centered skills that are essential for safe and effective medical practice. It is also famous for its difficulty, with pass rates that range from 60% to 90%, depending on the step. However, it has been said that nothing is impossible to achieve, if you have a firm determination.


Every Detail of USMLE exam, Eligibility, Criteria

Gathering all the details - for an exam before appearing for it, increases the chances of success in the respective exam. So, here is the "USMLE Exam Details, USMLE exam eligibility criteria, syllabus, and requirements."


USMLE Exam Details Step By Step:

It is a broad range of topics, including the basic and clinical sciences and It is a multiple-choice exam, but the questions are often complex and require critical thinking skills.

The entire USMLE exam preparation starts with the "ECFMG registration."

Before appearing for the USMLE exam, one needs to register for the (Education Council For Foreign Medical Graduates). Then, you can go and take the "Step 1" exam.

The "Step 1" exam tells you whether you pass or fail. This was earlier released as the score but now it only tells the result.

To pass USMLE Step 1, you must answer at least 196 out of 280 questions correctly. Also, the total duration of this exam is 8 hours.


Best Books To Prepare For The "Step-1 Exam" -

  • U-World Question Bank
  • Pathoma
  • Sketchy Picture Minonics

Now let’s delve into the discussion of the "Step-2 of USMLE exam" -

This exam is to test your clinical knowledge, OB-GYN, Pediatrics, etc. Step-2 is a numerical exam and is a 9 hours long exam. That contains 320 Questions.

One more thing to keep in mind is that this exam is based on the "Step-1" exam and has the same difficulty level of the "Step-1" exam. So, if you have cleared step-1, then you can easily clear the step-2 exam.


Best Books To Prepare For The "Step-2 Exam" -

  • U-World
  • BNB Optional
  • Amboss Library


Next Step

Have a look at the "USMLE Step-3 exam" -

It is a two-day exam and is the final stage of a comprehensive exam, after clearing it students can receive their USA medical license. This exam testifies the students eligibility to start practicing medicine in the USA. The examination committee of the exam is the state licensing board.


USMLE Step - 3 eligibility:

Candidates must secure the passing score in the Step -1 and Step -2 exam of USMLE.

To be eligible for the USMLE, candidates must hold an MD or DO degree from an LCME- or COCA-accredited US or Canadian medical school.

Moreover, in terms of eligibility, the examination committee recommends the students to complete one year of postgraduate training in a US medical graduate education program.


USMLE Step -3 registration Fee:

The USMLE Step 3 application fee changes each year, and the examination committee sets it. For example, in 2023, the fee is $915, while in 2022, it was $895.


Exam-Pattern and Syllabus

The USMLE Step 3 exam goes for two days long. On the first day, candidates must answer 232 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) divided into six blocks of 38-39 questions each. They have 60 minutes to complete each block.


Books and Resources To Clear the Step-3 exams:

  • General Principle of foundation science and management
  • Behavioral Health
  • Patient Care : Diagnosis and Management


USMLE Exam Fees


The cost of the USMLE exam varies depending on whether you are a graduate of a COCA- or LCME-accredited medical school in Canada or the United States, or a graduate of a medical school outside of Canada or the United States.

COCA- or LCME-Accredited Graduates or Students in Canada or the United States

You will apply for the USMLE exam through the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). The fees are as follows:

  • ECFMG Application Fee: $160
  • Step 1 Application Fee: $985 (includes examination fee and test delivery surcharge)
  • Step 2 CK Application Fee: $985 (includes examination fee and test delivery surcharge)


Graduates or Medical Students Outside Canada or the United States

You will apply for the USMLE exam through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). The fees are as follows:

  • ECFMG Application Fee: $160
  • Step 1 Application Fee: $1,000 (includes examination fee and test delivery surcharge)
  • Step 2 CK Application Fee: $1,000 (includes examination fee and test delivery surcharge)


Additional Fees

In addition to the application fees, there are a number of other fees associated with the USMLE exam, including:

  • Extension of Eligibility Period for Step 1 or Step 2 CK: $100 per step
  • Step 1 or Step 2 CK Change in Testing Region: $90 per step
  • Score Rechecking Fee: $80 for Step 1 and $80 for Step 2 CK
  • ECFMG Examination Chart: $50 for Step 1
  • Each request for a paper USMLE transcript costs $70, up to a maximum of 10 transcripts.
  • USMLE Transcript- Electronic Transmission (ERAS): $80 for each session of ERAS

The cost of the USMLE exam can be significant, but it is an important investment for medical students and graduates who are interested in practicing medicine in the United States.



As the most developed nation in the world, the United States offers its citizens and immigrants a wide range of opportunities, from economic prosperity to cultural enrichment. Many working professionals tend to work in the USA due to high service charges and good quality of life, including the medical and healthcare professionals who want to immigrate into the United States.

The USMLE is the key to settling in the USA for them. We have discussed the steps to clear the "USMLE exam, USMLE eligibility, and everything" up above. You can certainly achieve your dream of practicing medicine in the US.

MBBSInfo has extensive experience in providing valuable guidance and assistance to students preparing for the USMLE exam. Contact us for free counseling on the exam, important dates, eligibility, and registration fees. We can assist and guide you thoroughly regarding everything related to the "USMLE" exam.

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