• Jul 26, 2023   MOKSH Academy

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When to take UMLE Step-1


Planning to do Residency from US ? But wondering how is the process like? When to take step 1exam? During medical school  or after the medical school ?. So let’s understand that in detail and get a complete clarity on this.

The USMLE Step 1 is a medical licensing exam that most students take after completing their second year of medical school. It covers a wide range of basic science topics, including anatomy, biochemistry, behavioral sciences, pathology, pharmacology, immunology, physiology, and microbiology. The exam is administered year-round, but it is important to be confident in your knowledge before taking it. You can start preparing for the USMLE Step 1 as early as the beginning of medical school. Graduates of international medical schools (IMGs) also need to pass the USMLE Step 1 in order to practice medicine in the United States.

Unlike other exams you can take, the USMLE Step 1 exam does not have a fixed date. You can schedule your exam up to 6 months in advance through Prometric, the NBME's testing partner. You can reschedule your exam at any time through the Prometric website, but there is an additional fee. The only restriction is that your exam must be scheduled during the 3-month eligibility period that you selected during the registration process. This period can range from a few weeks to several months during your first or second year of medical school.

You can schedule or reschedule your USMLE Step 1 exam at any time, but it is recommended that you schedule it as soon as you know your desired test date. Availability of testing centers can vary widely depending on the city. Prometric centers in larger cities or in locations with a high concentration of medical schools may quickly run out of appointments, especially if many students are trying to take the exam at the same time. As a result, many students choose to take their exam in an alternative location, such as their hometown or in centers outside of a major city where appointment slots are more available. It is important to keep in mind that Prometric administers a variety of tests, so availability may be affected by other test-takers as well.

During Med School

  • The USMLE Step 1 exam is typically taken after the second year of medical school. This is because the exam covers all of the pre-clinical and para clinical subjects that are taught during those two years, which means that students can review and memorize the material, which can be less stressful and anxiety-inducing than learning new concepts.
  •  Additionally, taking the exam after the second year allows students to have more leisure time before they start their clinical rotations.
  • Students can start preparing for the USMLE Step 1 well in advance by using the right resources and building a strong conceptual foundation. 
  • These subjects will form the foundation of your medical knowledge, so it is important to understand them thoroughly. This will help you to understand more advanced subjects in your later years of medical school.

After Completing the MBBS

There are a few disadvantages to taking the USMLE Step 1 exam after graduation.

  • It can be more difficult to stay motivated. After you graduate from medical school, you may be feeling burnt out and ready to start your residency. Taking the Step 1 exam after graduation can be a challenge, as you may have to find the motivation to study for a long and difficult exam while also starting your new job.
  • It can be more expensive. If you take the Step 1 exam after graduation, you will have to pay for the exam yourself. This can be a significant expense, especially if you are also paying for your residency.
  • It can be harder to get a residency spot. Some residency programs may give preference to applicants who took the Step 1 exam during medical school. This is because they believe that these applicants have a better understanding of the material and are more likely to be successful in residency.

However, there are also some advantages to taking the Step 1 exam after graduation.

  • You will have more time to study. If you take the Step 1 exam after graduation, you will have more time to study. This can be helpful if you are struggling with a particular topic or if you want to make sure that you are fully prepared for the exam.
  • You will have more experience. After you graduate from medical school, you will have more experience in the clinical setting. This experience can be helpful when you are studying for the Step 1 exam, as you will be able to apply your clinical knowledge to the material.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take the Step 1 exam after graduation is a personal one. There are both advantages and disadvantages to consider, and the best decision for you will depend on your individual circumstances.