To practice medicine in the United States, you must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination popularly known as the USMLE Exam. The USMLE is a Three-Step exam consisting of Step 1, Step 2CK, & and Step 3 respectively which is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). The USMLE Step 1 is a one-day, computer-based exam that assesses your knowledge of the basic sciences that are essential for the practice of medicine. It is most commonly taken after the second year of medical school. The exam assesses your understanding of important concepts and principles of the basic sciences, with a special focus on how these concepts and principles relate to health, disease, and treatment. It also ensures that you have a strong foundation in the scientific principles that are necessary for lifelong learning in medicine.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to take the USMLE Step 1 , you must be:

  • A current medical student or graduate of a U.S. or Canadian medical school that leads to the MD degree and is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
  • A current medical student or graduate of a U.S. medical school that leads to the DO degree and is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

To be eligible to take the USMLE Step 1 as an International Medical Graduate (IMG), you must:

  • Be officially enrolled in a medical college or university that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS).
  • Meet other eligibility criteria set by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

You can refer to the website for the updated information.

ECFMG Registration:

To register for the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1, you can complete the process online through the USMLE website. The registration process consists of the following Steps:

  1. Create an ECFMG account and apply for ECFMG Certification. You will receive your ECFMG ID and password in about two weeks.
  2. Fill out the USMLE Step 1 Application form on the ECFMG website, pay the exam fee, and select your eligibility period. You can choose three months to schedule your test.
  3. Fill out and mail Form 183 to ECFMG. Make sure the college dean signature on the form matches the one on file with ECFMG.
  4. Wait to receive your scheduling permit from ECFMG. Within 2-3 weeks of mailing Form 183, ECFMG will send you an email with your scheduling permit. This is an important document that you need to bring with you on your exam day. Review the permit to make sure the information is correct
how to apply for usmle step 1

USMLE Step 1 Application

The application portal for US/Canada Medical University students is the NBME login portal on the NBME Website. IMGs can register for the USMLE Step 1 through the ECFMG Official Website.

Book your exam date and time at a Prometric website ( . Select Prometric USMLE Step 1, your testing location, and your preferred exam date within your eligibility period. Complete the booking process by referring to and entering the information on your scheduling permit.

Your identification for Exam: You will need to upload your personal details as mentioned in your passport. This identification will be used to verify your identity at the testing centre. You need to carry your passport for your identification at Prometric Exam centre.

Print your admission ticket: Once you have completed the registration process, you will be able to print your admission ticket. This ticket will contain all the information you need to know about your exam, including the date, time, and location.

USMLE Step 1 Cost

The USMLE Step 1 examination fee is $1,000 for the United States and Canada testing region., For the rest of the world, the exam fee is $1,195. The exam fees are reviewed annually and can be found on the USMLE website. You can refer the website Ecfmg.Org for updated fee details.

USMLE Exam Centre

The USMLE Step 1 can be taken at Prometric test centres all over the world, including India. There are over 150 Prometric test centres outside of the United States and Canada. In India, there are 8 USMLE test centres in major metro cities of India namely Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Allahabad, Mumbai & New Delhi.

USMLE Step 1 Exam Pattern:

Only the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 scoring has changed. The Exam pattern remains the same.

The USMLE Step 1 exam questions is a computer-based exam consisting of 280 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) divided into 7 blocks of 60 minutes each. Each block has a maximum of 40 questions and you have 90 seconds to answer each question. There is also a 15-minute optional tutorial (USMLE Orientation) a minimum of 45 minutes of break time. The total time for the exam is 8 hours. So, in total, there are 280 questions. If you manage to finish your blocks in less than the stipulated 60 minutes, you may use the saved time as break time.

USMLE Step 1 Attempts:

You can retake the USMLE Step 1 Exam up to four times. If you fail or fail to complete the exam four times, you will be ineligible to apply for any Step in the USMLE exam sequence. If you pass, then your score is locked for 7 Years and you can’t retake the Exam.

USMLE Step 1 Syllabus:

The USMLE Step 1 syllabus covers the important topics that medical students learn in their first two years of medical school. Here is a breakdown of the USMLE Step 1 subjects and their corresponding weightage in the below table

USMLE Step 1 topics Range
General Principles of Foundational Science 15% - 20%
Multisystem Processes & Disorders 15% - 20%
Biostatistics & Epidemiology 60%-70%
Population Health
Social Sciences
Immune System
Nervous System & Special Senses
Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue
Respiratory System
Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Puerperium
Female Reproductive & Breast
Male Reproductive
Endocrine System
Blood & Lymph Reticular System
Cardiovascular System
Musculoskeletal System
Behavioural Health
Gastrointestinal System
Renal & Urinary System
Process Range
Abnormal Processes 55% - 60%
Normal Processes 10% - 15%
Principles of Therapeutics 15% - 20%
Other 10% - 15%

How to do USMLE Step 1 Preparation:

Start early. The USMLE part 1 is a challenging exam, so it is important to start preparing early. This will give you enough time to cover all the material and to practice taking practice tests. By following a well-structured USMLE Step 1 study schedule, you can improve your chances of success on the exam.

Create a Personalised study schedule and stick to it.: It is important to create a USMLE Step 1 schedule that is a personalized study schedule and stick to it. Moksh Academy can help you with this by providing you with a personalized study schedule that includes live sessions, doubt-solving sessions, and recorded sessions in case you miss any. This will help you stay on track and make sure that you are covering all the material.

study schedule for usmle step-1

Use the right study materials. There are many different study materials available for the USMLE Step 1. It is important to choose the materials that are right for you and that will help you learn the material in a way that makes sense to you.

Practice taking practice tests. Practice tests are a great way to measure your learning and identify topics where you need more work. Moksh Academy's self-assessment tests break down your results by subtopic, so you can focus your studies on your specific weaknesses.

Weakness Rectifier: A unique feature from Moksh Academy that can help you save time by pinpointing the areas where you need to focus your studies, can help you stay motivated by providing you with a clear path to improvement so that you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

Get enough sleep and eat healthy foods. It is important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally during your preparation for the USMLE Part 1. Getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods will help you stay focused and motivated.

Find a study partner. Studying with others can help you stay motivated and accountable.

Don't be afraid to ask for help: If you are struggling with a particular topic, don't hesitate to seek help from a Mentor at Moksh Academy who can provide one-on-one guidance throughout your USMLE journey. The USMLE is a challenging exam, but it is definitely possible to pass if you are willing to put in the hard work.

USMLE Step 1 Practice Exams and QBanks

Exam Schedule:

The USMLE Step 1 exam is available throughout the year, but the specific dates and times vary. You can find the most up-to-date schedule on the Prometric website You can choose the date and time of your exam.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when scheduling your exam:

  • The exam is available in the morning and afternoon.
  • You must arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time.
  • You cannot reschedule your exam within 30 days of your scheduled date.

If you are unable to take the USMLE Step 1 exam schedule on your scheduled date, you can request a cancellation or reschedule. You can do this on the Prometric website .

Mistakes you MUST avoid for USMLE Preparation

There are many mistakes usually students make during their USMLE Journey. Just by avoiding a few silly mistakes, you can make your dream come true to do your residency in the USA. Always remember USMLE Exam can be cracked by an average student with the right approach and proper mentorship. Here is the list of mistakes you should avoid

  • Pirated content: Pirated content leads nowhere, so avoid it completely.
  • Self-Preparation: Self-preparation may improve your score to a certain level, but it cannot guarantee your best results.
  • Lack of mentorship: Mentorship is essential, as it provides guidance from those who have successfully completed the residency journey that you aspire to.
  • NEET-PG and USMLE are not the same: Many students think that practising NEET-PG questions will help them clear the USMLE exam. However, both exams are designed with different objectives, so you need specific preparation for each. You need a lot of academic workouts with USMLE-style questions.
  • No consistency: This usually happens for students who are self-preparing, as they do not have an external support system to guide and supervise their academic progress.
  • Offline test practice: The actual exam is online and time-bound, so make yourself acquainted with the online environment. Avoid practising by giving offline tests.

USMLE Step 1 Resources:

USMLE Step 1 Resources

There are many resources recommended for USMLE Step 1 preparation. Popular resources include:

1. USMLE Flash Cards

Anki Step 1 is a powerful tool for learning and memorizing information. It is especially effective for learning complex material, such as the material that is covered on the USMLE Step 1 exam. Anki Step 1 helps learners to move information from their short-term memory to their long-term memory.

2. USMLE Q Banks:

In addition to practicing with USMLE sample questions on Step 1, it is crucial to take full-length practice exams to assess your readiness and simulate the real exam experience.

  • MOKSH Q Bank: MOKSH Academy offers more than 3000+ Questions, these questions work as fundamental preparation for USMLE Step 1 Exam. Students are advised to practice on the MOKSH Qbank before attempting the UWorld QBank or NBME Step 1, as it bridges the gap between medical school knowledge and USMLE-level preparation.
  • NBME Self-Assessment Exams: The NBME Step 1 exam is a valuable tool for medical students who are preparing for USMLE Step 1.The best NBME for Step 1 is NBME 28 and UWSA 2 is the most correlated with Step 1 performance. The NBME offers a series of self-assessment exams that closely resemble the actual USMLE Step 1 exam. These exams provide a score prediction and feedback on your performance
  • UWorld USMLE Step 1 is also a resources for preparing for the USMLE Step 1 exam UWorld Step 1 is a question bank with 3750+ high-yield practice questions that provides thousands of practice questions that are similar to the ones that you will see on the actual exam. UWorld Self-Assessment Step 1 Questions are very similar to the real Step 1 exam helps you identify your weak areas by providing realistic practice questions which help you prepare for it and feel more confident on the day of the test
  • UWSA (USMLE World Self-Assessment): UWorld also offers self-assessment exams that simulate the USMLE Step 1 experience. These exams provide a score prediction and can help you gauge your readiness for the actual exam. The USMLE Step 1 sample questions are available on the USMLE website. These questions are not scored, but they can give you an idea of the types of USMLE Step 1 questions that you will see on the actual exam. Taking these practice exams under timed conditions will help you build stamina and improve your time management skills. It is essential to review your performance after each practice exam and identify areas that need further study.

3. Personal mentorship:

This is very important for any of the students who are going to appear in USMLE Exam, Even a silly mistake can vanish your whole hard work during the actual USMLE exam day. You always need your personal mentorship during crucial days of USMLE preparation. Mentors at MOKSH Academy track the progress of their mentees, provide feedback, and offer guidance to help them achieve their goals effectively.

USMLE Step 1 Result:

The United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 exam was changed to a pass/fail format on January 26, 2022. This means that there are no longer any numerical scores reported for the exam, and there is no longer a specific passing score. Previously, it was not possible to retake Step 1 if you passed. However, the new pass/fail format means that there is no advantage to retaking the exam if you already passed. It is very important to know that since last 3 years USMLE Step 1 Pass rates are continuously decreasing year on year which means exam is becoming tougher and requires adequate practice before you write the exam. Refer the below table for yearly passing trend.

USMLE Step 1 Result:

USMLE Step 1 score Report:

Before January 26, 2022, the Step 1 was a scoring test. The minimum USMLE Step 1 passing score was 194. Now, it is a pass/fail exam. The passing score is based on a specified level of proficiency and is reviewed periodically. Typically, examinees must answer approximately 60% of items correctly to pass.

USMLE Step 1 score Report:

USMLE Step 1 score Validity

Your USMLE Step scores are valid for 7 years from the date you take your first Step exam. This means that you must complete all 3 Steps within 7 years, or your scores will expire. If your scores expire, you will need to retake all of the Steps.

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