What is IFOM?
The international foundations of medicine are eminent exam program, held by medical schools and organizations, worldwide. Therefore, the purpose of IFOM Exam is to assess the knowledge of medical aspirants and match their performance on an international platform.
Furthermore, the IFOM/NBME was introduced in 2007 to enhance the vision of promoting the health of global public.
Most importantly, there are main 3 IFOM exam assessment test,namely:

  1. IFOM BSE ( Basic science exam)
  2. IFOM-CSE (Clinical science exam)
  3. Self-assessment of IFOM (IFOM clinical science exam).

Is IFOM easier than USMLE?
This is to say, the nature of USMLE STEP 1 and USMLE step 2 CK exams is to be same as the IFOM BSE and IFOM CSE.
However, most of the medical aspirants use the study material of USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK to prepare for IFOM test.
Furthermore, the content and significant overlap in exam format in the IFOM and USMLE is what makes the preparation common for students.
What are the IFOM Exam Benefits?

  • Firstly, IFOM Test acts as a glimpse of how to prepare for USMLE
  • Secondly, IFOM Examserves as an additional benefit for medical students who wish to participate in exchange programs.
  • In addition to this, the International foundations of medicine program is also considered for international bench-marking.

How do i register for IFOM exam?
As far as USMLE Exam is concerned, the IFOM test is far more feasible. You can simply register with the fee of 200$ for IFOM BSE.
There is an addition of 100$ when you apply for IFOM CSE i.e. 300$.
Can I use the USMLE study material to prepare for IFOM Exam?
To sum up, the tested subjects in both the sections of IFOM test overlap with those of the USMLE ones. Also, the USMLE study material covers vast topics than IFOM.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended to use the USMLE resources for in-depth study and preparation of IFOM Exam.
However, the test provider for both USMLE and IFOM is NBME.
Below is detailed overview of IFOM and USMLE:



USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK

Test Duration

4 hours and 30 minutes

8 hours for USMLE Step 1
9 hours for USMLE Step 2 CK

No. of questions

160 questions

322 questions for USMLE Step 1
352 questions for USMLE Step 2 CK

Subjects and Topics

For IFOM BSE: Biochemistry, anatomy, Histology& cell biology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Physiology and organ systems.
IFOM CSE: OB/GYN, Internal medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics and Family medicine

USMLE Step 1: Behavioral science, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Physiology.
USMLE Step 2 CK: OB/GYN, Surgery, Internal medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and public health, Neurology.

Format of test

Computer based MCQ

Computer based MCQ

Scoring of the test

Standard competence for both the IFOM Exam is approximately 582 (however there is no definite passing score)

Required passing score for USMLE Step 1 is 192.
Required passing score for USMLE Step 2 CK is 203.

When it is conducted?

IFOM BSE is held thrice, a year.
IFOM CSE is held only once, a year.

6 attempts in total

Test centers




IFOM BSE: 300$
For IFOM CSE: 200$

For USMLE Step 1: 820$
USMLE Step 2 CK: 820$

Who all can take IFOM Exam and Why?
IFOM exam is frequently conducted by medical schools, ministries of health and education, internships and residency programs. Subsequently, the idea is to examine the following areas of medical aspirants:

  • Firstly, the IFOM Exam helps to determine the knowledge and skills of students in certain phases of training and education.
  • Secondly, IFOM required for the purpose of regional certification/ national certification.
  • Thirdly, the IFOM Test is the best way to choose candidates for exchange programs, training, internships and residencies.
  • And, IFOM test assist in evaluating curriculum and numerous other assessments.
  • Above all, to prepare students for USMLE Step 1/ USMLE Step 2 CK, IFOM is the best platform, to go for.