What Is USMLE Step 1?

The USMLE Step 1 is seen as one of the most challenging exams a student can take. It is tricky, and arguably the most challenging of the three-part exam series. Understanding what’s on the test and how to prepare for it is important for surmounting this first hurdle in your path to a successful medical career.

USMLE stands for the United States Medical Licensing Examination. It is an exam for medical licensure in the United States. In addition, it is sponsored by the FSMB (Federation of State Medical Boards) and NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners).

Step 1 of USMLE evaluates, whether a student can apply important concepts of the basic medical sciences to the practice of medicine. USMLE Step 1 ensures an understanding of the concepts that are a foundation for the competent practice of medicine.

USMLE Step 1 is structured while considering such a content outline that organizes fundamental science material along with the aspects of the system and process.

Who Takes USMLE Step 1?

The eligibility criteria for USMLE Step 1 are:

A medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a US or Canadian medical school program leading to the MD degree that is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

A medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a US medical school leading to the DO degree that is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.

A medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a medical school that is outside the US and Canada, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements and that meets other eligibility criteria of the ECFMG.

USMLE Step 1 Registration/ Applying/ Scheduling.

Students Or Graduates Of A Medical School In The United States And Canada Must apply For The Usmle Step 1 Exam With The NBME. Students Or Graduates Of Medical Schools Outside Of The U.S. Or Canada Register With The Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates.

During the application process, select a three-month eligibility period during which you wish to test. You will receive an e-mail notifying you that your scheduling permit is available.

Schedule your test date. You can schedule your test date in advance (up to 6 months). If you do not take the examination within your eligibility period, you will have to reapply with a new application and fee. Keep in mind that your application fee is nonrefundable.

After amendment on 26th Jan 2022, USMLE Step-1 exam is Pass and Fail before that passing score for USMLE Step-1 was 194

What’s On The USMLE Step 1?

Step 1 is a one-day examination. It is divided into seven 60-minute blocks and administered in one 8-hour testing session.

The number of Usmle Step 1 questions per block on a given examination form will vary, but will not exceed 40. The total number of items on the overall examination form will not exceed 280.

Sections focusing on individual organ systems are subdivided according to normal and abnormal processes, including principles of therapy. Each Step 1 examination covers content related to the following traditionally defined disciplines:

  • Anatomy
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biostatistics and epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology

The Step 1 examination also covers content related to the following interdisciplinary areas:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Immunology
  • Nutrition
  • Molecular and cell biology

How To Succeed In USMLE Step 1?

It’s exhausting to know, that most of the Usmle step 1 questions you get to answer are so detailed that you must do a ton of reading so as to answer them. There are 50 questions in each section and you won’t believe there are multiple sections.

A key to crack all of the Usmle Step 1 questions on time is to skip the bottom section of the question and read-only what the writers want you to answer. Once you know where the question is headed towards, you can the re-read the bottom section.

Many Usmle Step 1 questions are made in such a way, that some part of the question is totally irrelevant and will only consume your time, so it’s you who should be aware of what to read and what to ignore.

The next difficulty that you will be facing while answering the Usmle step 1 questions is the numerous answer choices from which you are supposed to choose. The test maker will try his level hard to misguide you and make you away from the correct answer.

To solve this, the best strategy is to eliminate the wrong options and select the most possible ones and from the most possible ones go with your “gut feeling”. Another task is to do as much practice as possible before you appear for the USMLE Step 1.


USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). None of the trademark holders are affiliated with MOKSH or this website.

ACGME® is a registered trademark of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The ECFMG® is a registered trademark of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

The Match® is a registered service mark of the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®). The NRMP is not affiliated with MOKSH.

Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) is a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges and is not affiliated with MOKSH.

Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with MOKSH or this website.

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