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The United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) is a series of examination which a medical student has to take in order obtain license in United State. The USMLE is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc. (FSMB), and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
The USMLE assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care. The Thomson Corporation provides scheduling and test centers for the computer-based components of USMLE. Step 1 and Step 2 CK are given around the world at Prometric Test Centers (PTCs). Step 3 is given at PTCs in the United States and its territories only. Once the passing score for step1 or step 2CK is achieved, one cannot retake the exam in order to achieve a higher score, therefore it is important to be prepared to achieve high score.
USMLE Score Format
Once Steps 1, 2, or 3 of the USMLE is complete the scores are electronically transmitted to the NBME for scoring.
The first step of the scoring process is to convert the number of correct answers into two equivalent scores. The first score is a three-digit scaled score and the second is a two-digit scaled score. Three-digit scores will fall between 140 and 260 with the mean score being between 210 and 230. Two-digit scores are based on the three-digit score.
The two-digit score is calculated in such a way that a score of 75 always corresponds to the minimum passing score. This scoring method applies to all parts of the USMLE except for Step 2 CS. Step 2 of the USMLE contains two parts: Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS. Step 2 CS is assessed as either a pass or fail score. There is no numerical value assigned to this part of the test.
USMLE Test Format
Step 1 has approximately 336 multiple-choice test items, divided into seven 60-minute blocks, administered in one eight-hour testing session.
Step 2 CK has approximately 352 multiple-choice test items, divided into eight 60-minute blocks, administered in one nine-hour testing session.
Step 2 CS has 12 patient cases. You will have 15 minutes for each patient encounter and 10 minutes to record each patient note. If you do not use the entire 15 minutes for the patient encounter, the remaining time will be added to the time you have to record the patient note. The testing session is approximately eight hours.
Step 3 has approximately 480 multiple-choice test items, divided into blocks of 35 to 50 items. You will have 45 to 60 minutes to complete each of these blocks. There are approximately nine computer-based case simulations, with one case in each block. You will have a maximum of 25 minutes to complete each of these blocks. Step 3 is administered in two eight-hour testing sessions.