Home » USMLE Step 1 2024 Exam Dates and Costs

USMLE Step 1 2024 Exam Dates and Costs

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Medical school students taking the USMLE Step 1 in a computer room in a Prometric testing center.


The USMLE Step 1 exam is an important early step in the career of any aspiring US-licensed doctor. In this blog post we will review some frequently asked questions about the exam. This includes USMLE Step 1 2024 exam dates and costs, the scope and length of the exam and more!


What is the USMLE Step 1 Exam?


The USMLE Step 1 exam is a standardized examination administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). It assesses the medical knowledge, concepts, and principles of students who are in the process of completing their medical education and preparing to enter clinical practice.


Te USMLE Step 1 is the first in a series of three exams that are required for medical licensure in the United States. It covers a broad range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, pathology, and behavioral sciences.


The NBME website provides comprehensive content outlines for the exam. This provides more information on what could be on the test. There you can see the proportional representation of topics on the exam by systems, disciplines, and testable physician competencies. The USMLE Step 1 exam is designed to evaluate the student’s ability to apply scientific principles to the practice of medicine. It also tests their knowledge of the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions.


Medical students typically take the Step 1 exam at the end of their second year of medical school. Passing the exam is an important factor in the residency matching process. Many residency programs used to use the exam score as a criterion for selecting applicants. However, recently, the exam transitioned from a scored to a pass-fail system. With this transition, we expect residency programs to focus more on Step 2 scores when considering applicants. Step 1 still remains an essential board exam for medical students, and passing it is a vital component of medical school.


For more information on the effects that the pass/fail system is having on medical students, see what the experts are saying.


What are USMLE Step 1 Exam Dates in 2024?


Usually, students take Step 1 in between their second and third years of medical school. However, students might be changing these patterns with the transition from Step 1 to Pass Fail. Additionally, there is no requirement to take the USMLE Step 1 before Step 2. However, for students still in medical school, we recommend taking the USMLE Step 1 first. Step 1 does not have fixed test dates.


Medical school students must procure a registration permit which gives them the license to schedule the test in a 3-month eligibility period. You can schedule the exam through the prometric website which provides students with dates, times, and locations within their specific eligibility period. You can track prometric closures here. Additional information on potential dates and locations for US and international students can be found here.


Can I take the USMLE in January?


Yes, you can take any USMLE exam throughout the year. The only exception is in the first week of January or around a major holiday. 


What is the Scope of Maths on USMLE Step 1?


The USMLE Step 1 exam has very basic mathematics. There are a small percentage of questions on the exam that will require calculations (eg: biostatistics). However, the math is not more advanced than the level of simple arithmetic and is easily done using a four-function calculator. The calculator is built into the examination and can be used to solve these questions. Attaining familiarity with the calculator before exam day will certainly help in making the experience of using the calculator even easier. 


How Long is the USMLE Step 1 Exam?


The Step 1 exam is a multiple-choice test that consists of approximately 280 questions. It is taken over one day. It has 45 minutes for breaks and 15 minutes for exam tutorial time. If you watch the tutorial in advance at home, you will have 60 minutes of break time to split and use as you see fit during your exam. There will be seven 40-question blocks and around 60 minutes for each block giving you approximately 90 seconds per question.


How Much Does the USMLE Cost?


For students in the US, there is a ~$1000 testing fee. An international surcharge (~$200) may be added for students outside the US. Additional costs include costs of traveling to and from the testing center, and accommodations if testing far from home. Finally, additional charges may be added for rescheduling the exam. 


What to wear for the USMLE?


We recommend you dress comfortably. You should wear comfortable clothes that are appropriate for a prolonged period of testing. Note that each testing center may have specific recommendations on attire. Call the testing center in advance and request answers to your questions around clothing. Note that wearing some clothing like hoodies might increase the time needed to enter and exit the testing room so plan accordingly.  


It is important to avoid wearing anything that may cause discomfort or distraction during the exam. You should also consider the weather and dress accordingly. For example, you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket in case the exam room is cool.



More USMLE Step 1 Help


If you’re navigating the challenges of the USMLE Step 1 exam, you’re not alone. Our newly created subreddit, r/ask_a_usmle_tutor, is a community of experienced MD tutors and aspiring doctors discussing everything related to the USMLE. Whether you have questions about exam dates, study tips, or need personalized advice, this is the place to be.


Join us now at r/ask_a_usmle_tutor and connect with peers and experts who can help you on your journey towards USMLE success.


For more resources, check out our 10-week or 5-week Step 1 study schedule, our blog post on the best predictor for passing Step 1, and more Step 1 content.


If you are looking for more customized USMLE Step 1 help, consider enlisting the help of a 1-on-1 Step 1 tutor. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to hear more about what we can do to help you succeed!

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