Home » USMLE Step 3 2024 Exam Dates and Costs

USMLE Step 3 2024 Exam Dates and Costs

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A doctor wearing a lab coat holding a graduation cap after having completed his USMLE Step 3 exam.


USMLE Step 3 is the final exam in the series for obtaining a medical license. In this blog, we’ll discuss the USMLE Step 3 2024 exam dates, costs, registration, and required materials.



USMLE Step 3 Format


Unlike the prior two Step exams, Step 3 is administered over two days: 

  • Day 1 covers “Foundations of Independent Practice” (FIP). It consists of 6 multiple choice question blocks (38-39 questions each). Questions cover the foundational sciences, biostatistics, and epidemiology, but also include content on diagnosis and management. This day is approximately 7 hours, with a 5-minute optional tutorial, 1-hour question blocks, and 45 minutes of break time.
  • Day 2 covers “Advanced Clinical Medicine” (ACM). It consists of 6 multiple choice question blocks (30 questions each) followed by the Computer-based Case Simulations (CCS) section of 13 clinical cases. Questions on the second day have a greater focus on management and medical decision-making. This day is approximately 9 hours, with a 5-minute optional tutorial, 45-minute question blocks, a 7-minute CCS tutorial, a mix of 10 or 20-minute cases, and 45 minutes of break time.



Exam Dates and How to Sign Up for USMLE Step 3 in 2024


Aspiring doctors can take USMLE Step 3 throughout the year. Candidates most commonly choose to complete the exam within their first year of residency, however, this may vary depending on test readiness or residency program recommendation. To sit for the Step 3 exam, the eligibility criteria are:

  1. Completed MD, DO, or equivalent degree from a medical school outside of the US or Canada certified by ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates)
  2. Passed Step 1 and Step 2 CK


To schedule exam dates, candidates must register for a scheduling permit through the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). The permit covers a 3-month eligibility period for your scheduled test dates. To shift your eligibility period will require canceling and reselecting a new eligibility period, or applying for an eligibility extension. 


It is important to note that Step 3 is offered year-round except for the first two weeks of January and on major US holidays. You must schedule both test days together at the same Prometric center. The two exam days do not need to be consecutive, but Day 1 must precede Day 2, with a maximum 14-day gap between them.


Step 3 is administered in the US only, through Prometric test centers. After receiving a permit, candidates can search for availability and sign up via the Prometric online portal.



USMLE Step 3 2024 Costs


The FSMB registration fee for a scheduling permit in 2024 is $925. The fee is non-refundable, non-transferable, covering the 3 month eligibility period. Rescheduling your exam date(s) less than 46 days beforehand will be subject to additional fees as outlined on the USMLE site.


Candidates often spend additional money on question banks like UWorld, in addition to the registration fee. This can add up to an additional few hundred dollars. The basic UWorld Step 3 question bank for example is currently $429 for 90 days of access.


Look into taking advantage of any academic stipend from your residency program, which can help cover a significant part of the expenses for this exam.



What to Bring Test Day


  • Your scheduling permit (printed or electronic).
  • Government ID: it must include a recent photograph and signature (ie driver’s license, passport), if one ID does not have both you may provide two different IDs to cover the photo and signature requirement separately.
  • No personal items should be brought into the testing room, including calculators. A calculator is provided on the test interface if needed.
  • Dress code: wear what is comfortable. Keep in mind if you get hot or cold easily and plan accordingly. 


The process of applying and obtaining the scheduling permit may take a couple of weeks, particularly up to 12 weeks for recent graduates per FSMB, so plan your eligibility period accordingly. For additional guidance on planning test dates or organizing an effective study schedule amidst residency, check out tips shared by some of our EMP team.


If you are looking for additional assistance, consider enlisting the help of a USMLE Step 3 tutor. Schedule your complimentary consultation today to learn more about how Elite Medical Prep can help you succeed!

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