April 7 2023
  Ahmed Umair

How Long is the USMLE Step 1? What to Expect on Test Day

Get ready to put your medical knowledge to the test with the USMLE Step 1! This standardized exam evaluates your grasp of basic science concepts and how well you can apply them to real-world medical scenarios. Divided into three sections – Clinical Knowledge, Clinical Science, and Practice-Based Learning and Improvement – this exam is the ultimate challenge for any aspiring doctor! Each section consists of multiple-choice questions, with an allotted time of four hours for completion.

The USMLE Step 1 is designed to evaluate a medical student’s understanding of foundational concepts in the biomedical sciences and their ability to apply them in clinical contexts. It is not only important for admission into residency programs but also serves as an indicator of future performance in the field. The USMLE Step 1 score often serves as one factor among many that residency programs consider when making admissions decisions.

Although step 1 is one day exam, it consist of 7 blocks and 60 minute for each, the average amount of time it takes to complete the entire exam is eight (8) hours. However, this varies on an individual basis depending on how quickly each section was completed. In any case, it is important for aspiring physicians to dedicate enough time to both studying and taking the exam if they want to perform well and maximize their chances of getting into a top residency program.

Doctors Taking USMLE Exam

Content Outline & Specifications

Embark on the ultimate medical journey and prove your mastery of basic science principles and clinical knowledge with the all-encompassing USMLE Step 1 exam! The exam consists of three sections: Clinical Knowledge, Clinical Science, and Practice-Based Learning and Improvement. Each section has an allotted four hours to complete, with the total time to take the entire exam averaging eight hours.

It is important for aspiring physicians to dedicate enough time to studying and taking the USMLE Step 1 if they want to maximize their chances of being admitted into a top residency program. Scores on this exam are often used as one factor among many that residency programs consider when making admissions decisions. 

– Common Questions for Step 1:

  • Seven blocks, each lasting 60 minutes with breaks, make up the exam, which is one day long. It takes roughly eight hours in total.
  • There are max 280 multiple-choice questions in total.
  • By focusing on the underlying principles and mechanisms of health, sickness, and treatment methods, the evaluation area will measure your ability to apply basic scientific concepts to clinical settings.

Scheduling Information:

Prospective medical students should plan ahead when scheduling their Step 1 exam. The registration process typically takes several weeks, so it is important to start the process as soon as possible. Additionally, the exam must be taken within a five-year period of time after completing medical school, or else the score will not be valid for residency applications. It is also important to note that there are blackout dates for taking the exam, during which no testing centers are open; these blackout dates vary from year to year and can affect availability for exams. It is recommended that students schedule their exams early in order to ensure enough time to prepare and have a backup plan if needed.

Bulletin of Information:

The Bulletin of Information is a comprehensive guide for medical students preparing to take the Step 1 exam. It contains important information about the exam, including registration, eligibility requirements, study materials, and test-taking strategies. It also provides information on fees and payment methods, as well as a list of available testing centers. The Bulletin of Information should be read carefully before attempting the exam in order to ensure that all requirements are met and that the student is properly prepared. Additionally, it serves as an invaluable resource for understanding what to expect during the examination process.

Exam Eligibility:

Taking USMLE Step 1 is an important milestone for medical students who wish to pursue a career in medicine. In order to be eligible for the exam, students must meet certain requirements. Firstly, they must be enrolled in or have completed an LCME-accredited medical school program or an AOA-approved osteopathic program. They must also provide proof that they are medically qualified to practice and possess a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one US jurisdiction. Additionally, they must be able to demonstrate academic proficiency by providing official transcripts and test scores from the MCAT or another approved standardized exam. Finally, students should familiarize themselves with the Bulletin of Information which contains detailed information about registration, fees, and payment methods. By meeting all of these requirements, medical students can ensure that they are properly prepared for their USMLE Exam.

For a comprehensive checklist to determine your eligibility to take the USMLE, We recommend checking out our blog post “Are You Eligible to Take the USMLE? A Checklist.” This article provides detailed guidance and a step-by-step checklist to help aspiring medical professionals determine their eligibility and ensure they meet all the necessary requirements for the USMLE Exam. By following the guidelines outlined in the blog post, you can confidently move forward in your journey toward becoming a licensed physician.

Prepare for Your Exam

Taking the USMLE Step 1 is an important step in a medical student’s journey to becoming a doctor. To maximize your chances of success on the exam, it is essential to have an effective preparation strategy. First and foremost, you need to be familiar with the content and structure of the exam. You can do this by reading through the Bulletin of Information which outlines all aspects of registration, fees, and payment methods as well as providing details about the test format and topics covered. Additionally, taking practice tests can help you become more comfortable with the type of questions you will encounter on the actual exam. Finally, studying in small groups or with a USMLE Step 1 tutor can provide helpful insight into difficult concepts and allow for open dialogue about any areas that need further clarification or review. With these tips in mind, you will be better equipped to face your Exam with confidence.

Test Accommodations:

Test accommodations are available to those who need additional time or assistance in order to demonstrate their knowledge of the USMLE Step 1 exam. The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) provides a variety of test accommodations for students with documented disabilities or other special needs. These include extended testing time, separate testing rooms, the use of adaptive equipment such as magnifying devices and voice recognition software, and access to assistive personnel. To be eligible for these services, applicants must provide supporting documentation that is reviewed by the NBME before being approved. It is important to note that accommodation requests must be made at least six weeks before your scheduled exam date and will not be granted retroactively. Allowing yourself plenty of time to submit your request and receive approval is essential to ensuring your success on the USMLE Step 1 Exam.