USMLE Step 1 – Some Details

The United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 shortly called as USMLE Step 1 is an examination conducted for assessing whether students or graduates from medical schools can apply crucial concepts of the sciences that are basic to the practice of medicine. Generally, US medical students take this examination at the end of the second year of their medical course. It is important that Graduates of International Medical Schools should also take the Step 1 examination, if they are intending to practice in the United States.

Format of the examination: This test is conducted for a duration of 8 hours and it is a computer-based test that should be taken by medical students in a single day. This test will have 322 multiple choice questions that are divided into 7 sections with 46 questions for each section. The test takers can take an average of a minute and 8 seconds to answer each question. Between test sections, the candidates are allowed a cumulative of 45 minutes for personal breaks. Also, a 15-minute tutorial is conducted at the beginning of the test. The participants are allowed to skip this tutorial to add to the break time. If a candidate finishes any section within the allotted one hour duration, the unused time will be added to the break time total. The examination can be taken by candidates in any one of the several Prometric computer testing sites.

Subjects: In general, the USMLE Step 1 test is designed for judging the knowledge gained by candidates during the fundamental science years of medical school. Here are the subjects covered:

Anatomy

Physiology

Behavioral sciences

Pharmacology

Biochemistry

Pathology

Microbiology

In addition to the above-mentioned areas, the knowledge of candidates in interdisciplinary areas like those mentioned below is also tested:

Empathy

Medical Ethics

Epidemiology

Cell Biology

Molecular biology

Nutrition

Immunology

Aging

Genetics

The specialty about this test is that each exam is dynamically generated for each candidate. Even though, the general proportion of questions created from the particular subjects will be same, some candidates report that some subjects are overemphasized or underemphasized in their question paper.

Generally, candidates taking USMLE world and step 1 are recommended to practice well and this is why it becomes important they should get the appropriate coaching to participate in the exam. Nowadays, USMLE World courses can be downloaded online and these courses will be of great help to candidate to prepare themselves well.

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