The United States Medical Licensing Exam is a three-step examination that is required for medical licensure in the United States.
USMLE Step 1 tests your understanding of basic science and your ability to apply these concepts to the practice of medicine. It is a one-day examination with 322 multiple-choice items divided into 7 blocks of 46 items. One our is allowed for each block.
USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) tests your ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision. USMLE Step 2 CK is also a one-day examination, divided into blocks. The number of questions varies by block and there will be no more than 355 items. Regardless of the number of items, 60 minutes are allotted for the completion of each block.
USMLE Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills) takes place in the U.S. at one of several testing sites. This exam tests your ability to apply medical knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision. The Step 2 CS uses standardized patients to test the candidate’s ability to gather information from patients, perform physical examinations, and communicate their findings to patients and colleagues.
USMLE Step 3 tests your ability to apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. This is the final examination in the USMLE sequence leading to a license to practice medicine without supervision.
If you’re just starting out on the whole process of examination, you may want to read the must-know overview for IMGs first.