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USMLE™ Exam: International Medical Graduates

The USMLE™ exam is a three-step examination program that is a prerequisite for U.S. medical licensure. Step 1 focuses on key concepts of basic biomedical science. Step 2 examines medical knowledge of clinical science essential for the provision of patient care under supervision and includes two parts. Step 2 CK can be taken outside the United States, while Step 2 CS is offered only in the United States. Step 3 of the USMLE exam is also offered only in the United States.

Steps 1 and 2 of the examination are required by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) as part of their certification program. ECFMG certification assesses whether graduates of medical schools outside the United States are prepared to undertake residency or fellowship programs in the United States.

 To learn more about ECFMG certification, visit the ECFMG Web site. You may also want to familiarize yourself with the whole residency application process by visiting AMIDEAST's U.S. Study Advantage section on medical education.

Where and when can I take the USMLE exam?

The USMLE Part 1 and Part 2 CK are administered on computer at selected Prometric Test Centers worldwide, including some but not all AMIDEAST centers. Medical school graduates schedule the USMLE exam after approval from ECFMG.

How do I register?

Please register through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (, which will review your application and once it is approved provide you with available testing dates.

 How do I prepare for the USMLE exam?

It is important for you to be familiar with the kinds of questions asked on the USMLE exam. There are several ways to prepare.

  • Practice with the CD-ROM and print test questions provided free by ECFMG to all registrants
  • Purchase USMLE preparation materials from AMIDEAST or other resellers/publishers
  • Study U.S. medical textbooks
  • Take a practice test at a Prometric Test Center


USMLE is a registered trademark of the Federation of State Medical Boards in the United States and other countries, used under license.