USMLE Information

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a four-step process for licensure. Individual state medical boards grant medical licenses, but all require applicants to pass the USMLE test battery. The USMLE has contracted with Prometric Testing Centers to administer the written (computer) exams for Steps 1, 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge), and 3. Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills) is conducted at five NBME testing centers.

The UT College of Medicine requires students to obtain a passing score on the USMLE Step 1 exam to be promoted to the M-3 year, and a passing score on USMLE Step 2CK and Step 2CS to receive a diploma from the College. The Step 3 exam is usually taken near the end of the first year of residency. You must typically answer 60-70% of the items correctly to pass a USMLE exam.

You may take a step exam no more than three times within a twelve-month period. If you pass a step exam, you are not allowed to retake it unless you have exceeded the seven-year time limit for taking all Step exams.

USMLE Examination Fees 2014

The 2014 USMLE fee schedule for students in and graduates of medical schools in the United States and Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation is shown below:

Examination 2014 Fee Effective Dates
USMLE Step 1* $580 Three month eligibility periods beginning November 1, 2013 - January 31, 2014 and ending October 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014.
USMLE Step 2 - Clinical Knowledge $580
USMLE Step 2 - Clinical Skills $1,230 For completed applications received starting January 1, 2014.
USMLE Step 3 $800 Three month eligibility periods beginning November 1, 2013 - January 31, 2014 and ending October 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014.

Contact Us

Office of Medical Education

910 Madison Avenue, Rm 1002
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-5506
Fax: 901-448-1488

Associate Dean:
Robert G. Shreve, Ed.D.

Executive Dean:
David M. Stern, M.D.

USMLE Step 1 Exam

Step 1 is administered by computer through the Prometric Testing Centers.

The exam covers basic science content in the areas of: anatomy, behavioral science, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and interdisciplinary topics such as nutrition, genetics, and aging. Step 1 consists of 322 multiple-choice questions, is divided into seven 60-minute blocks, and is administered in one eight-hour session. Beginning January 1, 2014 the minimum passing score is 192, and the national mean averages around 220.

USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) Exam

Step 2CK is administered by computer through the Prometric Testing Centers.

Step 2CK is more integrated, frequently requiring interpretation of tables, lab data, imaging studies, specimens, etc. Much of the content is organized around organ systems.

Step 2CK has approximately 346 multiple-choice questions and is divided into eight 60-minute blocks and administered in one nine-hour test session. The minimum passing score is 203 (As of July 2013).

The mean for UT College of Medicine students each year is generally at or near the national mean. The first time pass rate for COM students is normally 97% (national rate 96%) with a mean score of 233; and a 99% pass rate overall. Our students tended to perform their best in Diseases of Blood and Blood Forming Organs; Diseases of the Nervous System and Special senses; Disorders of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Puerperium; and Obstetrics & Gynecology. The lowest performance occurred in Immunologic Disorders; Cardiovascular Disorders; and Renal, Urinary and Male Reproductive Systems.

USMLE Step 2CS (Clinical Skills) Examination

Registration is available at

The USMLE Board has added a clinical skills exam to the USMLE licensing process.

Cost to students is $1,200, plus whatever travel and lodging expenses are incurred. The NBME has five testing centers - Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.

The exam consists of 12 encounters with standardized patients (SP). The cases are developed around common situations typical of an ambulatory clinic setting. Students will have 15 minutes to interview the SP and 10 minutes to record pertinent history and physical findings, diagnostic impressions, and follow-up if necessary.

USMLE Step 2 CS, Clinical Skills Exams Hotel Rates

To assist students with travel costs for the Clinical Skills Exam, the AAMC has negotiated a special rate for examinees at hotels within close proximity of each of the exam sites. Please note that some of the hotels have listed blackout dates during which the negotiated rates are not applicable.

Most of the hotels provide transportation for examinees to and from the airports/hotels (transportation reservations may be required in advance). Hotel and transportation information for each location is on the following web page:

If you have difficulty making reservations, contact Alexa Peal at

Subject Exams - Clerkships

The third-year clerkships in Family Medicine, Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry use the NBME web-based Subject Exam as a final written exam for the clerkship. Information about the subject exams can be found on the NBME web site.

Students generally will take the exam on the last day of a rotation and have two and a half hours to complete an exam. The exams provide a measurement of knowledge in the content area and a means for comparing student performance with national scores. The subject exams require students to solve clinical problems and concentrate heavily on application and integration of knowledge rather than recall of isolated facts. A useful description of the content covered in each exam can be found here.

Exams count for approximately 10-35 % of clerkship grades. This page has Study Tips for NBME Subject Exams.