Step 1 is the first part of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (or USMLE), which tests a medical student’s ability to apply basic science knowledge. Medical students typically take the USMLE Step 1 after completing basic science courses at the end of their second year. Below we explain the structure of the exam and list the distribution range for content areas tested on Step 1.
Step 1 is divided into 7 blocks of multiple choice questions. Each multiple choice question will have at least 4 answer choices. One and only one answer choice is correct. For examples, see the USMLE Step 1’s Sample Questions. You have the option to take a 15-minute tutorial prior to taking the exam. Break time may exceed 45 minutes if you finish early on one or more blocks.
|Total Testing Time||7 hours and 45 minutes|
|Time per Block||60 minutes|
|Break Time Allotted||45 minutes|
|Total Multiple Choice Questions||No more than 280|
|Questions per Block||No more than 40|
Test questions are divided among two dimensions: systems and processes.
|Multisystem Processes and Disorders|
|Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Interpretation of Medical Literature|
For a breakdown of specific topics tested under each organ system, see the USMLE’s official Content Outline.
|Normal structure and function||10%-15%|
|Principles of therapeutics||15-20%|
|Biostatistics, Social Sciences and General Principles||10-15%|
Cram Fighter maintains a list of the most popular Step 1 textbooks, lecture series, question banks, and flashcards. For information on NBME Step 1 self-assessments, see nsas.nbme.org. Below we answer frequently asked question regarding Step 1 test preparation.
According to Cram Fighter’s statistics, most students study for 100 days.
The most popular period among Cram Fighter users for taking Step 1 is May-June. For a complete list, visit our page on the most popular months for taking Step 1.