USMLE Syllabus and Pattern | Courses, Subjects, Question Types and More


USMLE Syllabus

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USMLE Step 1 Syllabus

The aspirants who have enrolled in or have graduated from a medical school listed in World Directory of Medical School can take the examination for USMLE step 1.

The Step 1 of the USMLE exam is assessment of their knowledge in science related to medical practice in various disciplines and inter-disciplines. The covered disciplines and inter-disciplines for USMLE step 1 examination are listed below:



Behavioural sciences



Biostatistics and Epidemiology








USMLE Step 2 Syllabus

The step 2 in USMLE test emphasis on the patient care under medical supervision.  It is assessment of candidate’s understanding and skill set of clinical science, which is essential for patient care under supervision and disease prevention. It ensures safe and competent practice in medicine by applying basic principles of clinical science and patient centred skills.

Just like step 1 examination, Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) is also a one-day examination. The test duration is of 9 hours, with 8 blocks of 60 minutes each. The number of questions in each block will not exceed 40, and total number of USMLE step 2 questions will be 350. Just like Step 1, USMLE step 2 CK test will have the questions in MCQ format.

In Step 2 CS (Clinical Science), the candidates will encounter standardised patients, who are trained to portray real patients. This is assessment of their Clinical Science and Communication Skills with Patient. The candidates will have to listen to the patients, communicate with them, professionally treat them, diagnose their medical issues and answer to their medical queries.

There are three integral parts of USMLE step 2 exam:

  1. Integrated Clinical Encounter
  2. Communication and Interpretation Skills
  3. Spoken English Proficiency

USMLE Step 3 Syllabus

While the aspirants who have enrolled in or have graduated from medical school attempt exams for Step 1 and Step 2, Step 3 is for the people who have completed the program. That are students from US and Canada, or the international medical graduates who have completed their medical school, which is enlisted in World Directory of Medical Schools.

The Step 3 is for the assessment of the candidate if he / she can provide unsupervised medical practice or not. The final license to practice medicine is only given to the candidates who clear USMLE Step 3.

Step 3 examination is a two-day examination. It is divided into two subcategories as given below:

  1. Foundations of Independent Practice
  2. Advanced Clinical Medicine