Frequently Asked Questions
Year-round, except during the first two weeks of January and on major U.S. holidays.
Step 3 is offered in the United States only.
The busiest testing times in the Prometric testing network in the U.S. are May through July and November through December.
Test dates are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The USMLE program cannot guarantee the availability of test centers. Therefore, you should contact Prometric to schedule as soon as possible after receiving your scheduling permit.
You should schedule your test dates early in your eligibility period to provide flexibility in case you need to reschedule.
The Step 3 application fee is $915 for eligibility periods ending in 2023.
The Step 3 application fee is $925 for eligibility periods ending in 2024.
You are allowed only one attempt within your chosen eligibility period.
As part of the USMLE requirements to take the Step 3, you can apply only after the date of graduation on your medical school diploma. For recent U.S. medical school graduates, it can take up to 12 weeks to verify degrees before approval for Step 3. If you submit a Step 3 application prior to graduation from medical school, your application will be cancelled, and a portion of your fees forfeited.
As part of the USMLE requirements to take the Step 3, you can only apply for Step 3 after the issue date of your ECFMG Certificate.
The Step 3 site will not allow you to apply for Step 3 until after we have received confirmation of your ECFMG Certification directly from ECFMG. If you try to apply for Step 3 before this, the Step 3 site will display a message that you are not eligible for Step 3 registration.
FSMB is not able to expedite verification of your ECFMG Certification. Questions regarding the status of your ECFMG Certification must be directed to ECFMG.
When you apply for Step 3 you must select a three-month eligibility period in which to take Step 3, such as April – June or September – November. A scheduling permit with instructions for making appointments at a Prometric Test Center for both examination days will be issued to you after we process your application and verify your eligibility.
Please note that scheduling permits are not available more than 6 months prior to the start of your eligibility period. This is because Prometric will not allow you to schedule your examination dates more than six months in advance of the start of your chosen eligibility period.
You can schedule and take your two testing days on consecutive or non-consecutive days. However–
- Step 3 Day 1 must be taken first, followed by Step 3 Day 2, and
- Your exam days may be no more than 14 calendar days apart, and
- You must schedule both test dates with Prometric at the same time and at the same center.
We cannot change your chosen eligibility period after your application has been submitted.
To obtain a different eligibility period, you will need to:
For an earlier eligibility period: You must cancel your application and submit a new application and fee. If your application has already been approved, you will forfeit your entire application fee. If your application has not been approved, you will receive a partial refund of your application fee (we will refund your fee, minus a $100 processing charge).
For a later eligibility period: You can either 1) submit a request for an eligibility extension, which must be submitted no later than 25 days after the end of your chosen eligibility period and will begin immediately following the end of your eligibility period, or 2) cancel your application and submit a new application and fee. Instructions for submitting an eligibility extension are available here. If you choose to cancel your application, please keep in mind that if your application has already been approved, you will forfeit your entire application fee. If your application has not been approved, you will receive a partial refund of your application fee (we will refund your fee, minus a $100 processing charge).
If you are unable to take the test within your eligibility period, a one-time contiguous 3-month extension to your eligibility period is possible. (Note: "Contiguous" means that the start date of the eligibility extension immediately follows the end date of your eligibility period.) Your request can only be submitted after your original scheduling permit is available and must be received no later than 25 days after the end of your original eligibility period. There is a $70 non-refundable processing fee for an extension. See the Eligibility Extension instructions found here.
The Step 3 CID form containing your notarized signature and photograph is valid for 5 years from the date of your signature. Once your Step 3 CID is on file with FSMB and it qualified you to sit for Step 3, it is not necessary to submit another CID if you must reapply within those 5 years.
You must complete and submit the online application and fees each time you need to apply.
Yes, but you may incur a change fee from Prometric.
If you are unable to keep your testing appointment on the scheduled date(s) or at the scheduled location, you may change your date(s) or center by following the instructions on your Scheduling Permit for contacting Prometric. You will need to provide your Prometric Confirmation Number when you cancel and reschedule. A fee may be charged if you change your appointment, depending upon how much notice you provide when making the change. See the appointment change fee information posted on the USMLE website for detailed information.
Your rescheduled test date(s) must fall within your chosen eligibility period. Please note that you can schedule and take your two testing days on consecutive or non-consecutive days. However, Step 3 Day 1 must be taken first, followed by Step 3 Day 2. Your exam days may be no more than 14 calendar days apart, and you must schedule both test dates with Prometric at the same time and at the same center.
When scheduling or rescheduling your test dates on the Prometric website, be sure to enter your information (name, candidate ID) in order to see the most accurate test center and date availability. If you search Prometric’s website for open dates without inputting your information, you will see ALL dates where that center has ANY availability for testing (that is, you will see availability for any exams, not just USMLE). Just because a center has availability does not mean that it has availability to accommodate Step 3 Day 1 or Day 2 (i.e., a 7-hour test day or a 9-hour test day). Inputting your name and Candidate ID will ensure you are only seeing dates where that Prometric center can accommodate your USMLE Step 3 Day 1 and/or Day 2 exam.
You can take the exam at any Prometric test center in the United States or its territories. You can schedule and take your two testing days on consecutive or non-consecutive days. However, Step 3 Day 1 must be taken first, followed by Step 3 Day 2. Your exam days may be no more than 14 calendar days apart, and you must schedule both test dates with Prometric at the same time and at the same center.
Yes, but you will lose all or part of your fees.
To cancel your application, you must send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you cancel your application after it has been approved, you will forfeit your entire application fee.
If you cancel your application before it has been approved, your fees will be refunded minus a $100 processing fee.
Free software resembling the actual test delivery system is available on the USMLE website.
It is important and recommended that you practice with the software before testing. It is important to take advantage of this opportunity prior to the exam, as practice time cannot be accommodated on the test day.
The USMLE program is not affiliated with any external study programs.
You can download and print your permit by going to the Step 3 site. A copy of the permit is also included in the email we send to you when your scheduling permit becomes available; you must scroll down to the bottom of the email to see the permit.
On your test days, you can present your scheduling permit either on paper (a printed copy) or electronically (e.g., via your smartphone). It is recommended that you print your permit before your first testing day and bring that copy with you, in case you are unable to access your email or the Step 3 site on your testing days and/or have technical problems accessing or printing the permit the day of.
If you do not bring your scheduling permit and acceptable identification on each day of your exam, you will not be admitted to the test, and you will be required to pay a fee to reschedule your test. Your rescheduled test date(s) must fall within your eligibility period.
You must: 1) notify test center staff immediately, and 2) send us an email at email@example.com within 10 calendar days following the last day of your exam.
In your email to firstname.lastname@example.org, you should include all of the following:
- Which Step you were taking (i.e., Step 3)
- The date(s) of your exam administration
- A detailed description of what occurred
Please feel free to include email@example.com on your email to Test Admin.
You should also carefully read the “Unanticipated Testing Conditions” section in the USMLE Bulletin of Information for full details and up-to-date information and instructions for reporting testing day issues, as the Bulletin serves as the official agreement and instructions between you and the USMLE program.
The “Unanticipated Testing Conditions” section of the Bulletin is available on the USMLE website at: https://www.usmle.org/bulletin-information/examination-day-testing.
If your test center is closed and you are not able to test, you must send an email with your full name, USMLE ID, test center location, brief summary of the issue (e.g., center closed due to inclement weather) and the ticket number from Prometric, if provided, as follows:
If you have not opened the exam, at all (i.e., not yet taken Day 1), you should first try to reschedule your test date(s) by contacting Prometric; you will be required to wait 24 hours after receiving the closure/cancellation notification from Prometric before doing this so that the Prometric system has time to reset. If you are unable to reschedule after waiting the required 24 hours or have other issues, please email FSMB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have opened any part of the exam (i.e., started or completed Day 1), send an email to USMLE Test Admin at email@example.com.
The test center closure will be verified directly with Prometric. This takes several business days. Once the closure is verified, you will be contacted via email with detailed information for rescheduling your test date(s). An extension of your eligibility period can be provided, if needed, to allow you time to reschedule.
Step 3 Score Delay
Scores for examinees taking Step 3 in early 2024 will be released March 13.
Necessary annual modifications to the test item pool will result in a delay in reporting Step 3 scores for examinees who test in early 2024.
If you need your Step 3 scores before March 13, 2024, the USMLE program recommends that you complete the exam no later than December 31, 2023.
The target date for reporting scores for most examinees testing in January and February 2024 is Wednesday, March 13, 2024.
Please note that there will be no USMLE Step 3 examinations administered January 1-14, 2024. Following March 13, 2024, most Step 3 scores will be reported within four weeks of testing.
Scores are typically released within three to four weeks of completing your Day 2. However, there are some circumstances that could cause a delay in a score release.
Scores are released each Wednesday.
If you do not receive an email regarding your score report within 8 weeks of your last test day, you should check the Step 3 site or contact the FSMB at (817) 868-4041 or firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the status of your score report.
A single score and a single pass/fail outcome will be reported following completion of both examination days.
When your score is available, the FSMB will send an email to the email address you provided on your application. Follow the instructions in the email for accessing your USMLE score report from the Step 3 site.
Log into the Step 3 site.
Once logged in you will be able to view, download, and print your score report. If you do not receive an email regarding your score report within 8 weeks of your last test day, you should check the Step 3 site or contact us at (817) 868-4041 or email@example.com to determine the status of your score report.
Your score report will remain available for 365 days (until midnight, Eastern time zone) from the date of your email notification. After 365 days, the score report is removed from the website, and your scores will be provided to you only in the form of an official USMLE transcript. The graphical performance profiles included on your original score report are not included on USMLE transcripts.
For all Steps, a highly rigorous process is used to ensure the accuracy of scores, including a parallel scoring method involving independent scoring systems. Therefore, a change in your score or in your pass/fail outcome based on a recheck is an extremely remote possibility. To date, the score recheck process has not resulted in a score change.
The score recheck process does not include a manual review of the questions or your answers. When a request for a score recheck is received, the original response record is retrieved and rescored using a system that is outside of the normal processing routine. The score calculated during the recheck is then compared with the original score. You will be advised in writing whether the original score and/or pass/fail outcome was deemed accurate. No additional information will be provided in the letter.
If you wish to request a score recheck, you must submit a request and service fee. Your request must be received no later than 90 days after your result was released to you.
All requests for a change of name, address, phone and email must be made through the Step 3 site.
For a name change, you must include both:
Evidence that substantiates the name change/correction (e.g., copy of the marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order) AND
Evidence to demonstrate that the new name is being used consistently. (e.g., copy of a non-expired, government issued form of identification bearing the new name, signature, and photograph).
It is how we notify you of the status of your application, scheduling permit, and scores.
An email address must be provided on your Step 3 application because it will be used to notify you of your Step 3 application processing status (e.g., incomplete documents), approval, scheduling permit availability, and score report release.
Please make sure that you allow emails from firstname.lastname@example.org to be received by your email address. Examinees that provide email addresses ending in an .edu and some free accounts will either reject the email notifications all together or will send the email to your spam or junk email folders.
Non-receipt of emails will not be accepted to request free eligibility extensions, refunds of your application fees, or free transcripts of your USMLE scores.
The Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) is a uniform process for state medical boards to obtain a primary source verified record of a physician's core medical credentials. FCVS obtains primary source verification of medical education, postgraduate training, examination history, board action history, board certification and identity. This repository of information allows physicians and physician assistants to establish a confidential, lifetime professional portfolio with FCVS that can be forwarded, at the physician's request, to any state medical board that has established an agreement with FCVS, as well as to any hospital, health care organization or other entity. [More on FCVS]