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Step 3 Application

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.

Step 3 Minimum Passing Score

At its December 2023 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee, representing a national group of physicians in licensure, medical education, and current practice, and two public members, conducted a review of the USMLE Step 3 passing standard. It was decided that a two-point increase in the passing standard – used to determine a Pass or Fail outcome – will apply to Step 3 examinees testing on or after January 1, 2024.  On the three-digit score scale, the passing standard will change from 198 to 200.

See the December 14 announcement on the USMLE website for additional information. 

Eligibility Requirements

The Step 3 eligibility requirements are:

  • Passing scores on Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge; AND
  • An MD degree or DO degree from an LCME- or COCA-accredited U.S. or Canadian medical school, or the equivalent of the MD degree from a medical school outside the U.S. and Canada that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements, and obtain ECFMG CertificationAND
  • Meets all other eligibility criteria as listed in the current USMLE Bulletin of Information.

FOR NEW AND UPCOMING GRADUATES:

Do not apply for Step 3 until after the date of graduation on your medical school diploma. If you apply before you have graduated, your application will be cancelled and a portion of your fees will be forfeited. 

It can take up to 12 weeks after you graduate for FSMB to verify your graduation with your medical school. Please keep this in mind when selecting your eligibility period, since free extensions of your chosen eligibility period are not provided. 

Please feel free to contact us before you apply to find out if your graduation has been verified. We can be reached at (817) 868-4041 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Eastern) or usmle@fsmb.org.

APPLICATION:
Apply for Step 3 here

New users: You must create an account in order to access the application. 

Returning user and forgot your password: The best option is to create a new account rather than using the “forgot your password?” option. There is no limit on the number of “accounts” you can create, and staff are unable to view or reset your username or password. 

A Step 3 Certification of Identity form (CID) is required for all applications unless an approved CID is already on file with FSMB and is not more than 5 years old.

Processing time from submission of your application (including fees and CID) to availability of your scheduling permit is approximately 2 weeks (7-10 business days). Processing can be delayed if there are issues with either your application or your CID. FSMB will email you about any issues that are identified. 

You can check the status of your Step 3 application, scheduling permit and score report at any time by logging into the Step 3 site.

An email address must be provided on your Step 3 application. FSMB uses this email address to notify you of issues with your Step 3 application (e.g., incomplete CID, name issue), when your application is approved, when your scheduling permit is available and when your score report is available. Non-receipt of emails will not be accepted to request refunds, free eligibility extensions, or free USMLE transcripts.  

BULLETIN OF INFORMATION:
By submitting a Step 3 application, you certify that you have read the Bulletin of Information, are familiar with its contents, and agree to abide by the policies and procedures described therein.

If you test in 2024, you are responsible for reviewing the 2024 Bulletin.

FEES:
The Step 3 fee is non-refundable and non-transferable from one eligibility period to another or from one application to another. Fees must be paid via American Express, MasterCard or Visa. You can view current fees here.

CHANGING YOUR ELIGIBILITY PERIOD:
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).

CANCELLING YOUR APPLICATION:
To cancel your application, you must send a written (email) request to usmle@fsmb.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, you will receive a partial refund of your application fee (minus a $100 processing fee).

TEST ACCOMMODATIONS:
If you need test accommodations, please be sure to select the appropriate box on the Step 3 application.

Requests for test accommodations must be made in writing at the time the Step 3 application is submitted.

Test accommodations for all USMLE Steps are handled by NBME’s Office of Disability Services. Please visit the Test Accommodations page on the USMLE website for more information and to request accommodations.

SCHEDULING PERMIT:
As soon as you receive your scheduling permit, please check it to make sure that the name on the permit matches the name on the identification form (e.g., driver’s license, passport) you plan to bring with you on your test days. You will not be allowed to test if the names do not match exactly.

If your first and last names on your scheduling permit are not correct or do not match the identification form you plan to take to the test center, contact us immediately at (817) 868-4041 or usmle@fsmb.org.

You must have a printed copy of permit or be able to access your scheduling permit via the Step 3 site on your testing dates in order to be able to test.

SCHEDULING YOUR EXAM:
You must have your scheduling permit before you contact Prometric to schedule your test dates. Scheduling permits are not available more than 6 months prior to the start of your eligibility period.

You can schedule and take your two Step 3 testing days on consecutive or non-consecutive days. However, Step 3 FIP ("Day 1") must be taken first, followed by Step 3 ACM ("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. 

Step 3 is not offered during the first two weeks of January.

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, and 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.

IF YOUR TEST CENTER CLOSES ON YOUR TEST DATE(S):
If your test center is closed due to inclement weather or other issues and you are not able to test, you must do the following:

  • 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 usmle@fsmb.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 testadmin@nbme.org.
  • The email should include: 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.

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). A free extension of your eligibility period will be provided, if needed, to allow you time to reschedule.

QUESTIONS? NEED ASSISTANCE? 
Please call us at (817) 868-4041 between 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, or email us at usmle@fsmb.org.

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