Study Tips

USMLE Step 1 Exam Dates in 2020

Osmosis Team
Published on Sep 24, 2020. Updated on Sep 24, 2020.

Ready to apply for USMLE® Step 1 as an international student, but not sure where to start? This blog post will cover everything you need to know about applying, from eligibility to receiving your score. We’ll cover:

  • USMLE Step 1 Exam Dates in 2020

  • USMLE Step 1 Exam Eligibility: Who can take this exam?

  • USMLE Step 1: How to apply through the ECFMG

  • USMLE Step 1: Costs & fees

  • USMLE Step 1: When will I get my exam results?

Let’s dive in!

USMLE Step 1 Exam Dates in 2020

To schedule a date for part 1 of your USMLE boards, you must apply for a three-month eligibility period via the ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) within which you can take the exam (it can’t fall on major holidays or the first week of January). Each eligibility period will have a number of test dates you can select from. However, it’s important to be timely: slots often fill up rapidly, and as a result, not every date will be available. Advance planning is important! We’re closing in on the end of 2020, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible if you wish to take Step 1 before 2021.

USMLE Step 1 Exam Eligibility: Who can take this exam?

Before you apply to take Step 1, make sure that you’re eligible. To be eligible for Step 1, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting eligibility for ECFMG certification and examination (both at time of application, and on test day)

  • Get authorized by an official of your school via certification of your enrollment status

  • Complete at least two years of medical school, which should encompass the basic medical science component of your curriculum

Additionally, since you’re applying to take Step 1 via the ECFMG, you must fulfill any other mandated ECFMG criteria.

USMLE Step 1: How to apply through the ECFMG

Follow these steps to apply for USMLE Step 1 through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates’ online portal:

You’re ready to get started! Before applying, make sure:

To apply for Step 1, use ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA). Log in to your account and complete the application. You must select a three-month eligibility period during which you will take the exam.

Once ECFMG verifies your eligibility, you will be issued a scheduling permit. You can then schedule your testing appointment. Make sure to select a date that falls within your eligibility period, or you’ll have to reapply!

USMLE Step 1: Costs & fees

Budgeting is an important part of scheduling your board exams, as you must pay all applicable fees by the time you apply. Here are some costs you should be aware of.

Before applying for Step 1, you must apply for ECFMG certification, which costs $145. 

The examination fee for Step 1 is $965.

Finally, don’t forget to factor in the International Test Delivery Surcharge, which varies depending on where you’re testing. Determine your expected surcharge here

USMLE Step 1: When will I get my exam results?

USMLE Step 1 score release dates are usually within a three to four week window following the date you took the exam. However, note that there might be unexpected delays, so allow for at least eight weeks to receive your score report. You will be notified via email when your score is available, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled!


Hopefully, you’re now prepared to schedule your Step 1 exam. The next step, of course, is to study for Step 1 so that you can pass with flying colors! Head over to our USMLE Step 1 Ultimate Guide for all the information and advice you’ll need. You’re going to do great!



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