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Computer-based USMLE

An Introduction for Students and Graduates of Foreign Medical Schools

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates


3624 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685 USA (215) 386-5900 www.ecfmg.org
ECFMGSM is an organization committed to promoting excellence in international medical education.

Computer-based USMLE An Introduction for Students and Graduates of Foreign Medical Schools
Table of Contents Introduction About This Brochure . . .. Why Computer-based Testing? . . When Does CBT Begin? CBT Registration: Some New Policies and Procedures. Registration Entity and Test Delivery Entity . Eligibility Period Testing Region .. . Examination Fee and International Test
Delivery Surcharge Scheduling Permit . Application and Payment . .. An Overview of Registration and Scheduling: What You Need To Do . Examinees with Documented Disabilities . . Format of Computer-based Step 1 and Step 2 . Minimum Passing Scores How to Prepare .. Directory of Services . Glossary .
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Copyright1999 by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMGSM). All rights reserved. Portions reprinted, with permission, from the USMLE 1999 Bulletin of Information on Computer-based Testing (CBT). Copyright1998 by the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc. and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).

INTRODUCTION
Since the introduction of Steps 1 and 2 of the United States
Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE ) in 1992, the
Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
(ECFMGSM) has administered these exams to students and
graduates of foreign medical schools in paper and pencil
format. Test questions were presented to examinees in paper
test booklets, and examinees wrote their responses on paper
answer sheets, which were collected and scored.
Beginning this year, ECFMG will register eligible
students/graduates of foreign medical schools for computer-
based administrations of Step 1 and Step 2. With the
introduction of computer-based testing (CBT), the test
questions will be presented to examinees on a computer
screen. Examinees will choose their answers using the
computer mouse or keyboard, and their responses will be
s recorded by the computer, rather than on an answer sheet.
ABOUT THIS BROCHURE Computer-based testing has many advantages over the former paper and pencil format. Some of these advantages are discussed below. However, along with these benefits come many changes for applicants. One obvious change is that examinees will take the exams using a computer. There are also significant differences in the registration process for computer-based USMLE. For example--students and graduates of foreign medical schools will continue to apply for these exams through ECFMG, but they will schedule their own testing appointments with Sylvan. Sylvan is the entity that will actually administer the exams in its test centers. We at ECFMG realize that many of you have questions about CBT. We also know that the idea of taking Step 1 and Step 2 by computer is a source of anxiety for many of you, especially

if you have limited or no experience with computers. ECFMG


has developed this brochure to address these questions and
concerns by:
Explaining the new policies and procedures that apply to
computer-based Step 1 or Step 2; Reviewing what you need to do to register, schedule and take the exam; Describing the format of computer-based Step 1 and Step 2; and Providing interactive practice materials in the form of the enclosed compact disc (CD). Although this brochure provides an introduction to computerbased Step 1 and Step 2, applicants for these exams must read the appropriate edition of the combined ECFMG Information Booklet / USMLE Bulletin of Information for detailed information on policies and procedures. The current editions of these publications are available on the enclosed CD. They are also available in printed format from ECFMG at no cost. The information in this brochure is subject to change. Notice of any such changes will be posted on the USMLE web site at http://www.usmle.org or on the ECFMG web site at http://www.ecfmg.org. In the event that any information in this brochure differs from the corresponding information in the ECFMG Information Booklet / USMLE Bulletin of Information, the latter publications will contain the most current and accurate information. For information and application materials for computer-based Step 3, you should contact the individual licensing authorities or the Federation of State Medical Boards, Department of Examination Services, 400 Fuller Wiser Road, Suite 300, Euless, Texas 76039-3855, USA; Telephone: (817) 571-2949; Internet: http://www.fsmb.org.

WHY COMPUTER-BASED TESTING?


The transition to CBT is part of an overall plan undertaken by
the USMLE parent organizations to enhance the Step exams.
Computer-based testing offers a number of advantages over
the former paper and pencil format, including the following:
Shorter Testing Time. The former paper and pencil
Step 1 and Step 2 were each two-day exams. Computer-based
Step 1 and Step 2 are each one-day exams. Computer-based
administrations of Step 1 will last about 8 hours. Computer-
based administrations of Step 2 will last about 9 hours.
Flexibility. Computer-based testing offers examinees greater opportunity and flexibility in taking Step 1 and Step 2. ECFMG offered each of the former paper and pencil exams twice per year--on fixed dates. However, for computer-based Step 1 and Step 2, applicants choose the three-month time period during which they would like to take the exam. They may take the exam on any date that it is offered during this three-month period, provided that space is available at the desired test center. In addition, eligible applicants for CBT may attempt each Step up to three times in any twelve-month period. Applicants who wish to retake a computer-based Step only need to wait 60 days between attempts on the same Step. Wider Access. Computer-based Step 1 and Step 2 are offered at nearly 500 Sylvan Technology Centers(STC) worldwide. Nearly 200 of these centers are located outside of the United States and Canada. These numbers represent a significant increase over the 79 ECFMG test centers that were available to students and graduates of foreign medical schools under the paper and pencil format. Under computerbased testing, students/graduates of both foreign and US

medical schools will test at the same Sylvan Technology


Centers.
Faster Score Reporting. The fact that the test materials
and examinee responses are stored electronically will allow
ECFMG to mail scores to examinees within several weeks of
their test dates, rather than the eight weeks that were
required before scores could be mailed for paper and pencil
administrations. (During the initial implementation of CBT,
however, it may take up to three months for scores to become
available for the earliest examinees.)
WHEN DOES CBT BEGIN?
The last paper and pencil administrations of Step 1 and
Step 2 have already taken place, on October 20-21, 1998 and
March 2-3, 1999, respectively.
Computer-based administrations of Step 1 began in May 1999.
Computer-based administrations of Step 2 are expected to
begin during the second half of August 1999. ECFMG is
currently accepting applications for both exams.
The next section explains some of the new policies and
procedures that apply to computer-based Step 1 and Step 2.
After this section, we will review what you need to do to
register, schedule and take these exams.
CBT REGISTRATION:
SOME NEW POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Registration Entity and Test Delivery Entity
Registered applicants for computer-based Step 1 or Step 2
will need to communicate with two organizations, ECFMG and
Sylvan. As was the case under paper and pencil
administration, ECFMG acts as your registration entity. Upon
receipt of your completed application and payment and
determination that you are eligible, ECFMG will notify the

National Board of Medical Examiners(NBME) of your eligibility. The NBME, one of the USMLE parent organizations, will mail your scheduling permit within two weeks of this notification.

Tip:

If the beginning of your eligibility period is more than six months away, your scheduling permit will not be mailed until approximately six months before the beginning of your assigned eligibility period.

Although your scheduling permit will be mailed by NBME, you


should contact ECFMG if you have questions or concerns about
this document.
The scheduling permit is your authorization to contact Sylvan,
the test delivery entity, to schedule your testing appointment.
Sylvan is the organization that will actually administer the
exam to you in one of its Sylvan Technology Centers. When
you contact Sylvan, its representatives will be able to tell you
what locations and dates are available to take the exam. They
will also schedule your testing appointment. You will also
contact Sylvan if you need to reschedule your testing
appointment within your three-month eligibility period.
After you take the exam, your scores will be mailed to you by
ECFMG. You will continue to contact ECFMG for services such
as duplicate score reports and USMLE transcripts, as well as
for information on any aspect of the ECFMG certification
process.
Eligibility Period
Instead of registering for an exam administered on a specific
date, you will choose a three-month period during which you
would like to take the exam. You must select this three-month
period on the application form that you send to ECFMG. This
three-month period is referred to as your eligibility period,

since you will only be eligible to take the exam during the three-month period assigned to you. You may take the exam on any day that it is offered during your assigned eligibility period, provided that there is space at the test center you choose.

Tip:

If there is no space available at your first choice of test center on the date that you want, you can ask about space at other centers (if available) on that date. You can take the exam at any STC offering USMLE, provided that the center is located in the testing region that you selected.

If you apply for both Step 1 and Step 2 on the same application form, you can choose the same eligibility period for both exams, or you can choose a different eligibility period for each Step. You should know that you may not change your eligibility period once it has been assigned. If you do not take the exam during your assigned eligibility period, you will lose your payment for the exam, and you will need to submit a new application and full payment of all applicable fees to take the exam. Testing Region
Similarly, instead of selecting a specific test center, you will
choose a geographical region in which you would like to take
the exam. This geographical region is called your testing
region. You must enter this testing region on the application
form that you submit to ECFMG.

Tip:

Be sure to write out the name of the testing region that you choose (for example "Africa") on the application form. Do not list specific cities or Sylvan center codes on the application.

You may take the exam at any Sylvan Technology Center in the testing region that offers USMLE, provided that space is available on the date that you request. You may not change your testing region once it has been assigned. A list of testing regions and Sylvan Technology Centers is included with the ECFMG Information Booklet. However, since the list of STCs offering USMLE is subject to change, you should visit the Sylvan web site at http://www.sylvanprometric.com for current information on the STCs available in particular testing regions before you select a testing region. Once you have received your scheduling permit, you can contact Sylvan directly for current information--simply follow the instructions for contacting Sylvan on your scheduling permit. A list of testing regions and STCs is also available on the ECFMG web site at http://www.ecfmg.org. Examination Fee and International Test Delivery Surcharge Applicants for the former paper and pencil exams were charged one fee for each of these exams. For the computerbased Steps, the total fee consists of the examination fee plus the appropriate international test delivery surcharge, if applicable. All applicants must pay the examination fee. The amount of the examination fee is listed in the USMLE application materials. If you choose a testing region other than the United States/Canada, you must also pay the international test delivery surcharge for the international testing region that you select. These surcharges currently range from US$100 to US$270 depending on the testing region you select. The surcharges represent the additional cost of offering Step 1 and Step 2 by computer in locations outside of the United States and Canada. If you choose to take the

exam within the United States or Canada, you do not need to pay a surcharge. You must send full payment of both fees with your application to ECFMG. If you do not send full payment with your application, your application will be returned to you unprocessed.

Tip:

If you apply for both Step 1 and Step 2 on the same application form, you must send full payment of these fees for both exams or your application will be returned to you unprocessed.

Scheduling Permit
After you are registered by ECFMG for computer-based Step 1 or Step 2, ECFMG will notify the NBME of your eligibility. The NBME will mail your scheduling permit within two weeks of this notification. The scheduling permit is your key to the next step in the process: scheduling your own testing appointment with Sylvan. The scheduling permit is a very important document, and you should be careful not to lose it. You cannot schedule your testing appointment or take the exam without it. Although your scheduling permit will be mailed by NBME, you should contact ECFMG if you have questions or concerns about this document. If you lose your scheduling permit, you should contact ECFMG immediately.

Tip:

If the beginning of your eligibility period is more than six months away, your scheduling permit will not be mailed until approximately six months before the beginning of your assigned eligibility period.

The scheduling permit contains the following information: Your name and mailing address; The exam for which you registered--either Step 1 or Step 2 (If you register for both Step 1 and Step 2 on the

same application form, you will receive two separate scheduling permits, one for Step 1 and one for Step 2.); Your eligibility period--the three-month period during which you are eligible to take the exam; and Your testing region--the geographical region in which you will take the exam. It also contains two important numbers: Your Scheduling Number-- you must provide this number when you contact Sylvan to schedule your testing appointment; and Your Candidate Identification Number (CIN)--you must enter your CIN into the computer at the Sylvan center on the date of your test in order to unlock your exam. You must keep this number confidential. For your own protection, do not share your CIN with anyone. Your scheduling permit tells you how to contact Sylvan to schedule a testing appointment or get current information on the STCs offering USMLE in your testing region. The contact information included on your scheduling permit will vary, depending on whether you register for the United States/Canada testing region or an international testing region. The information included for both cases is summarized below.

Contact Information Included on Scheduling Permit


United States / Canada Testing Region If you are registered to take the exam in the United States or Canada, you must call Sylvan to schedule your testing appointment. Your scheduling permit will include the telephone number for Sylvan Regional Registration Center for the s US/Canadian testing region.

International Testing Regions If you are registered to take the exam in an international testing region, you can contact Sylvan by phone, fax or mail. Your scheduling permit will include the telephone number, fax number, and mailing address for Sylvan Regional Registration Center for the testing s region that you selected. Telephone scheduling is the most direct method. However, if you cannot schedule by phone, part of your permit is a form that you can use to schedule an appointment by fax or mail. When you schedule your testing appointment, you will receive specific information from Sylvan. This information will consist of your confirmed test date and time, the address and telephone number of the STC and your Sylvan Confirmation Number. The scheduling permit includes space for you to write down this information. Be sure to record all of this information on your scheduling permit. Do not write anything else on the permit. If you need to reschedule your testing appointment with Sylvan, you will need the Sylvan Confirmation Number that you recorded on your scheduling permit when you made your original appointment. Finally, the scheduling permit includes basic information on how to schedule your testing appointment, what you need to bring with you to the test center and what you should expect when you arrive at the STC on your test date.

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Application and Payment


Computer-based Step 1 and Step 2 are offered on a regular
basis throughout the year. As a result, there is no deadline to
submit your application and payment for these exams.
However, you should consider the following factors when
planning the timing of your application:
First, ECFMG cannot assign you to the eligibility period that you selected on your application if that eligibility period has already begun. In the event that processing of your application is not complete before the beginning of the eligibility period you selected, you will be assigned to the next eligibility period. Therefore, you should send your application and payment well in advance of the beginning of the eligibility period you select. Example: An applicant mails her Step 1 application in early July for the August-September-October eligibility period. ECFMG receives her application in late July, and processing of her application is completed on August 5th. Since the eligibility period selected by the applicant began on August 1st and the processing of the application was completed on August 5th, the applicant cannot be assigned to the August-September-October eligibility period. In this case the applicant would be assigned to the September-October-November eligibility period and would not be eligible to take the exam in August. Second, if any month in the applicant's desired eligibility period falls within the next calendar year, the applicant must use the next year's application materials. Example: An applicant decides in May 1999 that he wants to apply to take Step 2 during the NovemberDecember-January eligibility period. Since the last month of the eligibility period desired by the applicant

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(January) falls within the year 2000, the applicant must apply using the year 2000 application materials. Application materials for the next calendar year are expected
to be available in early July of the current year. The year
2000 application materials are expected to be available in
early July 1999.
Third, the USMLE application materials may specify a date
after which you cannot use the current year's application
materials and after which you must use the next year's
application materials. You should check for this date before
you complete the application form.
AN OVERVIEW OF REGISTRATION AND SCHEDULING:
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Get the ECFMG Information Booklet.
The Information Booklet contains the application form for
computer-based Step 1 and Step 2. You can request a free
copy of the Information Booklet 24 hours a day/7days a week
by calling (215) 375-1913. If you are calling from within
North America, you can call toll-free at (800) 500-8249. You
can also fax your request to (215) 387-9963 or write to
ECFMG at the address on the back cover of this brochure.
Decide When and Where You Want to Take the Exam. You must choose a three-month eligibility period during the year when you want to take the exam. You must also choose the geographical testing region where you want to take the exam. You must enter both the eligibility period and testing region on your application form.

Tip:

Although you need to choose a testing region, you do not need to choose a particular Sylvan Technology Center until you contact Sylvan to schedule your testing appointment.

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Complete the Application Form.


Be sure to follow the application instructions carefully and
complete all items. If you are asked to provide additional
documentation, such as copies of your medical school diploma,
be sure to include it with your application. If your application
is not complete, it will be returned to you unprocessed.

Tip:

If the eligibility period that you want is not listed on the application form, you do not have the appropriate edition of the Information Booklet and application materials. You must use the application materials for the calendar year in which your desired eligibility period ends.

Include Full Payment.


You must pay all fees at the time that you send your
application. If you do not include full payment, your
application will be returned to you unprocessed.

Tip:

Your payment will be applied to any amount that you owe to ECFMG before it is applied to your exam registration. If the funds remaining are not sufficient to cover all fees for the registration(s) you request, your application will be returned to you unprocessed.

Receive Your Scheduling Permit.


Once ECFMG processes your application and determines that
you are eligible, ECFMG will notify NBME of your eligibility.
NBME will mail your scheduling permit within two weeks of
this notification. If the beginning of your assigned eligibility
period is more than six months away, your scheduling permit
will not be mailed to you until about six months before the
beginning of your eligibility period. Although your scheduling
permit will be mailed by NBME, you should contact ECFMG if
you have questions or concerns about this document.

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Choose Some Specific Dates and Sylvan Technology


Centers for Taking the Exam.
Before you contact Sylvan to schedule your appointment, you
should choose several dates when you could take the exam.
All of the dates that you choose must fall within the eligibility
period indicated on your scheduling permit.

Tip:

When choosing your potential testing dates, remember that: Sylvan Technology Centers are closed on major local holidays; USMLE exams are not given during the first two weeks of January; and The busiest testing times in the US/Canada testing region are May through July and November through December.

You should also choose one or more STCs where you could
take the exam. The STCs that you choose must fall within
the testing region indicated on your scheduling permit.
A list of the STCs available in each testing region is included
with the ECFMG Information Booklet. However, the list of
STCs available for computer-based Step 1 and Step 2 is
subject to change. To obtain the most current information on
available STCs, you can visit the Sylvan web site at
http://www.sylvanprometric.com or the ECFMG web site at
http://www.ecfmg.org. You can also contact Sylvan for this
information before scheduling your testing appointment.
Simply follow the instructions for contacting Sylvan on your
scheduling permit.
Schedule Your Testing Appointment with Sylvan.
When you are ready to schedule your testing appointment, you
should contact Sylvan. You can schedule your testing
appointment with Sylvan up to six months in advance of your

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assigned eligibility period. You must contact Sylvan before 12:00 noon (local time at the Regional Registration Center for your testing region) at least five business days (two business days for the US/Canada testing region) before the exam date that you want. Space at STCs is available on a first-come, first-served basis. After you receive your scheduling permit and decide when and where you want to take the exam, you should contact Sylvan as soon as possible to increase your chances of getting the date and location you want. Scheduling by telephone is the most direct method. The telephone number for Sylvan Regional Registration Center s for your testing region is listed on your scheduling permit. If you are registered for an international testing region and do not have access to a telephone, you can contact Sylvan by fax or in writing. Sylvan fax number and mailing address are s listed on your scheduling permit. Simply make a clear photocopy of the Form to Schedule an Appointment by Fax or Mail that appears on your scheduling permit and send it to Sylvan.

Tip:

When scheduling by fax or mail, be sure to copy the form that appears on your scheduling permit. Do not send your original scheduling permit to Sylvan. When copying the form, be sure not to copy your confidential Candidate Identification Number that appears below the form.

When you contact Sylvan to schedule, you will need to give the Scheduling Number listed on your scheduling permit. Sylvan will let you know what dates are available at the location(s) you have chosen. When you make your appointment, Sylvan will confirm with you the date and time of your exam. Sylvan will give you the address and telephone number of the Sylvan Technology

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Center you selected. You will also receive a Confirmation Number. Be sure to write all of this information in the spaces provided on your scheduling permit. Do not write anything else on your scheduling permit. If you already have a scheduled testing appointment and you need to reschedule within your eligibility period, you must contact Sylvan, not ECFMG. You will need to provide your Confirmation Number. For this reason, you should be sure to record your Confirmation Number on your scheduling permit when you schedule for the first time. If you contact Sylvan before 12:00 noon (local time at the Regional Registration Center for your testing region) at least five business days before your original appointment, you can cancel or reschedule the appointment free of charge. However, you must still take the exam within your eligibility period and testing region, or you will lose your payment for the exam. If you give notice of less than five business days, you will need to pay Sylvan a rescheduling fee when you arrange your new appointment. Take the Exam.
On the date of your testing appointment, you should arrive at
the Sylvan Technology Center thirty minutes before your
scheduled start time. If you need directions to the test
center, you should call the test center using the telephone
number that Sylvan provided when you scheduled your
appointment.
You also need to bring both your original scheduling permit
and one of the following forms of unexpired, government-
issued identification that contains both your signature and
photograph: passport, driver's license, national identity card
or other form of unexpired, government-issued identification
that contains both your signature and photograph. If your
government-issued form of identification contains your
photograph but not your signature, you can use another form

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of unexpired identification that contains your signature, such as a student/employee identification card or a credit card, to supplement your photo-bearing, government-issued identification.

Tip:

The name on your scheduling permit must match the name on your form(s) of identification exactly. If the name listed on your scheduling permit is not correct, contact ECFMG immediately.

If you arrive more than thirty minutes late or do not have both the scheduling permit and proper identification, you will not be allowed to take the exam. If you are not allowed to take the exam for these reasons, your payment will not be refunded. You will need to reschedule your testing appointment and pay Sylvan a rescheduling fee. Before beginning the exam, you will be asked to: Present your scheduling permit and identification; Sign in; Have your photograph taken; and Store all of your personal belongings in a locker.

The proctor at the test center will tear off the part of your scheduling permit that contains your Candidate Identification Number (CIN) and give it to you. The proctor will keep the rest of your scheduling permit.

Tip:

Be careful not to lose the portion of your scheduling permit that contains your CIN. You will need to enter your CIN into the computer at the beginning of the exam and after each break.

A proctor will lead you to a computer in the testing area. To begin your exam, you must enter your CIN into the computer. The exam will begin with a brief tutorial. The tutorial will help you become familiar with how the computer and test

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software work. The answers that you choose during the tutorial do not contribute to your score on the exam. Your testing appointment is over when you complete the exam or when you run out of testing time, whichever happens first. After completing the exam, you will sign out, and a proctor will give you a Test Completion Notice. The Test Completion Notice is your confirmation that you took the exam. This notice does not include your score. EXAMINEES WITH DOCUMENTED DISABILITIES Appropriate accommodations will be made for USMLE examinees with documented disabilities. If you have a documented disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you must get the ECFMG Request for Test Accommodations for Examinees with Disabilities and follow its instructions before you send your application for the exam to ECFMG. You can download this publication from the ECFMG web site at http://www.ecfmg.org. You can also request a copy by calling (215) 386-5900, by faxing to (215) 386-6327 or by writing to the address on the back cover of this brochure. ECFMG will forward your request for test accommodations to NBME. NBME will inform you of the outcome of your request once it has been processed. FORMAT OF COMPUTER-BASED STEP 1 AND STEP 2
In some ways the computer-based exams are similar to the
former paper and pencil exams. They consist of the same
types of multiple-choice questions that appeared on the paper
and pencil exams. However, the questions will be organized
differently. Computer-based Step 1 and Step 2 are composed
of groups of 25 to 50 questions. Each group of questions is
called a "block." Step 1 consists of seven blocks of questions.
Step 2 consists of eight blocks of questions.

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You will have between 30 and 60 minutes to complete each block of questions. Once you start working on a block, you can not stop the exam clock. The computer will keep track of how much time you have left in each block and for the entire exam. The questions in a block will appear on the computer screen one at a time. You will read the material available and select an answer to the question. You can select an answer by pointing to the answer and "clicking" with the computer's mouse or by typing the letter (A, B, C, etc.) corresponding to the answer on the computer's keyboard. When you are finished with a question, you choose to move on to the next question. Once you complete a block or time runs out, you can not go back to the questions in the block. You can take breaks, including a lunch break, between blocks of questions. You will have at least 45 minutes of break time for the entire testing day. If you finish one or more blocks early, you can take this extra time as break time.

Tip:

You should be careful not to use all of your break time too early in the testing day. The brief tutorial at the beginning of the exam is included on the enclosed compact disc. If you are already familiar with the tutorial and choose to skip it on the exam date, you can use this extra time for breaks.

Your testing day is over when you have completed all blocks of
questions or when you run out of time, whichever happens
first. The entire testing day for Step 1 will last eight hours.
The testing day for Step 2 will last nine hours.
MINIMUM PASSING SCORES
The minimum scores required to pass computer-based Step 1
and Step 2 are expected to remain the same as they were for
the paper and pencil exams. Just as under paper and pencil
format, though, these minimum passing scores are reviewed

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periodically and may be adjusted without notice prior to score


reporting.
HOW TO PREPARE
ECFMG provides registered applicants with free practice
materials for computer-based Step 1 and Step 2. These
materials are available in two formats--as a printed booklet
and in the form of a compact disc (CD). ECFMG sends both
the printed booklet and the CD to applicants when they are
registered for Step 1 and/or Step 2.
Both the booklet and CD will help you become familiar with the types of questions you will encounter on the exams. The compact disc will help you to become familiar with the operation of a personal computer and with the exam software that you will encounter on the date of your exam. If you do not have extensive experience with computers, you may be concerned about taking a computer-based exam. The NBME has conducted field trials to determine the effect of prior computer experience on examinee performance on computer-based exams. These field trials show that experience with computers generally does not affect how examinees score on computer-based, multiple-choice exams. Practice with the exam software is also not considered essential. Although not considered essential, it is recommended that you practice with the exam software before taking the exam. One way to do this is to take the practice tests on the enclosed CD. The CD contains a brief tutorial and practice tests for both Step 1 and Step 2. If you do not have the CD, there are other ways to get these interactive practice materials. If you have access to the Internet, you can download them from the USMLE web site at http://www.usmle.org.

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If you have already received your scheduling permit for a computer-based Step, you can schedule a practice session for this Step at a Sylvan Technology Center. You must pay a fee to Sylvan for this service. You should know that the practice materials used for the practice sessions at Sylvan Technology Centers are the same materials included on the enclosed CD. No new material will be presented during the Sylvan practice sessions. If you would like to take a practice session at a Sylvan Technology Center, you must register for the practice session to obtain a practice session scheduling permit. You can register for a practice session on the USMLE web site at http://www.usmle.org. Information on the fee for the practice sessions is also available at this site. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call ECFMG at (215) 3865900 to register and get information on the fee for this service.

Tip:

When you register for a practice session, you will be asked for the Scheduling Number and Candidate Identification Number from your Step 1 or Step 2 scheduling permit. You must have your Step 1 or Step 2 scheduling permit before you can register for a practice session.

We hope that you find this brochure helpful in preparing to take computer-based USMLE Step 1 and Step 2. If you have questions about which entity to contact as you proceed through registration and scheduling, please refer to the following directory. If you have questions about CBT that are not answered here, you can call ECFMG's Applicant Information Services at (215) 386-5900.

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Directory of Services

FOR Questions on your eligibility or the status of your application or payment Incorrect name and/or address on your scheduling permit Lost or missing scheduling permit Information on test accommodations or to obtain the Request for Test Accommodations for Examinees with Disabilities Duplicate score report or USMLE transcript Questions about ECFMG Certification

CONTACT

ECFMG 3624 Market Street Philadelphia PA 19104 USA (215) 386-5900 www.ecfmg.org

The ECFMG Information Booklet and application materials for Step 1 and Step 2

Call ECFMG 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at (215) 375-1913 or (800) 500-8249, if calling from within North America. Fax your request to (215) 3879963. Mail your request to ECFMG 3624 Market Street Philadelphia PA 19104 USA

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Directory of Services
(continued)

FOR

CONTACT

Scheduling or rescheduling your testing appointment Current information on the STCs offering USMLE Scheduling a practice session at a Sylvan Technology Center Downloading practice materials from the Internet Information or a scheduling permit for a Sylvan practice session

Sylvan Follow the instructions for contacting Sylvan on your scheduling permit. Visit the USMLE web site at http://www.usmle.org. Visit the USMLE web site at http://www.usmle.org OR call (215) 386-5900. Federation of State Medical Boards Dept. of Examination Services 400 Fuller Wiser Road Suite 300 Euless TX 76039-3855 USA (817) 571-2949 http://www.fsmb.org

Information and application materials for Step 3

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Glossary
Candidate Identification Number The number listed on your scheduling permit that you will enter into the computer on the date of your test. See pages 9, 17.

CBT CD CIN Confirmation Number ECFMG

Computer-based testing. See page 1. Compact disc. See pages 20-21. See Candidate Identification Number above. The number Sylvan will give you when you schedule your testing appointment. See pages 10, 15-16. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, your registration entity. See page 4. The three-month period, indicated on your scheduling permit, during which you are eligible to take the exam. See pages 5, 11-12. The fee that all applicants pay to take the exam. See page 7. The additional cost of taking the exam in an international testing region. See page 7. A USMLE parent organization and the entity that will mail your scheduling permit. See pages 5, 13, 18. See National Board of Medical Examiners above. The entity that determines your eligibility and processes your application and payment. See page 4. The number listed on your scheduling permit that you must provide to Sylvan when scheduling your testing appointment. See page 9. The document sent to eligible applicants authorizing them to schedule their testing appointments. See page 8. Sylvan Technology Center. See pages 7, 12, 14. The entity that will administer the exam to you in one of its test centers, your test delivery entity. See pages 4-5. The entity that will administer the exam to you in one of its test centers. See page 5. The geographical region in which you choose to take the exam. See page 6.

Eligibility Period Examination Fee


International Test Delivery Surcharge National Board of Medical Examiners

NBME Registration Entity Scheduling Number

Scheduling Permit STC Sylvan Test Delivery Entity Testing Region

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ECFMG AIMS AND MISSIONS


The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
(ECFMG) has the responsibility of evaluating qualifications of
graduates of foreign medical schools who seek entry into
postgraduate medical education positions in the United
States, and has an organizational commitment to promote
excellence in international medical education.
In recognition and fulfillment of public responsibilities for the
quality of health care, its delivery, and health professions
education, the sponsoring organizations established ECFMG to
concern itself with international medical education and
graduates of foreign medical schools.
To meet its responsibilities, ECFMG identifies the following as
its aims and missions:
Provide information to graduates of foreign medical
schools regarding entry into graduate medical education and
health care systems in the United States;
Evaluate the qualifications of graduates of foreign medical
schools for entry into graduate medical education and health
care systems in the United States;
Identify the cultural and professional needs of graduates
of foreign medical schools and assist in the establishment of
educational policies and programs to meet these needs;
Provide international access to testing and evaluation
programs;
Gather, maintain, analyze, and disseminate data and
conduct research studies on such data concerning graduates
of foreign medical schools;
Assist foreign medical schools and other institutions and
international agencies concerned with health professions
education through consultation and cooperation relative to
program development, standard setting and evaluation.

ECFMG SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is a separate, non-profit organization sponsored by: The American Board of Medical Specialties
The American Medical Association
The Association of American Medical Colleges
The Association for Hospital Medical Education
Federation of State Medical Boards of the United
States, Inc.
The National Medical Association

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates


3624 Market Street
Philadelphia PA 19104-2685 USA
(215) 386-5900
www.ecfmg.org