USMLE Step 3 2024 Exams: What You Need to Know About it

In case you didn’t know, for medical licensure in the United States, there is a three-step exam known as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). In order to provide safe and efficient patient care, the USMLE evaluates a doctor’s application of information, concepts, and principles as well as their basic patient-centred abilities. These are crucial in both health and sickness.

Thus, before anyone can practice medicine in the United States, candidates from all over the world must take the USMLE exam. To schedule their USMLE exam date, candidates may register for the exam at any time that is convenient for them. The candidate can set up the USMLE exam dates for 2024 on the Prometric website once the selected eligibility period has been approved. There is a lot to know, but for the sake of this article, we are going to tell you what you need to know about the USMLE Step 3.

The Requirements for Step 3 USMLE Exams

It is important to know the requirements that should be met before applying for the step 3 USMLE exams

The step 3 eligibility requirements for the USMLE exams include:

  • Achieving passing grades in Clinical Knowledge on Steps 1 and 2;
  • The equivalent of an MD degree from a medical school outside of the United States and Canada that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting the requirements for ECFMG eligibility or a DO degree from a medical school accredited by the LCME or COCA; and obtain ECFMG Certification;
  • Fulfilling all additional qualifying requirements specified in the most recent USMLE Bulletin of Information.

Note that for the new or latest graduates, you have to wait until after the date of your medical school diploma to apply for Step 3. Your application will be cancelled, and some of your money may be lost if you apply before you have graduated. This is because after you graduate, the FSMB may need up to 12 weeks to confirm your degree with your medical school. When choosing your eligibility time, please bear this in mind since free extensions of your selected eligibility period are not offered.

USMLE Step 3 Exam Pattern

The Step 3 exam focuses on how crucial it is to evaluate the expertise and knowledge of doctors who are taking on independent responsibility for giving patients general medical care. The Step 3 test is divided into two days: Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP) on the first day and Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM) on the second.

Also, step 3 consists of computer-based case simulations and multiple-choice questions (MCQs), sometimes referred to as items. The test has six blocks of 38–39 multiple-choice questions that make up the 232 multiple-choice items on the first testing day. Each block of test items has a 60-minute time limit. The test session lasts for about seven hours on the first day, with a 45-minute break and a 5-minute optional lesson. Questions you will see include diagnosis and management, questions also include epidemiology, biostatistics, and foundational sciences.

The second day’s test session lasts for almost nine hours. On this testing day, there will be an optional 5-minute lesson, then 180 multiple-choice questions broken up into six blocks of 30 questions each. You have 45 minutes to finish each block of test questions. A seven-minute CCS (Computer Based Case Simulation) instruction is also included on the second day. Thirteen case scenarios, each with a maximum real-time duration of ten or twenty minutes, come next. Also, know that there is a minimum of forty-five minutes allotted for breaks.

Modifying Your Eligibility Period

You must know that once your application has been filed, you are unable to modify the eligibility period you have selected. However, you should note the following:

  • In the case of a prior eligibility period, the application must be cancelled, and a new one, together with the required fee, must be submitted.
  • You will lose all of your application money if your application has already been accepted. However, your application cost will be partially refunded if your application is denied.

Regarding an extended eligibility period, you have two options: 

  1. File a request for an eligibility extension, which must be filed no later than 25 days after the conclusion of your selected eligibility period and will take effect immediately after or
  2. You cancel your application and file a new one with the appropriate fee

Scheduling an Exam Date

To schedule your exam date, you are expected to register with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) for a scheduling permit in order to set up exam dates. The permit is valid for the dates of your planned tests for three months. You must either request for an eligibility extension or cancel your current eligibility term and choose a new one if you wish to change it.

Your two Step 3 testing days can be scheduled and taken on consecutive or non-consecutive days. But you have to take Step 3 FIP (“Day 1”) first, then Step 3 ACM (“Day 2”). You must book both test dates with Prometric at the same time and location, and the distance between your exam dates cannot be greater than 14 calendar days. You should note that Step 3 is available all year round, with the exception of the first two weeks of January and significant US holidays.

The Costs of Step 3 USMLE Exams

For USMLE Step 3 exams, questions like “What will it cost to apply for a USMLE Step 3 exam?” might boggle your mind, but today you will find your answers here.

First, for scheduling permission in 2024, the FSMB registration price is $925. The charge, which covers the three-month eligibility period, is non-transferable and non-refundable. There will be additional expenses if you need to reschedule your exam date(s) less than 46 days in advance, as stated on the USMLE website. However, other expenses on question banks and the registration fees might cost you a few more dollars.

What you Need on the Test day

  • You’ll need your scheduling permit, either printed or electronic,
  • A government I.D. with your most recent passport and signature on it so you can be identified.
  • It is advised that you wear a comfortable dress to your test centre depending on the weather for the day.


Understanding the intricacies of the USMLE Step 3 2024 exams is vital for aspiring medical professionals. Meeting eligibility requirements, grasping the exam pattern, and managing costs are key considerations. Efficient scheduling and preparation, guided by the outlined details, contribute to successful exam navigation, ensuring a smooth transition to medical practice in the United States. Don’t forget that CanadaQBank can help you prepare for your USMLE Step 3 exam with its vast resources and everything.