When you arrive at the test center, you'll be asked to present your scheduling permit and a government-issued ID (e.g., a driver's license or passport) that includes both a recent photo and your signature. Here's how to avoid being turned away because of ID problems:
The scheduling permit shows your confidential candidate identification number. Test center staff do not have access to this number. It is printed only on your scheduling permit. You will enter this number on your workstation computer in order to start your exam and begin each block of questions.
You'll have a minimum of 45 minutes of break time to take at your own pace throughout the day. If you need to take a short break after the first block of questions, go ahead. Or, if you want to get through as many blocks as possible before taking a break you can do that too.
You may add to your overall break time (but not your testing time) by exiting out of the 15-minute tutorial (then you're up to 60 minutes) and by finishing exam blocks early.
You are responsible for keeping track of the amount of break time you use throughout the day.
You may take breaks between blocks of questions only. Be sure that the break screen shows on your monitor before you leave your workstation. (If you leave your workstation in the middle of a block of questions, this will be reported as an irregularity). It's OK to use study materials during a break, but only if the break screen is showing on your computer.
Your minimum 45 minutes of break time is used for all between-block activities. This includes not only the usual concept of a break (i.e., when you leave your workstation), but also the time it takes for you to make the transition to the next block, such as entering your CIN or even taking a quick stretch.
Also, there are two scenarios in which you could inadvertently shorten your break time and/or total testing time. If time runs out in the block you are working in and:
Time is not suspended while the computer is waiting for you to use the mouse or keyboard. The clock for the entire exam day is still running. The same amount of time you spend deciding your next move is also being subtracted from your break time and/or total testing time. Be sure to exit quickly if the time allotment for a block runs out before you have completed the block.
The computer will prompt you to enter your confidential candidate identification number. The number is required to launch your exam. A 15-minute tutorial the will be the first session you see. If you are already comfortable with how to navigate through the exam screens because you practiced with the sample test questions available on the CD-ROM or the USMLE web site, you can exit out of the tutorial right away.
If you need to take a break, you must sign the Test Center Log. When you return, you must sign the log, show your photo ID, and a fingerprint will be required to be readmitted.
If your screen goes blank or the mouse stops working - don't panic! Notify a proctor right away. If your computer crashes, the proctor should be able to restart your exam within a few minutes. Your resurrected screen will show the same question you were working on at the time of the crash, with no loss of testing time.
If your exam can't be restarted or the power goes out in the test center and Prometric can't get the exam working again or if fixing the problem is out of their control, then you'll be sent home and rescheduled at no additional charge. Your rescheduled exam will be a full day of testing, not just the exam blocks you weren't able to finish the first time.
After you finish the last block of questions, a brief on-line survey will appear if your testing time has not expired. Sign the log book as you leave. The proctor will give you a printed verification that you sat for the exam. Keep this until you receive your score report.
Step 1 and Step 2 scores are now released on a weekly basis. With routine processing, your score should be reported about three to four weeks after your test date. However, there are many factors that may delay it - if you still have not received your score six weeks after your test date, contact NBME.
The USMLE Quality Assurance Program, created to monitor compliance with USMLE standards for test administration, is now in full swing. Shortly after you take your exam, you may receive a survey about the quality of your test-taking experience in areas such as whether or not you experienced distractions or had a problem with your computer, the number and length of your breaks, etc. Please take a few minutes to complete and return this survey - your feedback is important to ongoing enhancements to the test administration process.