How To Prepare For USMLE
HOW MANY USMLE EXAMS ARE THERE?
The USMLE consists of three exams—all of which are required for medical licensure in the United States.
U.S. medical students take the USMLE Step 1 exam at the end of their second year or during their third year. USMLE Step 1 covers the basics of medical practice and principles.
The USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) section assesses medical students’ foundational knowledge of the clinical sciences curriculum. (Following a temporary suspension in 2020, the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) announced the permanent suspension of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination in 2021. The USMLE Step 2 tests clinical knowledge only.)
USMLE Step 3 evaluates the ability to practice medicine without supervision. Most physicians take USMLE Step 3 during residency.
USMLE STEP 1
Your Step 1 score significantly affects how competitive you are in the residency match. The medical sciences portion of AUC's curriculum, taught during students' first five semesters, includes USMLE preparation for Step 1.
AUC students prepare for USMLE Step 1 during the Medical Sciences portion of the curriculum. The capstone to Medical Sciences is Introduction to Clinical Medicine VI (ICM VI), a course taught with contributions from adjunct faculty who specialize in Becker Professional Education review strategies geared towards optimal performance on USMLE Step 1.
INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL MEDICINE VI (ICM VI)
- Provide a structured comprehensive review of medical sciences
- Provide various learning methods for building insights into solving scientific and clinical problems by organizing knowledge accumulated during the medical sciences curriculum into a systematic whole
- Prepare students for clinical medicine with sound medical sciences knowledge
The course is structured to promote improvement in learning and problem solving. It includes various subject and comprehensive exams. Individual scores on the NBME® exams are compared with national norms relevant to the assessment of students’ competencies. The focus of ICM VI is on the application and integration of knowledge rather than on the memorization of isolated facts. The course has two parts: Medical Science Live Review and NBME Assessment; and Comprehensive Basic Science and Pathophysiology Live Reviews. These parts provide an overview of clinical cases and correlations by Becker medical specialists. Students review the basic medical science material throughout the Becker-based program. During this course, students have access to Becker review books, which provide updated, relevant material on the current USMLE Step 1. A student’s strengths and weaknesses are identified during the course using Becker diagnostic tools.
The following materials are provided as part of the ICM VI live review lectures in addition to the NBME Subject Exams.
- Seven volumes of USMLE Step 1 Lecture Notes (Anatomy, Behavioral Science, Biochemistry, Pathology, Physiology, Immunology/Microbiology, & Pharmacology)
- USMLEWORLD Qbank
AUC provides students with diagnostic tools, two NBME Comprehensive Examinations, various subject examinations, and the Becker USMLE Computer Simulated Comprehensive Examination.
USMLE STEP 2
Step 2 CK scores are becoming increasingly important to residency directors. The foundational knowledge our students receive through our clinical sciences curriculum is aimed at increasing student’s USMLE preparation for the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) section.
For a deeper look at Step 2 CK, check out our USMLE Step 2 CK FAQs.
The clinical skills and knowledge our students attain while completing rotations at affiliated teaching hospitals helps prepare them for Step 2 CK. Additional resources available to AUC students to prepare for the exam include Millennium Program components, online lectures through Becker Professional Education (Becker), and review programs through USMLEagle Prep LLC.
Canvas is an online learning environment designed to enhance the experience of our clinical students and improve their preparedness for USMLE Step 2. It provides all clinical students access to course objectives, lists of essential patient encounters, online cases to complement real patient care, and practice questions.
Step 2 CK Live Online
This Becker program provides a comprehensive approach to the USMLE Step 2 CK that is focused on understanding, retention, and clinical teaching, not rote memorization. The online program utilizes interactive live lectures delivered by experienced subject matter experts. Live lectures with faculty occur during evenings and weekends using the Adobe® Connect™ platform, allowing students to access the online program wherever they have internet. Assessment Exams and Question Bank resources quiz students on more than 2,500 relevant questions.
USMLEagle Prep LLC
USMLEagle Prep offers smaller-sized classes to help ensure that each student receives the individualized attention necessary to successfully pass the USMLE Step 2 CK. USMLEagle’s tutors are physicians with clinical management backgrounds who have maintained an emphasis on education.
Workshops include systems-based exam review, group and individual sessions, a personalized strengths and weaknesses calendar, and use of the computer lab.