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Overview: Application for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS
 
  You may use IWA to apply for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS). You may use IWA to apply for examination regardless of whether you are applying to ECFMG for examination for the first time or have applied for examination previously. ECFMG will begin processing your exam application after receiving the on-line part of the application; either the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), if required, or the Certification Statement (Form 183); and any other required documents.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Application for ECFMG Certification is a requirement for ECFMG Certification. International medical students/graduates must submit an Application for ECFMG Certification before they can apply to ECFMG for examination. For more information on the Application for ECFMG Certification, refer to the IWA FAQs and the Application for ECFMG Certification Overview and Instructions.

 
  TO COMPLETE AN EXAM APPLICATION, YOU WILL NEED:
  • A computer with one of the following web browsers installed: Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.0 (or higher), Netscape® Navigator 4.7 (or higher, except Netscape® 6.0), or Mozilla Firefox™ 2.0 (or higher). Both Cookies and JavaScripting must be enabled for the browser that you use. (Cookies and JavaScripting are enabled by default. However, if you need to change these settings, refer to the Help feature of your browser.) You will also need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® software to view and print forms that may be required during the application process. If you do not have the Acrobat Reader, you can download a free copy by clicking here.

  • AN E-MAIL ADDRESS.

  • A USMLE/ECFMG IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AND AN ON-LINE SERVICES PASSWORD (see below for more details).

  • A CREDIT CARD WITH A SECURITY CODE: We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.

    OR

  • A CHECKING ACCOUNT AT A UNITED STATES BANK: To pay by electronic check, you must have either a valid U.S. Driver's License or a U.S. Social Security Number.

    OR

  • If you have a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number already, you can also pay in advance by sending a payment to ECFMG using Form 900. Once you have verified that the payment has been received and credited to your ECFMG financial account, you can begin the IWA application process. You can verify the status of your ECFMG financial account on-line using ECFMG's On-line Applicant Status and Information System (OASIS).
 
  If you need to make multiple credit card transactions to pay for an exam, you must make these payments to your ECFMG financial account in advance. See Methods of Payment in the ECFMG Information Booklet for instructions.

Before you can begin the exam application process, you must have your USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number and on-line services password. You must also have completed the Application for ECFMG Certification. You can check the status of your Application for ECFMG Certification using OASIS.

  1. If you have never submitted an application to ECFMG, you will need to complete the ECFMG On-line Authentication Process to obtain a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number. Click here to go to ECFMG's On-Line Authentication Process. Once you have received the Identification Number and temporary password via e-mail, you can use them to log into IWA and complete the Application for ECFMG Certification. Once your Application for ECFMG Certification has been submitted, you can begin an application for examination.

  2. If you have previously submitted an application to ECFMG, you will need your USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number and password. If you have used ECFMG's On-Line Applicant Status and Information System (OASIS), you already have a password. If you have a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number but do not have a password, you must complete ECFMG's On-Line Authentication Process and wait for a temporary password to be e-mailed to you before you can proceed with an IWA application. Click here to go to ECFMG's On-Line Authentication Process.

  3. If you forgot your USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number, you must complete the ECFMG On-line Authentication Process to obtain your number. Click here to go to ECFMG's On-Line Authentication Process. ECFMG will perform a thorough search using the information you provide and, if a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number exists for you, your ID number will be sent to your e-mail address of record.

    If the system is unable to identify you, your information will be submitted to ECFMG for processing. Once this process is complete, your USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number and a temporary password will be sent to the e-mail address you provided. If you have any questions, please contact ECFMG Applicant Information Services at (215) 386-5900 for assistance.

Before you begin an exam application, you must read the editions of the ECFMG Information Booklet and the USMLE Bulletin of Information that pertain to the eligibility period in which you take the exam. Before applying for Step 1 or Step 2 CK, you should also be familiar with the Biometric Enabled Check-In System (BECS) Frequently Asked Questions, which provide information on the privacy and security practices that have been established for the BECS program implemented by Prometric as part of standard test day procedures for computer-based Step examinations.

You should gather the medical education information needed to complete the application. This information includes the names and addresses of medical schools you have attended or are attending, attendance dates, clinical clerkships completed, and any credits that you transferred to the medical school that awarded or will award your medical degree.

If you are completing an exam application for the first time, you should allow approximately one hour to complete all items. You should be able to complete subsequent applications in a shorter period of time since you will not need to re-enter all of the information.

You should also review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before you begin an exam application. If you have questions that are not answered in the ECFMG Information Booklet, USMLE Bulletin of Information, Overview, Instructions, or FAQs, you may contact ECFMG Applicant Information Services between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States, Monday through Friday, at (215) 386-5900.

 
  A complete exam application consists of:
  • The on-line part of the application;
  • Either the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) OR the Certification Statement (Form 183); and
  • Any other required documents, as outlined in IWA and the ECFMG Information Booklet.
  ECFMG must receive both the on-line part and the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), if required, or the Certification Statement (Form 183); and any other required documentation in order to process your application.

On-line Part

You must begin with the on-line part, which includes most of the application items. Instructions for the application items are available throughout the process. You can also print the application instructions for all items at any time.

When you begin an on-line application, your application will be assigned an Application Identification Code. (The Application Identification Code is different from, and should not be confused with, your USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number.) You should write down the Application Identification Code and keep it in a safe place.

As you move from screen to screen, the information you provide will be saved. If you are unable to answer all application items in one session or you are disconnected from the application, you can return to it later by clicking the link to your saved application after logging into IWA.

Although you do not have to answer all items in one session, you must complete all on-line application items within 14 days of the date you last saved the application. Otherwise, the application will no longer be valid, and you must start another application.

After completing the application items for one exam, you will have the opportunity to apply for other exams for which you may be eligible on the same application.

When you have completed the on-line part of the application, you will have the opportunity to review all information for accuracy and make any necessary corrections or changes before submitting it. As the last step in the on-line part of the application, you will print your Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), if required, or Certification Statement (Form 183).

Certification Form

Medical School Graduates: To be registered for USMLE, an international medical graduate must provide copies of his/her final medical diploma with the exam application, if the diploma has not been submitted to ECFMG previously. ECFMG also requires that, before an international medical graduate can be registered for USMLE, the applicant's status as a medical graduate must be verified directly by his/her medical school. As a result, the process of applying for examination as a medical school graduate will vary depending on whether your medical education credentials have been verified by ECFMG and whether you are a graduate of a medical school that participates in the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP) Status Verification program.

For complete information on the medical education credentials that may be required at the time of exam application, see Credentials for ECFMG Certification in the ECFMG Information Booklet. You can check the status of your medical education credentials using ECFMG's OASIS. The certification form you will will be required to complete as part of your exam application will vary depending on whether or not your medical education credentials have been primary-source verified by ECFMG.

You will be required to complete a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) if you do not have a valid Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) on file with ECFMG. The Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) must be completed by you and an authorized official of your medical school and/or a Consular Official, First Class Magistrate, Notary Public, or Commissioner of Oaths. Each medical school has been requested to provide ECFMG with a list of medical school officials authorized by the school to certify Form 186. Your form must be certified by an official on this list. Contact your medical school to determine the officials authorized by your medical school for this purpose; ECFMG will not provide this information to applicants.

The on-line part of your application will be transmitted to ECFMG only when you click on one of the links to proceed to the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186).

There are three Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) options for medical school graduates:

  • "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Medical School Official," for all medical school graduates
  • "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public," for graduates of medical schools that participate in EMSWP Status Verification and for graduates whose medical education credentials have been primary-source verified by ECFMG
  • "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public and Medical School Official," for graduates of medical schools that do not participate in EMSWP Status Verification and whose medical education credentials have not been primary-source verified by ECFMG

When you have completed the on-line part of the application, you will be able to view the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) options available to you.

If you complete a "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Medical School Official" or a "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public and Medical School Official," your Form 186 must be sent to ECFMG directly from the office of the medical school official who signed the form. If the form is not sent to ECFMG from the office of the medical school official, it will not be accepted.

If you complete a "Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) - Certification by Notary Public," the form can be sent to ECFMG by you.

In either case, the signature(s) of the official(s) must be current; the official(s) must have signed the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) within four months of the date that it is received at ECFMG.

Additionally, ECFMG must receive the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) and any additional documents and photographs as soon as possible but no later than 12 months from the date you submit the on-line part of your application. ECFMG must receive the on-line part of your application, the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), and all required documents to process your application.

Your application will not be considered complete until the completed Form 186 (if you do not have a valid Form 186 on file with ECFMG) and any other required documents are received at ECFMG.

Once accepted by ECFMG, Form 186 remains valid for five years for exam applications and requests to extend Step 1 and Step 2 CK eligibility periods. Applications and requests submitted during this five-year period can be completed entirely on-line.

If you are a graduate of a medical school that participates in EMSWP Status Verification and your medical education credentials have not been primary-source verified by ECFMG, ECFMG cannot complete the processing of your application until your medical school verifies your status through EMSWP. ECFMG will make your record available to your medical school and request verification typically within three weeks of receipt of a complete application. The time needed to complete the processing of your application is contingent upon your medical school’s response to the EMSWP verification request. You will not be registered for examination until your medical school verifies your status.

    Important Note: The USMLE program provides reasonable accommodations for examinees with disabilities who are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you are submitting a request for test accommodations, follow the instructions in the Test Accommodations information on the USMLE website. Do not send your request for test accommodations or supporting documents in the same envelope as your application materials.

Medical School Students: The certification form that you are required to complete will vary depending on whether your medical school participates in the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP) Status Verification program. Medical school students enrolled in medical schools that participate in EMSWP Status Verification will be required to complete a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), if they do not have a valid Form 186 on file with ECFMG. Students enrolled in medical schools that do not participate in EMSWP Status Verification will be required to complete a Certification Statement (Form 183).

Once accepted by ECFMG, Form 186 remains valid for five years for exam applications and requests to extend Step 1 and Step 2 CK eligibility periods. Applications and requests submitted during this five-year period can be completed entirely on-line. A completed Form 183 must be submitted for each exam application.

Both the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) and Certification Statement (Form 183) must be completed by you and an authorized official of your medical school. The on-line part of your application will be transmitted to ECFMG only when you click on the link to proceed to the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183).

Each medical school has been requested to provide ECFMG with a list of medical school officials authorized by the school to certify Form 186 and Form 183. Your form must be certified by an official on this list. Contact you medical school to determine the officials authorized by your medical school for this purpose; ECFMG will not provide this information to applicants.The signature of the medical school official who signs your Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) or Certification Statement (Form 183) must be current; the official must have signed the form within four months of the date that it is received at ECFMG. The form must be sent to ECFMG directly from the office of this official. If the form is not sent to ECFMG from the office of the medical school official, it will not be accepted.

If you are required to complete a Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), ECFMG must receive the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) and any additional documents as soon as possible but no later than 12 months from the date you submit the on-line part of your application. ECFMG must receive the on-line part of your application, the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), and all required documents to process your application. To complete the processing of your application, your medical school must verify your status through EMSWP. ECFMG will make your record available to your medical school and request verification typically within three weeks of receipt of a complete application. The time needed to complete the processing of your application is contingent upon your medical school's response to the EMSWP verification request. You will not be registered for examination until your medical school verifies your status.

All forms and documents required to complete your application must be sent to ECFMG in one envelope. If you are required to complete a Form 186 or a Form 183, this envelope must be sent to ECFMG from the office of the medical school official who certifies your form. If you are not required to complete a Form 186 or a Form 183, this envelope can be sent to ECFMG by you.

If you are required to complete a Certification Statement (Form 183), ECFMG must receive the Certification Statement (Form 183) and any additional documents as soon as possible but no later than four months from the date you submit the on-line part of your application. ECFMG must receive the on-line part of your application, the Certification Statement (Form 183), and all required documents to process your application.

    Important Note: The USMLE program provides reasonable accommodations for examinees with disabilities who are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you are submitting a request for test accommodations, follow the instructions in the Test Accommodations information on the USMLE website. Do not send your request for test accommodations or supporting documents in the same envelope as your application materials.

Processing Time for Applications

ECFMG processes exam applications typically within three weeks of receipt of the on-line part; the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186), if required, or Certification Statement (Form 183); and any other required documents. Eligible applicants are registered after the processing of their applications is completed.

If you are a student enrolled in a medical school that participates in EMSWP Status Verification or a graduate of a medical school that participates in EMSWP Status Verification and your medical education credentials have not been primary-source verified by ECFMG, ECFMG cannot complete the processing of your application until your medical school verifies your status through EMSWP. ECFMG will make your record available to your medical school and request verification typically within three weeks of receipt of a complete application. The time needed to complete the processing of your application is contingent upon your medical school's response to the EMSWP verification request.

Practice Materials

Practice materials for all Steps and Step Components, as well as further information on examination content and test formats for Step 1/Step 2 CK, are available on the USMLE website at www.usmle.org. Please note USMLE practice materials are updated periodically.