medical BLOG | DATE- 2022-12-08

A Complete Guide to USMLE for Ethiopian Medical Graduates

What’s USMLE?

The USMLE, or the United States Medical Licensing Examination, is the examination required to gain medical license within the US. Its sponsored by two non-profit organizations – the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). This test is designed to provide a single national examination to be used by all state medical boards for the medical licensure of physicians. This ensures that all practising physicians have met the same assessment standards, regardless of their previous training or which state they practice in.

The USMLE assesses physicians’ ability to apply knowledge, concepts and principles, and evaluates their patient-centered skills.

The exam is divided into three multiple-choice tests – Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge and Step 3.

Who requires USMLE?

All practicing physicians in an unsupervised setting (i.e. outside of postgraduate training), within the US, require the USMLE. This is because a license to practice medicine is mandatory and the USMLE is an essential requirement for being granted a medical license in the US.

N.B The requirement is the same for graduates who qualified in the US or internationally.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the USMLE exam, you must meet the following requirements, both at the time of your application and on the test day:

Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge

Click here to see lists of Medical universities in Ethiopia fulfilling these requirements.

N.B:Students must be ‘officially enrolled’; if dismissed or withdrawn from medical school, even in the process of appealing, you will not be eligible for the USMLE.

Step 3: To be eligible for Step 3, you must have already successfully completed Step 1 and Step 2 of the USMLE, prior to submitting your application.

USMLE Contents

The USMLE consists of three multiple-choice tests: Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge and Step 3.

USMLE Step 1 Questions

USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Questions

USMLE Step 3 Questions:

Step 3 is divided into two partsFoundations of Independent Practice (FIP) and Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM) – taken over two days.

Day 1 – FIP:

Day 2 – ACM:


N.B:Step 1 and Step 2 can be taken in any order; however, it’s recommended to take Step 1 at the end of your second year and Step 2 within your fourth year of study.

You can only take Step 3 of the USMLE once you have successfully completed Step 1 and Step 2. It’s recommended that you should have completed, or be near completion of, at least the first year of postgraduate training.

Its also advised that most licensing authorities specify that you must complete Steps 1, 2 and 3 of the USMLE within a seven-year period, starting from when you pass your first step.

Test Centers

The USMLE is a computer-based exam administered at Prometric Centers. Note: Step 3 is only administered in the US and its territories.

Nearest test centers for Ethiopians:

Computer Pride Limited 1st Floor, JKUAT Towers (Previously known as ICEA Building) Kenyatta Avenue


The following are the USMLE fees for the different stages of the exam:

Step 1 & Step 2

The 2021 – 2022 USMLE fees for students / graduates of LCME or COCA accredited medical schools within the US or Canada are as follows:

For students / graduates of medical schools outside of the US or Canada, the USMLE fees are as follows:

Step 3

How to apply

The following are the different registration routes:

Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge:

Step 3:

Once you have registered through the appropriate route,

To get practice materials to support your exam preparations visit the following link  CLICK HERE

Good luck!!!


WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma-Med In Ethiopia Team

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WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma

Med In Ethiopia Team


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