• Prep Options
  • Exam Details
  • Scoring and Questions

Step 1 Prep

Starting at $3999

Attend a live prep course in the USA.
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Step 1 Prep
Live Online


Live online sessions taught by top-scoring teachers.
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Step 1 Prep
On Demand

Starting at $1500

Prep on your own schedule online with expert video instruction.
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Step 1 QBank
Integrated Plan

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All-inclusive study plan for personalized practice.
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Course Resources Live lectures at a Kaplan Medical Center Online Instruction in our virtual classroom 200+ hours
of video lectures
40-70 hours
of video lectures
In Center or On Demand Access Choose your period of access to a Kaplan Center or On Demand prep. Comes with 4 months of On Demand access. Choose between 4, 7, or 10 months of On Demand access.
Master Faculty
Step 1 QBank
2 full-length simulated exams
Diagnostic Test
Med Advising
I20 Eligible Faculty

USMLE Step 1 tests the Basic Science principles:

  • Anatomy

  • Behavioral science

  • Biochemistry

  • Microbiology

  • Pathology

  • Pharmacology

  • Physiology

  • Interdisciplinary areas such as Immunology, Genetics, and Nutrition are also tested.

The Step 1 exam lasts 8 hours and contains no more than 280 questions. There are no more than 40 questions in each 7 one-hour "block". You can skip back and forth among test questions, within a particular block, however, if your time in a block expires or you leave, you will not be able to return to the questions in that block.

Questions within a block are NOT grouped by subject and this random ordering of items presents students with a unique challenge. Students have to stop thinking about one subject and switch to another without skipping a beat! Just like you will need to as a practicing Doctor! 

In total, you will have 45-60 minutes "break" depending on whether you opt to complete the 15-minute tutorial at the start. Students can add to their break time by completing a block before the hour. Please note, that finishing blocks early does not add to your total testing time which is constant at 7 hours. Therefore you cannot add time to one block by finishing another block ahead of time.

USMLE Step 1 Question Formats

The only question format currently on the USMLE Step 1 is "single best answer". Some of the Step 1 items test your knowledge directly; however, most require the application of basic science principles to clinically-relevant situations.

To make the Step 1 exam medically relevant, the USMLE items often assess basic medical science concepts. While some points are asked in a fairly traditional, straightforward manner, you will also be presented with many clinical scenarios. This style typically involves fairly long lead-in situations followed by brief response options.

USMLE Step 1 Scoring

Your score report will include:

  • Three-digit scale (the 2 digit scale has been removed since 2012)

  • Pass/fail designation

  • Once you pass the exam you are stuck with that score!

  • Graphic depiction of your performance by discipline and organ system.

  • The minimum passing score on the three-digit scale is 194