ECFMG 2019 Information Booklet

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

Taking the Examination

For detailed information on arrival times, and procedures upon arrival and throughout the testing day, see Examination Day and Testing in the USMLE Bulletin of Information. You should also refer to your scheduling permit for important information.

Important Note: After you start taking an examination, you cannot cancel or reschedule that examination. If you start the examination but do not complete it, the attempt may appear as "incomplete" on your USMLE transcript.

When you arrive at the test center, you must present your scheduling permit and the required identification as described on your scheduling permit. If you do not bring a copy of your scheduling permit (electronic or paper) and required identification on each day of your exam, you will not be admitted to the test and will be required to pay a fee to reschedule your test.

Your name, as it appears on your scheduling permit, must match the name on your form(s) of identification exactly. Please review your scheduling permit for details and limited exceptions. If the name listed on your scheduling permit is not correct, contact ECFMG immediately by e-mail, telephone, or fax. Use the contact information for General Inquiries on the Contact ECFMG page of the ECFMG website.

If the name in your ECFMG record is changed while you are registered for an exam, a revised scheduling permit reflecting this change will be issued. ECFMG will send you an e-mail notification when your revised scheduling permit is available. You must bring this revised scheduling permit to the test center. Name changes must be received and processed by ECFMG no later than seven business days before your testing appointment, or you will not be able to test. For Step 1 or Step 2 CK, if your eligibility period is extended or your testing region is changed while you are registered, a revised scheduling permit reflecting this change will be issued. You must bring the revised scheduling permit to the test center.

Required Identification

Your name, as it appears on your scheduling permit, must exactly match the name on your form(s) of identification. Please review your scheduling permit for details and limited exceptions. Since your name on the scheduling permit appears in the Latin alphabet (in "English language letters"), the name on your identification must also appear in the Latin alphabet. The spelling of the name on your scheduling permit must match exactly the spelling of the name on the form(s) of identification you present at the test center. If the names do not match as described above, you will not be allowed to take the exam. See Your Name in Your ECFMG Record.

The form of identification you present must be one of the forms of unexpired, government-issued identification listed below that contains your name in the Latin alphabet, your signature, and your recent photograph. The following forms of identification are acceptable, only if they meet all of these requirements:

  • Passport
  • Driver's license with photograph
  • National identity card
  • Other form of unexpired, government-issued identification

Travel Status

Applicants traveling to the United States to take an exam are responsible for making the necessary travel and accommodation arrangements. If you are neither a U.S. citizen nor a U.S. lawful permanent resident, you are responsible for obtaining required travel documents. These documents may include a visa to enter the United States. The requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. embassies and consulates regarding issuance of visas and travel to and from the United States are subject to change. You should review current requirements before applying for a visa. For additional information, visit the DHS website and the U.S. Department of State website.

Step 2 CS is administered only in the United States. Upon request, ECFMG provides Step 2 CS applicants with a letter that may assist during the process of applying for a visa. The letter indicates that the applicant is registered for Step 2 CS, one of the exams required for ECFMG Certification. The letter also indicates that the applicant is required to travel to the United States to take the exam and provides the date by which the applicant must complete the exam. You can request this letter when you apply for Step 2 CS. After completion of the registration process, ECFMG will issue the letter, and it will be available to you through IWA. If you are unable to obtain the appropriate visa to enter the United States to take Step 2 CS, you may request a full refund of the exam fee. See Refunds in Your ECFMG Financial Account.

If you are traveling from a distant location, you should consider arriving a day or two before the examination in order to be rested.