Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match

English Language Proficiency Assessment


Applicants pursuing one of the five pathways for ECFMG Certification in order to participate in the 2021 Match are required to perform satisfactorily on an English language proficiency assessment. All pathway applicants, regardless of citizenship, native language, or medical school language of instruction, must satisfy this requirement.

ECFMG will accept the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement. OET Medicine is designed specifically for physicians. To meet ECFMG’s requirement, applicants must attain a minimum score of 350 (Grade B) on each of the four measured components of OET Medicine: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

The minimum score of 350 (Grade B) on each of the four measured components must be achieved in one test administration. Applicants who do not attain the minimum score on one or more of the measured components must retake all OET components (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) and achieve the minimum score on all components in a single test administration to meet ECFMG’s English language proficiency requirement.

There is no limit on the number of times you can retake the test, subject to scheduling availability.

Please note: Applicants who have a passing performance on the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) component of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) that is valid for ECFMG Certification and/or are certified by ECFMG are ineligible for the pathways and do not need to take OET Medicine.

Pathway applicants who took OET Medicine on or after July 1, 2018 and attained the minimum passing score on each of the four components do not need to retake OET Medicine. These applicants will need to inform ECFMG that they have taken OET Medicine previously and allow ECFMG to access their scores.

Timing Your OET Medicine Examination

You must take OET Medicine by December 31, 2020.

In order for you to participate in the 2021 Match, ECFMG must determine the outcome of your pathway application, including your performance on OET Medicine; determine your overall eligibility for the 2021 Match, including verifying your passing performance on USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK); then report your eligibility status to the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) by the NRMP Rank Order List Certification deadline. ECFMG will not determine the outcome of your pathway application until all required supporting documentation and/or verification(s) have been received. Therefore, the time needed to complete the processing of your application is contingent upon receipt of all supporting documentation and verifications, including your passing OET Medicine scores. Please plan the timing of your OET Medicine examination accordingly.

Applying for OET Medicine

To begin the application process, you must go through the ECFMG landing page on the OET website: to pre-register. To prevent delays in score reporting, you must provide your ECFMG/USMLE ID. As part of pre-registration, you will be able to indicate your preferred testing date(s) and the country and city in which you would like to take the test. You also will be able to access information on preparing for the test, scheduling the test, and the overall timetable. After you pre-register, you will be contacted by OET via e-mail with information on your nearest test location and next steps.

We suggest that you pre-register and book your test as soon as possible. If necessary, you will be able to change your test date and/or test location after pre-registration or after booking the test.

Testing Locations

As part of pre-registration, you will be able to indicate the country and city in which you would like to take the test. After you pre-register, you will be contacted by OET via e-mail with information on your nearest test location.

Currently, OET Medicine is offered throughout the world and continues to expand its network of test centers. The latest information on available testing locations is available on OET’s website.

We are aware that the current pandemic conditions continue to make travel difficult and we encourage you to book the test in an appropriate location now. OET will contact you regularly to let you know of new options for test locations. If, after booking, a preferred test date or location becomes available, you can change your booking.

In mid- to late October 2020, OET will begin to offer OET@Home, a version of the test that certain candidates can take at home through remote proctoring. For the first few months after launch, OET will offer OET@Home by invitation only, prioritizing individuals who are in locations where it is extremely difficult if not impossible to attend a test venue or who have been deferred longest due to COVID-19.

Test Preparation

After pre-registering for OET Medicine, OET will send you a series of e-mails about available resources to help ensure you are well prepared ahead of your test date. These e-mails will be sent from the domain name If you don’t receive them, please check your spam folder. OET has a wide range of official resources you can use to prepare for the test. These include:

Each of these resources is developed by OET experts and available in OET’s Preparation Portal.

If you would like to take a preparation course or classes, OET recommends only those provided by official OET Preparation Providers.

Release of Test Results

OET Medicine results will be released to you 14 business days after you take the test. Please be sure you have provided ECFMG with your OET Candidate ID# when submitting your pathway application to avoid any delays.

For more information on OET Medicine, please refer to the English Language Proficiency Assessment section on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

The preceding information is current as of October 2, 2020 and is subject to change. Please visit the ECFMG website frequently for updates regarding these requirements.