The basics of USMLE Step 3:
The main focus of Step 3 is to ensure that physicians can carry out the practice of medicine without supervision. Most of the questions presented, but not all, deal with ambulatory care. The most common, "high-impact" cases are tested. Step 3 is generally considered to be the "easiest" of the exams, but this assumes a strong internship and good preparation for steps 1 and 2.
USMLE Step 3 Question Formats:
There are three question formats on this step: Single Item, Multiple Item Sets, and Cases.
The Single Item questions are the standard "multiple choice" single best answer questions. There are generally 4-5 answers to select from.
The Multiple Item Sets questions are multiple choice, single best answer questions, all based on a single patient vignette. Again, each question has a single correct answer (although other answers may be "partially correct"). The questions are designed to be answered by themselves - the order in which do the questions is not important.
The Case-based questions are designed to be answered in sequential order. Skipping questions can be bad news: the cases often progress in an orderly fashion, and each question may rely on information given in preceding questions. Again, these are multiple-choice, single best answer questions.
For more information on Step 3 question formats visit:http://www.usmle.org/step3/s3tqf.html
Step 3 Eligibility
According to the FSMB and NBME, the eligibility requirements (directly quoted from: http://www.usmle.org/bulletin/2004/eligibility.htm) are:
- meet the Step 3 requirements set by the medical licensing authority to which you are applying,
- obtain the MD degree (or its equivalent) or the DO degree,
- pass Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS (if required based upon rules referenced on page 2), and
- obtain certification by the ECFMG or successfully complete a "Fifth Pathway" program if you are a graduate of a medical school outside the United States and Canada.
USMLE Step 3 Passing Score:
As of April 2004, the minimum passing score for step 3 is 184. This is up from the previous passing score of 182.
Further information is available at: http://www.usmle.org/news/step3minpass.htm
USMLE Step 3 Test Prep
USMLE Step 3 Preparation
USMLE Step 3 Q-Bank
General USMLE Step 3 Resources
For more information: usmle.org - step 3, COMLEX Level 3.