USMLE Step 1 Board Review Questions and Practice Tests

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“Our medical school curriculum committee met, and student members expressed their like of the product, including that they really liked the video clips and also felt the questions were more like actual USMLE questions than those in UWorld."”

Rachel R. Walden
MLIS, Associate Dean/Associate Professor

gold key Key Board Review Features


USMLE Step 1 Board Review Topics Covered:

  • Pharmacology
  • Immune System
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biology of Cells
  • Human Development and Genetics
  • Biology of Tissue Response to Disease
  • Behavioral, Cultural, Ethics, Environmental and Psychosocial
  • Multisystem Processes (Nutrition, Physiology, Fluids, Metabolic)
  • Microbial Biology and Infection
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Hematopoietic and Lymphoreticular Systems
  • Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems
  • Skin and Related Connective Tissue
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Respiratory System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Renal/Urinary System
  • Reproductive System
  • Endocrine System
  • Audio Clip Questions

Information about the USMLE Step 1 Exam

Step 1 is the first board exam you will take during Medical school that is sponsored by both the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners. The test is designed to determine if students can apply the basic sciences to the practice of Medicine. Our question bank is specifically designed to teach you the kind of thinking that you need to know.

What is covered on the USMLE Step 1 Exam?

The following categories are found on the USMLE Step 1 Content Outline:

  • Anatomy
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Nutrition

How long is the USMLE Step 1 Exam?

Step 1 is a one-day examination. It is divided into seven 60-minute blocks and administered in one 8-hour testing session The number of questions per block on a given examination form will vary, but will not exceed 40. The total number of items on the overall examination form will not exceed 280.

Generally, time is not a problem, but we strongly suggest that you practice the timing on the questions. We provide a timer for both the individual questions, as well as your overall practice exam. This should help give you a feel for the pace of the questions.

USMLE Step 1 Tips


For the Step 1 exam - choose a faculty advisor, and make friends with other MS2 and MS3 students. If you need help with shelf exams, visit our shelf exam prep section. And when you’re ready, check out our Step 2 question bank or Step 3 question bank.

Understand that no matter how well you prepare, there will be tough questions. Make sure to stay in touch with friends, and keep a steady schedule. Taking a practice exam each and every week is a great way to know how well you’re doing, and also to understand which categories you need to focus on (Our system individually suggests categories individualized to each person.) Make sure to use this to your advantage so that you’re optimizing your study time instead of going back to categories that you already know.

USMLE Scores

Most programs will give you 2 months (no classes) before the Step 1 exam so that you have time to prepare. It’s a difficult exam and the national average score on the USMLE Step 1 exam for 2015-2016 was 233. The minimum passing score is 192.

Scores on the MCAT do have a correlation with performance on the Step 1 exam, though the correlation is weak. Most importantly, the USMLE step 1 is known to have a significant influence on residency match and is therefore known to be a high-pressure exam as those with the highest scores on this exam are thought to have the most options in terms of residency specialties and locations.

Pass Rates

While there are no widely published studies on the pass rates for 2014, top tier programs that we interviewed had a pass rate of 95%+ and mid-tier programs had a pass rate of 90%. Some schools, such as Ross, publish their scores each year (with an average of over 96%).

Additional resources

We strongly suggest using First Aid as a study companion. We also suggest Rapid Review Pathology by Goljan.