Step 1 Advice

So You Need to Reschedule Step 1

By Mark Ard

Every year, students schedule their Step 1 exam in high (anxiety-ridden) hopes that they will be able to coalesce and synthesize two years of knowledge in just one to eight weeks of dedicated prep time. It’s stressful. In fact, you may not have known how stressful it was when you scheduled your ideal test date months in advance so you could enjoy three weeks of vacation and work on your tan before rotations. Maybe you need more time to study, and that’s ok. Don’t let people drag you down for wanting to work harder.

Or maybe you got to the testing facility and they called your name (game time!) only to tell you to go home, the security camera isn’t working, you need to reschedule. After you salvage your heart from its resting spot on your pyloric sphincter, you need to deal with Prometric in a cool calm and collected way.

First, contact their USMLE specific customer support: 800-633-3926 (It’s kind of a hard number to find, especially on a smartphone in a parking lot).

If they are responsible for the rescheduling, they should change you to whatever date they have available. Some people need a day or so to gather their wits; I took my exam 24 hours later at the same site. I suggest more than 24 hours, since they need to get all new registration information to the testing site. In my case, when I came back to take the test, it wasn’t ready, and I had to sit around and sweat bullets for three hours.

If you are rescheduling because you don’t feel ready (a perfectly rational feeling), keep in mind some facts:

  • It is free to reschedule within your testing block, more than 30 days in advance
  • Within 6-30 days, it is $50
  • Within 5 days, it may cost you your firstborn ($110)
  • Hours are 8am-8pm EST, Mon-Fri

On the Prometric Website (, there is a link on the top to reschedule. The process is self-explanatory, as long as there are dates available, somewhere, within the three month block you chose on the NBME website.

If you would like to change that block, you may move one block forward (if you had Apr-May-Jun, you can move to Jul-Aug-Sep). You may only do this once, and only one block forward. It costs $65. Log into the NBME website, and under the “Licensing Examination Services” page, scroll down to “Step 1 and Step 2 CK Eligibility Period Extension Form” (here’s a picture, to prove it exists, for your sanity).

So You Need to Reschedule Step 1

If you need to reschedule further than that, I would contact NBME. You might need authorization from your school.

I hope this helps you in your most vulnerable, end-of-your-wits, mental state (I was there, I wish I had this).



Categories: Step 1 Advice

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