So You Need to Reschedule USMLE Step 1

So You Need to Reschedule USMLE Step 1

By Mark Ard

[Editor’s note: This article on how to reschedule USMLE Step 1 was originally published in 2014 and has been updated to incorporate procedural changes and fee increases, as well as recent information from Prometric and the NBME following the COVID-19 outbreak.]

Reschedule USMLE Step 1

Prometric Update:

We have now resumed testing in more than 90 percent of our global test centers, at either full or limited occupancy, based on local and governmental mandates. Our site status list reflects the operational standing of each test center following COVID-related closures. We continue to open new appointments, so check back frequently if trying to schedule an exam.

For additional information, including site closures, you can click here 

USMLE Update and new USMLE COVID-19 FAQ.

Every year, students schedule their USMLE Step 1 exam in high (anxiety-ridden) hopes that they will be able to coalesce and synthesize two years of knowledge in a few short 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, thinking you might be able to squeeze in 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, “Sorry, but the security camera isn’t working today, so you’ll need to go home and reschedule your test.” 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. Here’s how to reschedule USMLE Step 1.

First, contact their USMLE specific customer support line: 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 (e.g., 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—which, again, is a perfectly rational feeling—keep in mind some facts (editor’s note: some of this may change due to the COVID-19 crisis, as noted at the top of the article).

  • 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 (in the U.S. and Canada, it’s $114, but in other regions, it will range from $276 to $506(!) for Step 1).  For Step 2 CK, the costs are a bit higher.
  • Hours are 8am-8pm EST, Mon-Fri

On the Prometric site (, 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 selected on the NBME website.

If you would like to change that block, you may move one block forward (for example, 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 $80. 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.” If you are an IMG/FMG, you can do this through their interactive web application.

If you need to reschedule USMLE Step 1 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.  Believe me, I was there.


10 thoughts on “So You Need to Reschedule USMLE Step 1”

  1. Extensions will be processed in order of expiration date, with all extension processing expected to be completed by the week of April 13th. ”

    I have not received any mail from ECFMG regarding extension of my eligibility period. and it still shows OCTOBER 2020 – DECEMBER 2020.

  2. So, my eligibility period is in October-December 2020. Does that mean that my EP will be automatically extended to January-March 2021 and I don’t have to do anything ?

    1. Yes. Looks like it was extended automatically. I emailed ECFMG and they told me that the EP extension will be processed automatically by the end of October and it happened. If your EP has not yet been extended, I think it’s best you give them a call or maybe send an email.

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