What is the PLAB?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination is not just another test—it’s much more. Unlike other exams, the USMLE comprehensively tests how well you can apply your skills, knowledge, and attitudes to real life, patient-centered scenarios.

PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board)The USMLE consists of 4 exams. Each Step is taken at a different point in your medical career and requires different levels of USMLE prep. testConsider each USMLE Step its own individual exam that you’ll need to prepare for.

The USMLE step exams

Frequently taken at the end of second year, Step 1 is a one-day computer exam that emphasizes anatomy, behavioral science, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.

This multiple-choice exam tests medical knowledge and the essential clinical science required for patient care. It lasts 9 hours, and presents subjects randomly—so you’ll need to switch from one topic to another without skipping a beat.

A 2-day computerized exam, Step 3 focuses primarily on patient management, assessing your ability to evaluate history and physical exam information, order diagnostic tests, select initial therapies, and more.


All of our USMLE prep—from Step 1 through Step 3 and COMLEX—is developed by doctors. They’ve already taken these exams, and they know the best strategies for a passing score.

Attend a free USMLE seminar

Talk to an expert and have all your questions answered—free. You'll know exactly where you stand and where to go next.