What is the USMLE® Step 2 CK?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination is not just another test – it’s much more.

Unlike other knowledge-based exams, the USMLE thoroughly assesses how well you can apply your skills, values, and attitudes to real life, patient-centered scenarios. Not only is it valuable practice for you as a future physician; it shows licensing authorities how you will operate on the job, both on and off the table. Now put on those mental scrubs and show them what you’re made of.


The USMLE Step 2 CK is a multiple-choice exam designed to determine whether the examinee possesses the medical knowledge and understanding of clinical science considered essential for the provision of patient care under supervision. The Step 2 CK includes approximately 318 questions and spans 9 hours of testing, broken down into eight 1-hour blocks of about 40 questions each.

The USMLE Step 2 CK will include two multiple-choice formats: Single Best Answer and Single Answer Matching. The exam may also contain patient-centered vignettes with a series of associated questions. Topics are presented randomly. For example, there is no unique pediatrics section. You'll face the challenge of having to switch from one topic to another without skipping a beat.

The test is administered by appointment on a year-round basis. When planning your USMLE review, factor in 4 to 6 months for Step 2CK prep.

Register for the USMLE Step 2 CK


Kaplan has a Step 2 CK prep course option that fits your life.