Get Ready for Match 2014!

Residency BlogCongratulations if you are checking items off the list in preparation for Match 2014! If you haven’t started, there is time still to meet the deadlines.

Match 2014 Checklist:

1. Apply for ECFMG Certification. Read through all of the pages on the website, and watch our video for step-by-step instructions on how to begin your ECFMG application.

2. Prepare thoroughly for the required USMLE®. Earning high scores will make you a more competitive candidate. Do NOT take the exams until you are confident you will pass.

Below are our expert recommendations for the individual USMLE® Step exams:

  • Step 2 CS – Take As Soon As Possible

We recommend that you take the Step 2 CS examination as early as possible rather than taking it after passing Step 1 and Step 2 CK because there is an annual rush to obtain test slots by December 31. If you take it earlier in the year, you will ensure a test date and have your Step 2 CS results in time for the National Residency Matching Program eligibility deadline in mid-February. Also, more programs are requiring ECFMG certification when you apply so you’ll want your CS results when you apply.

  •  Step 1: 4-6 months

Many IMGs who graduated fairly recently and have a strong command of English will need at least 4-6 months to prepare. We suggest that you divide your total study time into an initial 2/3 chunk and a final 1/3 chunk. The first is for your thorough review of each subject, with self-testing gradually increasing as you begin taking tests composed of items from ALL completed areas. The final 1/3 period is for more intense test-taking practice, where you take several blocks on mixed content under timed mode, then analyze to identify still weak topics and remediate these before moving on to the next self-testing session. Testing performance, not time spent, should dictate when you actually take the exam, because what counts is how well you can apply what you review to solving questions.

  •  Step 2 CK: 3-4 months

You should allow the first 2/3 of the reviewing time to Internal Medicine because it’s tested so heavily. Then allow days proportional to weak areas and divide the remainder pretty evenly across the other subjects. Once you finish reviewing Internal Med, you should begin self-testing with a question bank, adding in items into each testing session from any/all completed subjects as you move forward. The final third of your total review time should be dedicated for daily cycles of testing, analysis to identify weak topics, remediation of those weak topics, and then another cycle, repeating this until a few days before your exam date.

3. USCE – United States Clinical Experience
Starting now, make time for researching and requesting possible clinical opportunities. As you can see from this extremely informative ECFMG report, having USCE will increase your chances of residency interviews. Programs like to know that applicants have some sense of how medicine is practiced here in the US through externships, observerships, or medically related work experiences. There is no formal process to apply for non-rotation clinical experiences, so IMGs network with those who have found USCE and investigate on their own local hospitals and clinics. The experiences are usually unpaid and last from 1 to several months. Some IMGs pay commercial firms fees to find them US clinical opportunities. It can take months and many calls/emails before you find an opportunity. Read our previous post about finding USCE opportunities.

4. You may have long dreamed of practicing a specific specialty, but consider also where you have the best chance for interviews.  IMGs tend to land more residencies in Primary Care, as illustrated in this surprising article by Kevin Pho, MD.
5. The ECFMG timeline is summarized below starting in 2013:


June Determine eligibility.
US Residency Programs & Licensure Requirements Schedule.
If you haven’t scheduled your CS by now, do so immediately!
ERAS Tokens.
July Submit Supporting Documents. AAMC’s MyERAS opens.
August Track Supporting Documents. Finalize Application in MyERAS.
September NRMP Registration opens. Begin applying to Programs.
October MSPEs are released.
November Wait for interviews. Take Step 3 or find more USCE.
December NRMP Early Registration Deadline.


January NRMP Rank Order List Entry begins.
February Deadline for Match Registration and Submission of Rank Order List.
March Match Results Posted to NRMP Website.
SOAP Offer Rounds begin.
Match Day!

“Testing performance, not time spent, should dictate when you actually take the exam. #USMLE®”  (Tweet this quote!)

Read more tips about Residency and USMLE®. Subscribe to our blog!

All of the opinions expressed here are the author’s and his/hers alone, and do not represent necessarily those of Kaplan or its employees. 

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  • Liz

    If I wanted to apply for 2014 match by what month should I have finished all steps excluding step 3?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Liz- You should make sure you have your Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores by the time you submit your ERAS application in September. It’s best to take Step 2 CS as early as you can as test dates become difficult to attain later in the year, and some programs require ECFMG-certification when applying. Hope that helps!

  • Dani

    Hi, I am an IMG as well. I am planning on taking step 2ck in a few weeks. I’ve decided to take step 1 later on as my clinical knowledge is a lot stronger. If I take Step 1 by August without having taken Step 2CS would this be ok? Also if I take Step 1 by August and don’t have my results yet can I still apply? Many thanks for your help

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Dani – The USMLE Steps may be taken in any order, although IMGs find that taking Step 1 first helps them build a foundation of concepts that is useful in their preparation for the Step 2CK. Also, the Step 1 items tend to be somewhat shorter than the items on Step 2 CK. But ultimately the choice is yours. Do try to take all of the exams early enough that your results will be available to residency programs during the time they are evaluating applicants and deciding who to invite to interview. Most programs want to see both Step 1 and Step 2CK scores before granting interviews, so you should wait until you have these before applying. Also, be sure you have your Step 2CS test date set as early as you can. They become more difficult to reserve as the year goes on!

  • Gaurav

    Hello, I am an IMG as well. Just graduated in march 2013. I am preparing for my Step 1 and would be giving it in mid May. I don’t have any USCE as of now. Is there any possiblity if i could apply for 2014 matching if i give my step 2 CK by August end? or should i take the next steps slowly and apply for 2015? Your reply would be of a lot of help. Thanking you in anticipation.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Gaurav – Congratulations on your graduation! If you take Step 2 CK at the end of August you won’t have your results until later in September. You could still apply to some programs and see how it goes and if you don’t match, continue building your application for 2015. USCE is often difficult to acquire, but well worth the effort. If you happen to find an opportunity that begins after you apply, you can include it on your application. Check program requirements carefully before applying and do not apply until you have both Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores. Good luck on Step 1!

      • Gaurav

        Thanks a lot for your advice. Focusing on my step1 for now. :)

        • KaplanMedical

          Good luck!!

  • Robin

    Hi there,

    I noticed that there are some medical schools that will grant interviews even though Step 1 has not been completed. Do you have any idea, if granted the interview, when these medical schools would expect the completion of all the steps? Also, I noticed some schools indicated that positions could be deferred. Would that mean that they would hold the position until I was finished all steps?

    Thank you for your help with this.

    • KaplanMedical

      We are unsure about your question. There are interviews to get into med school, but it appears you are asking about residency interviews, in which case there would be few, if any, programs that would grant an interview to someone who had not yet passed Step 1. In fact, in most US med schools, a student must pass Step 1 in order to stay in the clinical portion of the curriculum (i.e., would be held back from clinical rotations until they passed it). As far as deferred positions, this could happen. In special cases, a program might be willing to allow an incoming resident to begin training later than July 1 (typically Jan 1). If they offer this option, it is usually stated in the info the programs provide on FREIDA. We hope this helps clarify!

  • Claire

    What is meant by determine eligibility in your post

    I have a question!
    My medical school credential verification is pending right now but my school missed a clinical rotation that I want to add….
    Now I called ecfmg and they told me to ask my medical school to resend the corrected documents and send a letter explaining what was wrong in the previous ones….
    My documents were expected to be verified by April 23
    My question is if I resend my documents will it delay the verification process that long that ill miss the match? Or should I resend the documents as soon a possible and wait for another three weeks time to be verified? And finally if I resend the documents will they be updated? Like my one clinical rotation that was missed! That will be updated right?

    I don’t know if this is the right forum to ask this question but any help will be appreciated as I’m really scared of missing this years match

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Claire- “Determine eligibility” means you need to make sure you meet all of the requirements for ECFMG certification. We recommend that you follow the guidelines from ECFMG, and to contact them directly regarding the verification process. If you have any other personal questions, please email Good luck!

  • Ame Prinz

    What’s the last date or week we should take our Step 2 CK exam by in order to have the results in by Sept 15 when ERAS opens?

    Is the Last week of July ok, by August 1st?

    Please advise! Thanks!

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Ame, it typically takes about 3-4 weeks to receive your scores. However, you should always check the website for updates and announcements on score reporting delays. We advice that you register for an appointment as soon as possible as spots fill up fast!

  • ISJ

    HI I am planning to appear for my Step 1 in October this year. What is the right time to apply for residency?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi ISJ- To increase your chances of attaining residency, you should have your Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step CS scores by the time you apply. Most importantly, make sure you try to get the highest score you possibly can on Step 1 and Step 2 CK, and only take the exam when you are ready. In addition, if you are able to obtain U.S. clinical experience, it would strengthen your application. If you would like to get a personalized study plan, we recommend you sign up for our free 30-minute advising session:

  • Thaddeues

    Hi. I am a IMG who has passed step 2 CS and I have certification as well. I am thinking of doing a clinical hands on clerkship in july and August 2013 to strengthen my application (LoRs). Will that be too late for me to submit my application for interviews in 2013?

    Thanks for your help.


    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Stacy- Congratulations on passing the CS exam! It’s harder than some may think. U.S. clinical experience is a great way to strengthen your application and an opportunity for you to earn strong LOR’s. It’s not necessary to complete clerkships by the time you submit your application. Keep in mind though that it takes time for physicians, attendings, residents and hospital staff to get to know you and assess your skills, so make sure you develop strong relationships early during your clerkship to ensure you are able to get great LOR’s. Ideally you’ll acquire the LoRs before you apply in September. You can always add them later, and certainly you can include the clerkship on your application, even if you haven’t started. Good luck, and let us know how we can continue to provide guidance and support!

  • Rachit Chawla

    Sir I have a query that I got a mail saying to be eligible for 2014 match I have to give CS before 31 dec but since I ll be applying in 2014 sept this means this wont apply to me and I can give CS next year???

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Rachit, if you are planning on participating in the 2015 Match, we recommend you take the CS in 2014 and that you register as early as possible as seats tend to fill up fast especially in the last 6 months of the year. Good luck!

  • Mustafa

    Hi i just took my Step one and now trying to find a date for CS but that seems impossible. the website says 8 – 10 weeks so i should take my exam first 2 weeks of june. hoping someone changes there dates now. What do i need from my institition here in KHI to apply for a residency this year?

    Want to get done with all the paper work before moving to the states.


    p.s this is a great forum! thanks for helping out so many people

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Mustafa, We are so glad to hear you like our blogs and find them helpful! We enjoy building the community where everyone can share ideas and guidance.

      You are wise to take CS as soon as you can. It is possible to acquire a cancelled test date, but you must be vigilant. To apply for residency, please read through the ECFMG website, which has detailed instructions:

      Please feel free to ask questions here or to Good luck!

  • Efren Chavez

    Hi. I am an IMG. I´ve a doubt, hope you can help me…
    I already passed Step 1 and Step 2 CS. I recently began studying for Step 2 CK, so I paid the exam and chose my elegibility period in Sept-Oct-Nov. However, I am planning to present Step 2 CK in Sept 1 if I do well previously on the simulated exams.
    I understand that is quite advisable to be certificated by ECFMG by Sept 15th 2013, but in my case that won´t be possible.
    Maybe I´ll get my Step 2 CK scores by late September and be certified by ECFMG in mid October.
    Honestly, do you consider there are many hospitals that accept apllications by that time? Or are there hospitals where I can apply without being certificated yet (but with the results of the last exam pending)?
    I already have some USCE and 4 LOR´s of american faculty-associated physicians.
    I also have already send all my papers (medical diploma, medical education credentials) to the ECFMG.
    Otherwise, I would wait until the 2015 Match, so I can do all the process with a better timing (and perhaps Step 3 already passes as well)

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Efren – Congratulations on passing your Step 1 and Step 2 CS exams! If you have your Step 2 CK results by the end of September, you will still have chances so should apply to programs that interest you (and for which you qualify). Definitely wait to apply so you have both Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores. You do not need to be certified for most programs. Having USCE and LoRs are a great advantage! Best of luck!

  • Seem

    I am starting with usmle step 1 preparation can anyone tell me the deadline of all the steps and all the certification if i want to be in the matching program of 2015

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Seem – Ideally you should be ECFMG-certified by September 2015, with USCE and LoRs. Some programs are requiring certification. However, at the very least, be sure to you have your Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores. For more information:

      Good luck!

  • sher

    Hey, I’m planning on doing Step 1 in October 2013. Would that be too late to apply for residency? I have already passed step 2 ck and cs.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Sher- If you’re applying for the 2014 Match and want to increase your chances of being considered for interviews, you need to have your Step 1 and Step 2 (CK and CS) scores available when you submit your application. We recommend you submit as early as you can in the process as it’s very competitive.

  • Tracian


    Would like to know if August 1st is too late to sit step 1, I would like to have all my results in before Sept. 15 so I can meet ERAS deadline. How long after results before you get your ECFMG certification.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Tracian – It takes about 6 weeks for your score report, so you should be fine, however, we recommend you check for any updates/announcements as there may be delays in score reporting. Regarding ECFMG, you do not need your certification to apply to most programs; just be sure to check criteria carefully before applying. And remember – you want both your Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores when you apply! Standard ECFMG Certificates are sent approximately two weeks after all of the requirements have been met:

      Good luck!

      • Tracian

        Thank you so much. Really appreciate this forum.

    • Tracian

      Thank you very much.Really appreciate this forum

  • Edge

    Is taking step 1 on 20th of August going to be too late to make sept 15th?
    Already have ck and cs in hand,

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Edge, Good news you have Step 2 CK and CS already done! USMLE states now that “you should allow at least eight weeks after your test date to receive notification that your score report is available.” It’s possible you may receive your scores within 3 weeks but you can’t count on it. And while you still have some chances into October, the earlier the better to apply.

  • fallsplendour

    Hi I am an IMG as well giving my step 2 CK on 27 July and date for cs is 31 Oct . I m also applying for match 2014. I have passed step 1 what do you think what are my chances???? Or should I wait for 2015????

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello fallsplendour,

      Congratulations on passing Step 1 and good thinking to have that date for CS. You should be okay for the Step 2 CK scores – people seem to be receiving between 3-7 weeks or so. Hopefully you have some US Clinical Experience, or are looking into it so when you apply you can include that information – even if it’s going to take place after you apply. You want recent US-authored LoRs which will increase your chances greatly. Good luck!

      • fallsplendour

        Thank you for your guidance I really appreciate that :-)

        • KaplanMedical

          You’re welcome! We are here anytime for questions.

  • harry

    I am an IMG and i graduated in march 2013, and studying for step 1, i heard about the difficulty in getting residency for IMGs after 2015 as the number of AMGs will be equal or more than the number in residency posts in theUS, does this stand true, is it a nightmare for an IMG?
    plz respond

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi harry,

      The challenge to gain residency may increase for a while, but you still have chances. You want to score as high as you can on the USMLE, get some US clinical experience (thus strong LoRs), write an inspired personal statement and research programs carefully. Getting ECFMG-certified before you apply will be helpful. Some even take Step 3 beforehand. There is always room for qualified, dedicated physicians, regardless of where they went to med school!

  • Jug

    Hi. How bad is it if i apply in sep 25 instead of 15th?
    Is it better to apply on the 15th with a pending ck score and then call programs to tell them i have my score when it’s out or to apply once in sep25 th with a complete application????

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Jug, Wait until you have your CK score. Programs often don’t consider applicants without both the Step 1 and Step 2 CK and you do not want to be overlooked! Good luck!

      • Adrian

        So how bad is if we apply on sept 25th instead of 15h?
        When do program directors download the applications after they apply their filters?

        • KaplanMedical

          Hello Adrian – It’s best to apply when you meet the requirements of the program(s) so if it’s on the 25th, so be it. Programs are processing applications through November, and though the earlier the better, you will still be in the running applying in September!!

  • navi

    I am an IMG and have cleared only step 1. I plan to give 2CK in 4 months. Am I eligible to submit residency application by 15 sept for 2014 match?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello navi – Almost no programs will consider your application without your Step 2 CK score. It will be best for you to take your time preparing for Step 2 CK, pass Step 2 CS, gain US clinical experience and earn LoRs. You may even consider taking Step 3!

      • navi

        Thanks for answering! I am now planning same thing. Wish me luck !

        • KaplanMedical

          Good luck!! : )

  • Maryam

    I am an IMG interested in applying to Pediatrics.. I graduated from medical school in 2012. I cleared Step 2 CS and step 1 recently and planning to take step 2 ck by 1st or 2nd week of September. I have one month of USCE and also an LoR from the same.
    Do u think its a good idea to apply in September and then email all the programs about my CK score as soon as i receive it? Or should I wait til mid October and send in my application once I have all the scores ready? I am very worried since I have heard that applying late greatly reduces the number of interview calls. All this stress is affecting my studying focus for step 2 ck. Please help me.
    I would really appreciate your advice.

    • Ala Synthase

      Hi Maryam, I am in the same situation. Some say I should wait for the scores and some say I should email them later. I am confused! I hope someone would guide me.

      • KaplanMedical

        Hi Maryam and Ala Synthase – For most programs, it is best to wait and apply with both scores as so many do not consider applications without them — so research programs carefully!! Have everything ready with your application, and make sure your personal statement is interesting, unique and well-written. Good luck!

  • John Kenzenie

    What are my chances of getting a spot in 2015? Am I doomed? Because I will finish all my steps by then, but it seems as if our future (IMGs) is not that bright anymore!

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello John Kenzenie – Always there are opportunities for physicians who are well-qualified and dedicated. Definitely you want to have plenty of US clinical experience (thus strong LoRs) to remain competitive and consider taking Step 3, too.

  • Bryce

    I am taking my CK August 19th. Will I be able to have my scores back in time in order to apply for the opening of application submissions on September 15th? I have passed both Step 1 and CS. I have also had to transfer from Ross University to Sint Eustatius School of Medicine because I didn’t pass the comp exam that was needed to take Step 1. What are my chances of getting an interview for residency? Should I wait for my scores or turn in my application on September 15th?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Bryce – Congratulations on passing Step 1 and CS! You may have the Step 2 CK score in time. Either way, we do recommend you wait to apply with your score as so many programs will not even consider an applicant without both Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores.

      Good luck!!

  • Sera

    I am an old IMG (graduated in 2006). I have passed step one and step 2 cs and planning to sit for step 2 ck in late september. I have a three-month clinical experience in Canada and 2 LORs from Canadian professors. I wonder whether I should apply for match 2014 or wait to be certified, get some US clinical experience and enter match 2015. I am so worried, as I am an old IMG and many programs won’t accept old IMGs. I would really appreciate your advice.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Sera, Taking the Step 2 CK late in September means you won’t get your scores until October or November, which will be rather late to apply. You do want to get some US clinical experience (& US LoRs), too, for more chances for interviews. However, you could apply to a few programs later if you meet their requirements, as some programs do interview into January, especially if applicants cancel. Do research program requirements carefully regardless of when you apply! Best of luck.

      • Sera

        Thank you so much for your advice. I do appreciate it.

        • KaplanMedical

          You’re welcome! Please ask questions any time.

        • KaplanMedical

          You’re welcome! Please ask questions any time.

    • WorthInClay

      Hi I think if u feel that u r ready for Step 2CK by now, u can try to log into Prometric every now and then to check there are new open slots that are early than late Sept. I had a late date for CK but I checked now and then, picked up some slots that someone has given up and managed to take it early.
      All the best! (I am old IMG too! :) )

  • Vik

    I am an IMG passed my steps and ECFMG certified.

    I have 1 US lor and awaiting 1 more. I will cross the 15th sept date. Do u think i shud apply on 15 or I can wait until 25th or so. I heard some programs dont dig the late applicants. How true is that. Also, is it very helpful if u apply right on time on 15th.
    Please advise.! thanks

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Vik, This is a good question. You can apply on the 15th and add the 2nd LoR as soon as you receive. Good luck!!

  • WorthInClay

    May I know what might the implications be if I can’t get a date for Step 2 CS by 31 Dec? I already have Step 1 & 2 CK results, gotten a token, in the process of getting LoRs and doing my statement, but I realized that I can’t get ECFMG certified without CS. Signed up for CS but still waiting for OASIS/IWA to approve my registration and I looked through the calendar – it seems like there aren’t any more CS slots in all 4 centers until Jan 2014?
    Do you know if that means all my preparation would be in vain?

  • Colvictri

    Hi i have already passed step 1 and step 2 CK, i have 2 months of clerkships and 2 months of observership, 4 LORs all from associate professors. i will have my step 2 Cs score reported by October 15, Do you think i should apply on september or wait till october, which is better to apply; early without Cs score or late with the score? can i just resend the usmle transcript again with the score later?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Colvictri – Apologies for the delayed reply. You can apply now and transmit the Step 2 CS score later. You’re in good shape! Good luck!

    • KaplanMedical

      Usually candidates can apply without your CS score, but should check each program as some programs are asking for ECFMG certification. Apply early when possible and apply when the scores come in to those programs asking for certification.

  • Lubna

    I am in kind of a dilemma right now, and getting some valuable advice here would be helpful.
    I graduated in 2009, took my step 1 in 2010 and cleared it though score was low i.e. 195…also took CS a few months later in 2010 and cleared that as well. In Dec 2011 i took CK, and unfortunately I did not clear it. I was absolutely heartbroken and shocked because I hadnt expected myself to fail the exam, but i did. I probably spent most of 2012 in mourning, but worked side by side in a hospital. Finally a few months back, i gathered all courage and took out my books to study for CK and am planning to take it in 2 weeks time. Which means I will get my result around 9th Oct.

    I am a US citizen by birth. But an IMG. I have 3 LORS from USCE as well. Also been working on a research paper in the past few months and hope to have it published by the end of this year. My goal is to apply in Pediatrics residency programs.
    How do you think I can go about it? With low step 1 scores, and a failed attempt at CK what should be my strategy when applying? Applying with my new and (hopefully) improved CK score will be better and I know I will get my score quite late as applications will start pouring in on the 15th sept while my score will come atleast 3 weeks after that, but i do want to apply!
    Any advice, any help will be much appreciated. Thanks a lot.

    • Jono

      Hi Lubna,

      I would advise you apply only once the CK results are in and show a pass. In the meanwhile, research programs that will accept a fail on CK. Don’t worry, there are LOT of them out there. Now, you will need to apply not just to Peds but also to Psych and Family as well to maximize your chance of getting a residency. Now just in case you don’t match, look into doing the MCCEE next year and trying for Canada. Once you do residency there, you can practice in almost any US state.

      Good luck :)

      • Lubna

        Thankyou Jono, for your advice and kind words. I really appreciate it :)

    • Ash

      Hello Helper,
      I checked into your site accidentally as I was looking to see if I can get any information that would be helpful with my situation. I passed step 1 second attempt and CS third attempt, and now studying for CK, Finished my 2 year rotation in the U.S, and I am a U.S Citizen. I am worried that I won’t be able to apply this year while I am really in need to apply this year. Please tips about how to go about this. I am studying for CK, but not ready yet. I Think I won’t be ready until about Mid-to-late September. Do I still have a shot this year? Any advise/input would truly appreciated.

  • shehata

    i finished all exams but i am not certified yet for verification and i will be certified by sep 20th should i apply at sep15th or wait to 20th until be certified >> please help

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Shehata – Certainly you can apply now to programs that do not require certification. For those that do, wait until the 20th. Best of luck!!

  • Marsie

    Hi, I am enrolled in a Caribbean medical school, but I have US citizenship. I scored a 192 on Step I and passed Step 2 CS. I recently sat for the Step 2 CK and found out on September 25th that I failed by a few points. I have all of my LORs uploaded to MyERAS for the 2014 Match, but was waiting on applying to programs until my CK score came out. Understandably, I am very disappointed about my CK results and I would like your advice on my next steps.

    Since I failed my CK, should I now:

    1) Apply quickly to programs that allow me to apply with a failed CK score (which I read in your previous responses do exist)

    2) Sit for the CK again asap (after studying as much as I can of course) and still apply for the 2014 match in November, latest December? What are my chances of getting interviews or matching at all this late?

    3) Or should I simply withdraw my application and wait for the March 2015 match?

    I am planning to apply for Psych and Peds. Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Marsie – We are very sorry to read about your exam experience. You may have decided what to do at this point but certainly you want to prepare well for your 2nd attempt to pass Step 2 CK. Do not take it again until you are confident you will score well. Applying in November/December will offer limited chances, but if you check requirements carefully it may be worthwhile to apply to a few. If you do not match for 2014, perhaps take the time to get additional clinical experience and consider taking Step 3. Best wishes for future success!

    • ck disaster

      @hi i m currently in the exact same position as u with only diiference being i did medz in other country n step 1 score 220.. was plannin to apply next month with evrything ready n ck killed me.. what did u do? can u share or email me the list of programs where i can apply with this awful ck result n i will also give the ck exam asap..any help will b appreciated… @KaplanMedical:disqus can u suggest something?

      or should i drop usmle now n lose the hope to match

  • kga

    I have a step 1 score of 205 (first attempt), and will get my CS score on 10/9/13 and the CK score on 10/16/13. I am a US IMG (caribbean school) with 2 years of clinical exp in US hospitals. Should I apply to programs now or should I wait until 10/16/13 to apply after all my scores and LORs are in? At the moment I have 1 LOR. Thanks in advance.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello kga – you were wise to wait until you have your CK score. Programs do not consider applicants without the Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores. Best of luck!!

  • Roman

    Hello, I am looking for some advise. I am an IMG, Caribbean student.

    I passed Step 1 and CK on first attempt.

    Step 1 = 192
    Step CK = 210

    I passed CS on second attempt.

    I will graduate from rotations and medical school by December 2013.

    I applied to 105 programs and only get rejections. What am I doing wrong? Will I get interviews?

    • Roman

      I am a US Citizen as well.

    • KaplanMedical

      Several factors are involved, including what kind of programs applied to, whether the programs requirements were followed, personal statement, US LoRs, competition, etc.. Some programs offer interviews into January, especially as there are cancellations.

  • Indra

    Hi I am an IMG and have passed step 1 and step 2 CK.Would be appearing for step 2 CS in dec.As yet not got any interview calls for Match 2014.Are there any chances of getting Interview calls still.I have done one month of externship till now.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Indra – it’s possible you will be invited to interviews even into January, especially as programs fill appointments that have been cancelled by other interviewees. It depends also on what programs to which you applied and how many LoRs you have. Externships are the most valued of clinical experiences, so that’s in your favor!

  • Germine Youssry

    Hi I need ur advice um IMG I take only step 2ck, if I want to apply to match 2015 what is the last date I can take rest of exams, um planning to take step 2cs in april and step 1 in july

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Germine Youssry – You should be fine. You want to have Step 1 and Step 2 CK in time to apply to programs in September. Having Step 2 CS results is becoming more important, too. Best of luck!!

  • Disha

    I have as yet not got an interview call. I am an IMG .Passed my step 1 and Step 2 CS.Appeared for my Step 2 CK .Expecting results by january Can you guide and help me in any way or Should I leave all hope to get into 2014 match

    • KaplanMedical

      If you did not receive any interviews, you should do what you can to strengthen your application for 2015! Good luck.

  • samarth

    Hi thank you for replying for my last post. I got one more query. Since I didnt plan to go for the match, I didnt apply to any programs, but now my profile is complete and want to apply for SOAP. My scores are 228, 247 , cs pass, 2 usce, is it worth it to try SOAP? and can I still apply to a program since soap requires you to have applied to atleast one program. Thank you.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hope you are preparing for the 2015 match. Be sure to check all program requirements carefully and write an inspired personal statement. Best wishes.

  • Guest

    Hi, I am an IMG that was unsuccessful in the 2014 match.I would like to improve my CV by doing an online masters in Public Health program. Would an online program be recognized by program directors.

    • KaplanMedical

      Any graduate degree is recognized by program directors as long as the Master’s program is accredited. You can check this information on the university’s website and confirm on the US department of Education at wishes for you on the 2015 Match.

  • Samia

    I want to enter 2015 match. I have given CS, result would be out in mid June. I’m taking Step 1 in July and I’m in a pretty good form to score high. I have 4 LORs from professionals at very reputable institutions in USA, one published Pathology paper and several courses. However, I haven’t given my CK as yet. Is it possible for me to enter this year’s match? What is the probability of matching without CK scores but with a high step 1 score? Should I enter the match on the basis of step 1 and CS? I’m an IMG and interested in applying in Internal Med.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Samia – programs do not usually consider applicants without both Step 1 and Step 2 Ck scores. Having your Step 2 CS result will be very beneficial as more programs are asking for ECFMG certification. Good luck!

  • arvin

    i wanted to know something please. i have scored in step 1 230 ck 235 wil be doing cs in 3 month time.. do i need to have us clinical experience. can i get residency with that results. thx

    • KaplanMedical

      US Clinical experience strengthens your application. Some programs are extremely competitive and require very high scores. Some programs are more flexible than others (such as Internal Med) so check all program requirements carefully. Good luck!

  • priya

    HI , How many months of usce is essential for good application in residency program of internal medicine

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello priya – If you can gain more than one experience, all the better as it means more than one recent US-authored LoR. However, an amount of time where you can get some good experience and a solid LoR will be helpful. Good luck!

  • Jaya

    Hi I am currently a medical student about to finish all my clinicals soon and I am confused if i should apply for match 2015 or not. I have a passing score of 199 on step 1 and am currently waiting for opening dates for Step 2 cs I am also preparing for step 2 ck. I dont know if i should apply for match 2015 or just wait until match 2016 and until then try to strengthen my CV. any suggestions?

    • KaplanMedical

      It depends when you will finish the exams and what programs interest you. Do not apply to any programs without both your Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores! Read the program requirements carefully, and probably you want to consider a specialty like Internal Med as well. Best of luck.

  • pavan kedar

    My step 2 cs score will come by sept 10. I have taken other exams and passes them. My ecfmg certification may come by sept 25 th. Should I apply on sept 15 th or 25 th with cert

    • KaplanMedical

      For most programs, you can apply on September 15th! But do check program criteria carefully; if they require ECFMG certification, wait until you have. Good luck!

  • Helpme908

    Hello, I’m an fmg and I was wondering how bad will it be if I took step 2 in mid September and apply in late October? My school will not allow me to take step 2 until then. My step 1 score is low so I wanted to get 2ck score in, hoping it’s strong. I also have a publication and will be doing rotations in us.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Helpme908 – the earlier to apply, but late October should be okay for possible interviews. Be sure you prepare thoroughly for Step 2 so you can earn the highest score possible to make up for the Step 1 score. Consider more flexible programs, such as Internal Med. Best of luck, on both the exam and for residency!

  • MF

    Hi, I’m a non-US citizen IMG applying for the 2015 Match. ERAS application opens on Sept 15th – as an IMG, would I be at a disadvantageous position f I were to sit for my CK first week of September, and submit my application in early October after obtaining my scores? Or would it be more advisable to sit for CK mid August and submit my application when ERAS opens up at mid September – although I’m not prepared for CK? Does submitting application earlier would offer a greater chance of matching? Thanks.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello MF- Programs do not consider applicants without both Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores, so it will be a waste to apply before you take Step 2 CK. Definitely wait, and early October is fine for applying. Prepare thoroughly for the exam to remain competitive. Good luck!

  • Minnie

    Hi. I am a US born citizen but I studied abroad for medical school. My school required a year of clinical rotations known as an internship which is done the final year before receiving the medical degree. I transferred my internship to the US and did all the clinical rotations in all the specialties here alongside other medical students. I actually did it through a hospital clinical coordinator which arranges rotations for Caribbean schools. I also worked with a GI dr for eight months here in the US as well while I was in my third year. I have gaps and delays in my medical schooling etc due to illness and family problems that required me to stay at home and help. I have my CS in the first week of August and my step one as well and my step 2 for September. All of my scores and ecfmg certification would be by mid to late October and I plan on submitting my application then as well. My LORs are from a dr from my internal medicine rotation, a retired program director, and the GI dr I worked with. I have to apply this year due to financial and family problems. Will I be okay applying in late October? I am very worried. I only have the financial support to apply this year. One other thing is my sister graduated from a residency program and is now doing a fellowship. She said her program director from residency would keep an eye out for my application and she would keep in touch with him and let him know when my app is in. I am stressed and worried as I have to apply but I will be doing so late as I still have exams to pass. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Minnie – Please take a deep breath. Try to take this one step at a time. You need to be focused so as to do well on Step 2 CK and CS. Having the LoRs and all the US clinical experience is great. You have the opportunity to network so will have insight into residency. Applying mid-late October is still fine – just be sure to read the program criteria carefully when you apply. Consider less competitive programs such as Internal Med and Family Medicine, and community programs. See what programs haven’t filled historically and maybe apply to these. Worrying about the future will drain your energy for today so find the motivation you need to get through the next few items of the process. You can do this!!

  • Guest

    I’m an IMG who will now be 5 years out of medical school, ECFMG certified. I was unsuccessful in the 2014 match for Internal Medicine. For match 2015, I also plan to apply to Family medicine and Psychiatry. To improve my application I am currently shadowing an Internist in his private practice (4 Months), getting USCE in a residency program was not possible. I examine patients as well make patient notes. I am not sure if this would be considered observership or externship. Could you please enlighten.

  • Navneet Maini

    Hello, I am a foreign medical graduate. I am ECFMG certified since 1998. Due to certain circumstances I could not pursue residency at that time. Now, I have applied for the 2015 match. I am a private practitioner here in India and I have uploaded pretty strong LoRs. I am however very worried. Will I get accepted?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Navneet Maini – Hopefully your LoRs are from US authors from experiences in the U.S. Read program requirements carefully as many programs are asking for recent grads (within 5 years). But do try! your experience is valuable so you may find a good match.

      • Ritu. Grad of 2000

        Did you matched?

  • Dillon

    Hi I am a caribbean medical student, I am contemplating if I should apply as early as possible or wait for my CK grade
    step 1 score = 199 (first try)
    step 2 CK = have exam schedule for 09/22 (expecting to receive it 2nd/3rd week of october)
    step 2 CS = passed on first try
    I want to apply into Family Medicine, but am debating when to send in my applications (as I heard some programs stop looking at application first or second week october)
    Should I apply as soon as possible or wait for my CK score?
    any suggestions would be helpful,
    Thank you

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Dillon – wait until you get your Step 2 CK score. Most programs do not consider candidates without both Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores. Family Med a good choice. good luck!

  • ikki

    Hello I’m an IMG with a step score 250, 246 cs passed and two publications with me as the first author. I have no usce at all and am planning to apply in peads what would my chances be of getting into a programme without any usce?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello ikki – congratulations on your exam success. Do you have any LoRs at all? Programs want to see that you have had some exposure to the US med system. However, check program requirements carefully and if it seems you qualify, try applying. Good luck.

  • naful

    Hi, i am an IMG i passed step 1 recently,now i am confused whether i should give ck or cs first and i have no medical experience so i was thinking that i should cs first in jan 2015 and till then i will do my observership for two months and then give ck til july so that i can apply for match 2015,kindly guide me about it

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello naful – Your plan sounds reasonable. You are wise to get your CS done early, as test dates are more difficult to find later in the year. Prep well for both exams. You’ll have your Step 2 CK score in time to apply in September. Congratulations on passing Step 1!

  • Xiaofeng Wu

    Hello, I am an IMG, I scored a 192 on Step 1, passed CS on first attempt, I haven´t done CK yet, I working for it now, I had one month USCE and one LOR from a pediatrician, I am a little preoccupied about my step 1 score, I will have interviews and get into a pediatric program with a 192 on Step 1, what is my chance.

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Xiaofeng Wu – do your best to earn a much higher Step 2 score. If you can, acquire more USCE. Maybe get Step 3 out of the way. Pediatrics is somewhat competitive, but if you research programs carefully, you should have chances!

      • Xiaofeng Wu

        Hello, I would like to know if I can get a LOR in Spanish and take it to a legal translator to translate it to English and use it for my residency application. Thank you.

  • v

    Hi I am a Caribbean 4th year student at Ross University (also need visa sponsorship as I am non-US citizen), I achieved a score of 242 on step I and a 233 on step 2ck both on first attempt; however I failed step 2 CS and am scheduled for a repeat attempt in December. What are my chances of obtaining family medicine residency?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi v – Family Medicine programs tend to be more flexible, so the failed CS attempt should be okay. It’s good you have your Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores. It’s important you pass this time. Be sure you prepare well and get help if you need. Good luck in December!

  • Pleasesuggest


    I graduated in 2008 and with score of 234, 221, CS 2nd attempt. I’m an fmg but U.S. citizen. I just got back my step 3 score last night and it was 196 ;(. Do you think I should retransmit my transcript? I have 2 ivs so far.


  • Marry

    Hi, I am International Medical Student, in final year. want to apply for 2016 match, until now not done with any steps, how should i manage my time with the exams to get 2016 match, which steps should be finished first, to be eligible for match system

    i knew that all steps are required but confused, when i read comment find out i can do step CS ASAP and then 1 later on step2 ck, can you clarify this point for me

    @KaplanMedical can u suggest something?

    • KaplanMedical

      Hi Marry – Most get Step 1 done first since it needs the most time for preparation. You want to take Step 2 CS sooner than later because test dates become more difficult to get later in the year, plus you’ll be less anxious knowing you passed. Many students need about 6 months for Step 1, 3-4 months for Step 2 CK, and 1-4 weeks for Step 2 CS. For Step 2 CS, consider taking a course so you can learn how to perform properly and receive feedback immediately. Finally, try to get some US experience where you can earn US-authored Letters of Recommendation. Good luck!

  • Xiaofeng Wu

    Hello, I would like to know if I can get a LOR in Spanish and take it to
    a legal translator to translate it to English and use it for my
    residency application. Thank you.

    • KaplanMedical

      Yes there are guidelines for this:

      If the LoR is not in English, you must have an English translation prepared by and certified to be correct by a medical school official (for example, a Dean or Registrar), a government official (for example, a Consular Officer), or a professional translation service. Submit only the English translation to ERAS Support Services at ECFMG.”

  • Xiaofeng Wu

    If I apply for the 2015 Match and I don´t Match, this will affect my future application for the 2016 Match?

    • KaplanMedical

      No, and in fact you can strengthen your application for next year.

  • Rose

    Hi,I would like to know if I have any chances to get into residency,to study for steps or to reconsider my career. I am 1999 IMG and for the last 3 years I did not work in medical field.Thank you

    • KaplanMedical

      Hello Rose – Simply read through program requirements carefully. Some programs look for more recent grads and some are not requiring it. Good luck!