At present, the test software used to deliver the computer-based components of the United States Medical Licensing Examination(tm) (USMLE(tm)) is provided by Prometric, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. The National Board of Medical Examiners(r) (NBME(r)) is developing new software for the USMLE. The NBME software, known as FRED(tm), will begin to replace the Prometric software in the fall of 2004.
The transition to the FRED software for Step 3 is expected to take place
in October 2004. The transition for Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) is
expected to occur after the Step 3 transition in October 2004. For Step
1, it is likely that this change will not occur until 2005.
If you plan to take Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3, you should monitor the
USMLE website for information on this transition and instructions for
practicing with the appropriate test software. Additional information is
available at http://www.usmle.org/news/testsoftware.htm. The 2005 USMLE
Orientation Materials CD includes both the Prometric and the NBME's FRED
test software. ECFMG sends the CD to applicants when they are registered
for examination. The same sample test materials using the Prometric and
FRED software are available on the USMLE website at