STEP BY STEP Guide to APPLY for USMLE Exam and ECFMG Registration

by Izzah Vasim

Hi everyone. In the next few steps, I am going to explain the process of “getting started” on the road to an M.D i.e how to get yourself registered with ECFMG and how to apply for any USMLE exam.

1)Go to
2)Hit the tab – ONLINE SERVICES
3)Click onto the  tab- IWA(interactive web application)
4)This should open a page requiring a USER ID and PASSWORD.
5)If you are a First time user, select the option stating -If you are a first-time user of ECFMG On-line Services, click here to establish an account.

6)Follow the step by step  guide to establish the account with ECFMG.
7)Once you establish an account , ECFMG will send you the  USER ID and Password in approximately 2-5 days through email.
8)Now in order to apply for any exam you have to get yourself registered with ECFMG first which involves the processing of the form 186.
9)So, once you have your ID and password, log on to IWA using the id and password
10) You will see the option of BEGIN A NEW APPLICATION
***Whatever exam you want to take , you have to click on the same BEGIN A NEW APPLICATION  tab.Once you start  filling it , you will be asked  about which exam you  want to take i.e USMLE step 1 ,Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS  and you may choose accordingly.
11)Get your Credit card ready as you will be asked for the payment at the end of it pertaining to the exam.
12)Begin filling the application.Follow step by step guide and fill in the required information.
****This is actually the ONLINE part of the form 186 that you are filling.Form 186 has to be filled  once in order to get registered with ecfmg.
13)Once you complete the application , it will give you the option of reviewing all your details for the final time and then submit it.
14)After submitting the application , IWA will generate the PAPER PART of the form 186
***PRINT it out and fill it.You have to attach one photograph on it and get it signed by the Dean
15)IWA  will also print out the relevant forms pertaining to the exam you opt along  with form 186.Print them as well and fill them. E.g in case of step 2 CS there will be forms 186,344,345 and 187
16)Once you have done all that , you have to send  the above forms filled and signed back to the ecfmg.Now, this varies slightly for graduates and students.
  a) If you are a student then you only have to fill 186 and your school will send the form and transcripts back to ecfmg in a sealed envelope.
b)If you  are a graduate and have your diploma, then fill out 186,187 and the relevant forms  given by IWA.You will need to have a photocopy of your diploma  stamped by  the college  and the college authorities will send it  to ecfmg.
c)If you are a graduate WITHOUT a diploma then you will have to fill the same as (b) but in this case you have to provide the ecfmg with a SUPPLEMENTAL LETTER FROM THE DEAN stating that you have graduated and you will be issued the diploma in some time.
17)Once your stuff  is mailed to ecfmg ,it takes them approximately 3-4 weeks to process the application.
****In order to check the status of your application,go to>click on the tab OASIS>USMLE APPLICATION INFO
18)After your application is processed by the ecfmg, they will send an email to your school authorities (which in case of King Edward Medical University,Lahore is done by Rashid Javed-KEMCAANA LAB) confirming your status.
19) After your college approves your status. The ECFMG will email you the exam permit.
20)With the exam permit you may choose the date of the exam.


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