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  #1  
Old 09-26-2012
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Help Please HELP: confused when to apply for the exam?

I've just officially started my Step 1 prep a few weeks back and I'm planning/hoping my prep will be complete by February and want to sit for the exam in March. So I was thinking of getting an eligibility period for Feb-March-Jan.

But the thing is, I won't be 100% sure whether I'll sit or not until January due to a number of personal reasons. But then I'll also have to verify my enrollment status and as far as I can tell, my med school's gonna be really slow with it and I'm pretty sure I'll run into a major problem (cause our dean, who used to be authorized official for verifying documents for ECFMG, has changed and I highly doubt ECFMG has not been notified of this change and the new dean probably doesn't have much idea about the USMLE; I really don't know what mess I'll get myself into)

So if I apply, say in the beginning of Jan, will processing times and everything allow me to get my above mentioned eligibility period? Because I wont be able to take the exam any later than March as I'll have my course exams to deal with as well. In that case, I'll be sitting the exam about the same time in 2014.

So when should I apply
? Should I just start the application process now whether or not I'm able to give in March 2013? Is it possible that I just get done with verifying my enrollment status without having to take an eligibility period anytime soon so that I'm ready to take it as soon as the situations are right?

Please help me out guys! I'll appreciate any input . And I don't have a good idea of the whole process so please do correct me wherever I'm wrong and don't hesitate to write about the whole process!
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Old 09-27-2012
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i am not really sure , i may be wrong but ...

1> I dont think u can get jan feb march slot if u apply in january coz processing itself takes about 15 days .. u shuld apply earlier ..

2> If u take a slot for jan -march n u r unable to give it in march u can only extend it to april may june , if u have boards or whatever during this time n u r unable to take exam , u will loose ur total exam fees... !!

3> if ur dean has changed shouldn't b a problem coz , even my dean was new n my school sent updated official signatures along with my application itself so it didnt take any extra time. but if ur med school is nt very cooperative or littl slugggish then u cud have delay...

Keep these points in mind n decide whats good for u... goodluck
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Old 09-28-2012
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Thanks for answering dr.nitwol. Can you tell me whether we have to select an eligibility period right when we start to apply, i.e. the online part of the application? Or can I just start the application process now, get my enrollment status verified and everything and by the time the application is complete it'll probably be December or so and I'll know whether or not I'll be able to sit for it in March. Incase I then realise I'm not able, I'll just select and eligibility period for the next year.

So please can someone PLEASE assure me whether we can get the application process rolling without having to specify an eligibility period right at the beginning?

P-L-E-A-S-E anyone! It'd be really helpful if someone could explain me the whole application process. I again say PLEASE because I'm really confused but I need to act now! So please help me out!
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Old 09-28-2012
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you have to select your eligibility period during online application process -> you fill all required information-> at the end you have to pay the fee-> than you get forms to send directly to ecfmg per mail -> these forms have to be filled by administration of your university->wait around 1 month -> your application is accepted and you'll get sheduling permit-> if you are going to take exam soon you can shedule exam(concrete exam date) at prometric.com-> a week prior you call them and confirm the test date-> take an exam -> going through frustrating 3-4 weeks-> get the result-> frustration is changed by joy or it continues

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Old 09-28-2012
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i have applied some time back buddy so i dont remeber much , but u have to chose an eligibiliity period while filling up online form and ur application will be processed for the requested eligibility period only .. hope someone will give u beter info..

goodluck
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Old 09-28-2012
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THANKS A BUNCH beka-CTS and dr.nitowl!

Well, thats what I was worried. I guess hoping to prepare in 5 months would be pushing my luck especially when I'll also have to spend a frustrating time dealing with my supposedly uncooperative dean. I guess I should apply in 2013 for an eligibilty period in 2014 April & May. Or do you guys reckon its better to take the dive and just apply now with an eligibility period around March although I've just started?

This completely changes everything of my whole plan and will lead to gap in my CV after med school cause I definitely am not going to be working during my prep for the steps. I am feel somewhat frustrated

But once again, thanks a lot guys - this is what I needed to know.
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