3 months is a looooong time. I just had my school send mine in for step 1 in april and cs in may. Didn't think it can take so long. That can back me up for sure. Oh well, more study time I guess.i think first 15 days of jan u cant apply for the exam. the application process depends on ur med school if u have to apply thru them. Mine took me 3 months to get the permit. once u get the permit u can fix the date n give the exam. its not so difficult to get a seat in prometric for step 1.