finger print for biometric check in procedure while taking USMLE

Biometric Check In Process

What You Should Know

Depending on where you take the USMLE Step 1 Exam, you might be required to go through the biometric check-in process.  Each testing center is different, so you should call your testing center to find out what their policies are. The biometric check-in may be the most time-consuming part of the check-in procedure. Being aware of the procedure and comfortable with it could make your actual test day easier.

Is The USMLE Step 1 Biometric Check In Like The TSA?

Consider this analogy: Flying on an airplane can be a stressful experience even before you step foot onto the aircraft. If you are new to flying, the security procedures can be overwhelming. The long lines, taking off your shoes and jacket, remembering to put your laptop in a separate bin, going through the body scan…the list goes on and on. Anticipating this process and learning about it beforehand can alleviate some frustrations and make the process quicker. The same goes for the biometric check-in.

The Step 1 Biometric Check In - The Real Story

Biometric check-in is an in-depth process that will include taking a series of measurements of a student’s fingertips and creating a unique identity for the student’s finger. In addition to the fingerprint measurements, the student will be required to have their I.D. digitally scanned in order to expedite the check-in and check-out process while taking breaks throughout the day. You should allot at least 45 minutes to an hour before your examination to not only navigate through security but account for the multiple people who will also be going through security.  On exam day, you are able to take multiple breaks. With each break, the student will be required to show their I.D., have his or her fingerprint scanned, and sign in and sign out. Be cognizant of the fact that multiple people may take a break at the same time. A simple 10-minute break could quickly turn into 25 minutes because of the wait in the security line.

Is The Biometric Check In Big Brother?

Additionally, it may feel as though Big Brother is watching your every move while you take the USMLE Step 1 Exam. You will be monitored by a physical walk-through, an observation window, and video and audio surveillance throughout the day. These measures are there to ensure the test protocols are not compromised; not to increase your anxiety levels.

Anticipating what will take place before and during the exam will ease your anxiety. As with anything in life, we must always be prepared for the unexpected.


Next, we will discuss uncontrollable variables.What has your experience with the biometric check in been?

About DIT Advising Team

The Doctors In Training Student Advising Team offers many advisory services including the following: customizing individual study plans for USMLE Step 1/ COMLEX Level 1 or USMLE Step 2 CK/ COMLEX Level 2, advising students with respect to combating everyday stress and test anxiety and preparing students for the residency application process.
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