Comprehensive Basic Science Subject Exam - Content Outline

The Comprehensive Basic Science Examination is a general, integrated achievement test covering material typically learned during basic science education, with somewhat more emphasis on second-year courses in medical schools with traditional curricula. The exam reflects content coverage on USMLE Step 1 and uses the same item formats.


General Principles of Foundational Science (10%–15%)

   Biochemistry andmolecular biology

   Biology of cells

   Human development and genetics

   Biology of tissue response to disease

   Pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic processes

   Microbial biology

   Normal age-related findings and care of the well patient

Immune System (1%–5%)

Blood & Lymphoreticular System (5%–10%)

Behavioral Health (1%–5%)

Nervous System & Special Senses (5%–10%)

Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue (1%–5%)

Musculoskeletal System (5%–10%)

Cardiovascular System (5%–10%)

Respiratory System (5%–10%)

Gastrointestinal System (5%–10%)

Renal & Urinary System (5%–10%)

Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Puerperium (1%–5%)

Female Reproductive System & Breast (1%–5%)

Male Reproductive System (1%–5%)

Endocrine System (1%–5%)

Multisystem Processes & Disorders (5%–10%)

Biostatistics, Epidemiology/Population Health, & Interpretation of the Medical Lit. (5%–10%)

Social Sciences, Including Communication, Medical Ethics, and Death & Dying (5%–10%)


Physician Task

Applying Foundational Science Concepts (55%–65%)

Diagnosis: Knowledge Pertaining to History, Exam, Diagnostic Studies, & Patient Outcomes (20%–30%)


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