The disappearing USMLE 2020 practice questions

Update: my explanations for these sets are now available: Step 1 and Step 2 CK.

Earlier this year the NBME released updated 2020 practice materials for both Step 1 and Step 2 CK. There are a bunch of new Step 1 questions and the Step 2 set is entirely brand new (the first meaningful change in several years). I was going to continue my annual tradition of explanations but then noticed that the website reverted back to the 2019 sets.

As is their tendency, the NBME isn’t very quick to manage outdated URLs. The PDFs for both new sets are still accessible:

I don’t know if these will simply come back as official sets soon, but it seems they were likely removed because of COVID-19, so it might be a while.

But they are free highest-quality questions and remain worth your time.


  1. Thank you so much for these!! I’ve been looking everywhere. Do you plan on putting up the explanations to these anytime soon? It would be extremely helpful, esp since I’m giving my exam this week. I’m a big fan of your site, and I’m very grateful for all the super useful info you share! Thank you!

    • Thank you so much for doing this. Will the explanations for step 2 be posted as well? I know many who are looking forward to it.

      • Yes, though that set looks to be all new so it’ll take longer and have more typos.

      • Yes please!! We don’t mind typos and messy syntax. A simple gist would be fine too. There are a lot of us taking the exam soon who would greatly appreciate it. :)

  2. Hey Ben,
    There are three new set of NBME free 120 practice exam. Any chance you might be doing an explanation for those?

    • Yeah I think I’ll manage to get to them all. Of the three Steps, it looks like only the Step 2 CK PDF was recently updated (April 2022), but at first glance it looks similar to old set. The other two PDFs are still the old set, so I’ll probably start with confirming Step 2 is unchanged and go from there.


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