What do you need to have to be eligible to match?
I looked at the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) website and emailed ECFMG to make sure I was eligible to match. Here is what I found out:
You must have completed the examination requirements for ECFMG certification by the rank order list deadline to be included in the Match. To be able to participate in the NRMP Match, ECFMG must verify your exam status, NOT your ECFMG certification status by the rank order list deadline.
& As per the NRMP:
The ECFMG will verify your credentials for the NRMP. Until the ECFMG documents that you have passed the required examinations, your status within the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3) System will read “Credentials Not Verified”. Only after the ECFMG documents your successful passage of the examinations will your status be changed to “Credentials Verified”.
The NRMP and ECFMG will exchange applicant information once each week between now and the rank order list deadline which occurs during the third week of February. Immediately after the ranking deadline, one final exchange will occur. Applicants who are not verified by the date of the final exchange will be withdrawn automatically from the Match and their rank order lists will not be used when the matching algorithm is run. Those applicants still will have access to the List of Unfilled Programs that is published on Tuesday of Match Week.
So, basically make sure you have passed USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, and USMLE Step 2 CS. I would not monkey around with the deadlines because ECFMG has to communicate your results to NRMP so I would recommend scheduling your exams so you get the results at least one month prior the NRMP rank order list submission deadline which is around February 22.