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COMLEX-USA Score Interpretation

COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2 Cognitive Evaluation, & Level 3

This information pertains to COMLEX-USA computer-delivered cognitive examinations: COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-Cognitive Evaluation (CE) and Level 3. (Information about scoring for the COMLEX-USA Level 2-Performance Evaluation can be found below.) The scores reported are 3-digit standard scores for the whole examinations.

You may use the NBOME COMLEX-USA Percentile Score Conversion tool to convert 3-digit scores to 2-digit and percentile scores HERE.

Standard scores (3-digit)

The mean of the 3-digit standard score for all three computer-based cognitive examinations has historically been in the 500-550 range. For up to date normed data, the performance of first time candidates in recent administrations on COMLEX-USA cognitive examinations are reported. Beginning in June 2014, the mean score for Level 2-CE first time candidates is approximately 540 and the standard deviation is approximately 100; beginning in March 2015, the mean score for Level 3 first time candidates is approximately 550 and the standard deviation is approximately 125; beginning in May 2015, the mean score for Level 1 first time candidates is approximately 520 and the standard deviation is approximately 85. The minimum passing 3-digit standard score for Level 1 and Level 2-CE is 400, and for Level 3 is 350, regardless of when the examination is taken. The minimum passing 3-digit standard score for COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-CE and Level 3 is equivalent to a minimum passing 2-digit standard score of 75.

Test Date

Standard Deviation
For COMLEX-USA 3-Digit Scores

COMLEX-USA Level 1

1998-2001 71
2002-2005 79
May 2006 - April 2010 79
May 2010 - April 2015 81
May 2015 - Present 85

COMLEX-USA Level 2

1997-2000 85
2001 - June 2005 83
July 2005 - May 2009 83
June 2009 - May 2014 89
June 2014 - Present 100

COMLEX-USA Level 3

1995-1999 111
2000-2005 120
September 2005 - January 2010 123
February 2010 - February 2015 121
March 2015 - Present 125

Standard scores (2-digit)

The NBOME has discontinued the reporting of 2-digit standard scores for COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-CE and Level 3 in 2015. COMLEX-USA passing scores of 400 for Level 1 and Level 2-CE and 350 for Level 3 is equivalent to a 2-digit standard score of 75.

COMLEX-USA Performance Evaluation

The COMLEX-USA Level 2 Performance Evaluation (PE) clinical skills examination is required for all candidates graduating in 2005 and those who graduated before July 1, 2004 and have not passed Level 2 Cognitive Examination by June 30, 2005. Candidates graduating in 2004 who passed Level 2-CE are not required to take Level 2-PE.  

Scores for COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE are reported as Pass or Fail as one overall score. In order to receive a passing score, candidates must perform adequately in two separate domains. These are the Humanistic Domain (doctor-patient communication, interpersonal skills and professionalism), and the Biomedical/Biomechanical Domain (medical history-taking, physical examination, osteopathic principles and osteopathic manipulative treatment, and written SOAP Notes, which assess synthesizing information garnered in the clinical encounter, clinical problem-solving and integrated differential diagnosis).

For more information please review the COMLEX-USA Level 2-Performance Evaluation FAQ.

Part I, Part II, & Part III

COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-CE, and Level 3 examinations replaced the Part I, Part II, and Part III examinations in 1998, 1997, and 1995 respectively.

The scores reported for Parts I, II, and III after 1988 are 3-digit standard scores for the whole examinations. Scores reported for Parts I and II before 1987 are the minimum scaled scores (2-digit) among all the component scores of the examinations. Scores reported for Part III are scaled scores (2-digit) for the whole examination.

Standard Scores (3-digit). The standard scores for all three Part examinations are reported on a scale with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100. The minimal passing score for Part I and Part II is 400. The minimal passing score for Part III is 350.

Scaled Scores (2-digit). Scaled scores are reported on a scale with a mean of 80. The minimal passing score for Parts I and II is 75 for any of the components of the examinations. The minimal passing score for Part III is 75 for the whole examination.