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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

Candidates will receive a score of “Pass” or “Fail” for the examination. Successful passing of COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE requires that the candidate pass each of two examination domains: the Biomedical/Biomechanical Domain and the Humanistic Domain.

The Biomedical/Biomechanical Domain measures skills in three areas: 1) data-gathering, 2) osteopathic manipulative treatment, and 3) documentation skills (SOAP Notes). The data-gathering component reflects skills in history-taking and physical examination. The OMT portion represents performance in osteopathic assessment and manipulative treatment in select cases. The following areas are assessed globally for OMT:

The completed SOAP Note measures documentation(synthesizing information gathered in the clinical encounter), clinical problem-solving, integrated differential diagnosis and formulation of a therapeutic plan. Osteopathic principles are incorporated into each of the three areas.

The Humanistic Domain measures skills in Physician-Patient Communication, Interpersonal Skills, and Professionalism. Assessed skills within this domain include:

Highly trained standardized patients document history-taking, physical examination maneuvers performed, and record behaviors related to the humanistic physician attributes mentioned above. Trained osteopathic physician examiners score osteopathic manipulative treatment and SOAP notes.

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