For the COMLEX-USA computer-based cognitive examinations, the number of items answered correctly (the raw score) is converted to a standard score for the purposes of reporting results and providing a pass-fail designation.
With the exception of unscored pretest questions, each test question contributes equally to the candidate’s score. The total reported score is a model-based standard score that takes into account the response to each question and the psychometric properties of the examination.
A passing score for all COMLEX-USA Levels is based solely on a candidate’s performance on the total examination, not on a candidate’s performance in individual content areas. Score reports display a graphical representation of performance profiles that summarizes strengths and weaknesses in relation to the examination blueprint.
COMLEX-USA computer-based examinations are administered continuously throughout the year. You can find a calendar of NBOME test dates here. Osteopathic medical schools receive summary reports at the end of the annual testing cycle. COMLEX-USA school summary reports provide school-level in comparison to the national average performance.
COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-CE and Level 3 examinations replaced the Part I, II and III examinations in 1998, 1997, 1995 respectively.
Interpreting Examination Scores
In order to avoid misinterpretation, keep in mind that performance profiles:
- Should not be used to interpret areas of importance or emphasis for any particular examination
- Are not additive for projecting the total score or pass/fail status
- Do not contain metrics technically designed to be sub-scores
- May be based on a relatively small number of items, meaning reliability of any sub-score may be lower than the reliability for the total score based on the entire test
- The conversion of standard scores involves information about the performance of candidates that have taken these examinations previously. The percentage of candidates that pass or fail the examination is not predetermined. Some items may be included in the examination primarily for research purposes and are not contributed to the candidate’s score.
The NBOME uses a psychometrically sound approach to convert candidate total raw score e.g., number corrects on multiple choice questions to a standard score. The percentage of candidates that pass or fail the examination is not predetermined. Some items may be included in the examination primarily for research purposes and are not contributed to the candidate’s score.
For more information on interpreting COMLEX-USA scores, refer to the FAQs.
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