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. All the examination dates are published on the NBOME webesite. Osteopathic medical schools receive summary reports at the end of the annual testing cycle. The COMLEX-USA school summary reports provide information on candidate performance at the school level compared to the national performance.
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 the 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 who have taken these examinations previously. The percentage of candidates who pass or fail the examination is not predetermined. Some items may be included in the examination primarily for research purposes and do not contribute to the candidate’s score.
For more information on interpreting COMLEX-USA scores, refer to the FAQs.
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