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Scoring Principles


Examination Scoring

For the COMLEX-USA computer-based cognitive examinations, the number of questions answered correctly (raw score) is converted to a standard score for the purposes of reporting results and providing a pass/fail designation.

With the exception of pretest questions, which do not contribute to the scores candidates receive, 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 examination dates are published on the NBOME website. Osteopathic medical schools receive summary reports at the end of the annual testing cycle. These reports provide school-level comparisons to national average performance.

Interpreting Examination Scores

In order to avoid misinterpretation, keep in mind that performance profiles:

The conversion of standard scores involves information about the performance of candidates who have taken the examination previously. The percentage of candidates that pass or fail the examination is not predetermined. Some test questions 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 COMLEX-USA FAQs.

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