COMSAE · Phase 1
Important News Regarding COMSAE Phase 1 Score Reports
Beginning on February 3, 2020, the COMLEX-USA Level 1 passing standard was applied to COMSAE Phase 1 scores for achieving score comparability of the examinations. Caution is advised when interpreting individual student performance as well as when comparing scores to scores from previous exam administrations. Caution is also advised when making inferences based on the comparative data provided on score reports.
With this in mind, caution should be exercised in using COMSAE Phase 1 scores to estimate subsequent COMLEX-USA Level 1 scores.
The COMSAE Phase 1 examination uses content, scoring, and reporting similar to the corresponding COMLEX-USA Level 1 examination.
Beginning May 4, 2021, the COMLEX-USA Level 1 examination, which currently contains 400 test items will be reduced to 352 test items. To align with this change, beginning in January 2021, the new COMSAE Phase 1 examinations, will contain only 176 test items to reflect the length and timing of the COMLEX-USA Level 1 examination.
The new 176 item Phase 1 forms are intended for use by candidates taking the COMLEX-USA Level 1 after May 1, 2021. NBOME recommends that candidates taking COMLEX-USA Level 1 before May 1, 2021 take the 200 question COMSAE.
Please note that the COMSAE Phase 1 examination does not include any COVID-19 questions at this time due to the rapidly changing nature of the information.
The content of COMSAE Phase 1 is defined by the same seven categories as the COMLEX-USA content outline for Dimension 1 – Competency Domains and the same ten categories for Dimension 2 – Clinical Presentations.
Dimension 1 of the COMLEX-USA blueprint consists of seven Competency Domains—related sets of foundational abilities representing the required elements and outcomes that define osteopathic knowledge, skills, experience, attitudes, values, behaviors, and established professional standards.
Dimension 2 consists of 10 Clinical Presentations, which represent the manner in which a particular patient, group of patients, or a community presents for osteopathic medical care.
Not only are items in the COMSAE Phase 1 examination classified by competency domain and clinical presentation, but they are also classified according to discipline, as listed below:
|Foundational Biomedical Science Disciplines
|Osteopathic Principles and Practice
Scoring & Reporting
After completing an exam, candidates will receive a Score Report and Performance Profile which provides a numerical standard score for the total test and a graphic presentation for performance on three groups of content areas.
The COMSAE report consists of a three-digit numerical score for the total test and a graphic representation of performance by content area. COMSAE does not involve a numerical minimum passing score. Instead, based on standard scores, it provides the following three suggested performance levels:
|Standard Score||Performance Level|
|lower than 400||Lower Performance|
|400 - 649||Average Performance|
|higher than 649||Higher Performance|
When using the performance profile to assess strengths and weaknesses, examinees should be aware that information provided in content areas consisting of relatively few questions may be less reliable than information provided in content areas with a larger number of questions. Therefore, it is possible that some subtest score patterns are not precisely aligned with a candidate’s numerical score for the total test. COMSAE should not be used to predict performance on the COMLEX-USA cognitive examinations.