NBOME
COMLEX-USA BULLETIN of INFORMATION

Examination Scores

The number of test items answered correctly (the raw score) is converted to a 3-digit standard score for the purposes of making NBOME’s pass/fail decisions and for reporting the results.

The conversion for standard scores involves information about the performance of examinees that have taken these examinations previously:

Passing Scores
COMLEX-USA Level 1 400
COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE 400
COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE Pass
COMLEX-USA Level 3 350

For information on converting a COMLEX-USA score to a percentile score and using the COMLEX-USA Percentile Score Conversion Tool, refer to COMLEX-USA Percentile Scores on the NBOME website.

For state medical and osteopathic medical licensing board purposes, a passing score on COMLEX-USA is equivalent to the historic 2-digit standard score of 75.

Scoring

All Levels

The percentage of candidates that pass or fail a COMLEX-USA examination is not predetermined. The pass/fail standard is criterion-based. A candidate’s score for any COMLEX-USA examination is based solely on a candidate’s performance on the total examination, not on performance in individual content areas. The COMLEX-USA examination score reports include performance profiles summarizing relative strengths and weaknesses for areas designated on the blueprint.

Items that may be included in the examination solely for research or pre-testing purposes will not be included in the candidate’s score.

Level 2-PE

For COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE, details about examination scoring are available in the Orientation Guide and at COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE pre-examination and post-examination FAQ, which can be found on the NBOME website. Level 2-PE is a conjunctive pass or fail criterion-based examination.

Setting the Minimum Pass/Fail Standard

All Levels

Consistent with many other national high-stakes examinations for physician licensure worldwide, the NBOME follows industry standard best practices in determining minimum pass/fail standards for its COMLEX-USA examinations, for periodic review, and, if needed, for resetting current standards. At least every five years, the NBOME reviews the standards for minimum competency required to pass COMLEX-USA examinations. This process, referred to as “standard setting,” may result in a change in the “cut score” (or scores) needed to pass an examination. The NBOME reserves the right to review the minimum passing standards for any NBOME examinations at any time, and minimum passing standards may be adjusted without notice before score reporting. Notice of adjustments is posted on the NBOME website. To learn more about the NBOME’s process for standard setting, refer to the Standard Setting section of the NBOME website for Levels 1, 2-CE, 2-PE, and 3

Primary Intended Use And Secondary Uses of COMLEX-USA Examination Scores

All Levels

The primary intended use of COMLEX-USA is for initial licensure of osteopathic physicians for the practice of osteopathic medicine. Recognized and important secondary uses of the COMLEX-USA examination program include the following: advancement and promotion, including graduation, of students in osteopathic medical schools; direct evidence of student learning and outcomes research by osteopathic medical schools and of residents in graduate medical education programs; uses by residency program directors as part of eligibility criteria for entry into graduate medical education programs; and advancement and promotion and assessment of medical knowledge competencies for program completion by residents in graduate medical education programs. NBOME advises against the use of any evaluation instrument for which there is insufficient validity evidence.

Score Reporting

All Levels

Candidates will be notified by email when their scores have been released. Candidates may access their pass/fail status and/or scores for any COMLEX-USA examination through the CRS portal on the NBOME website (Account Access Login can be found at the top right corner of the home page). The office of the dean at a candidate’s college of osteopathic medicine may access this information for their students using a secure school page of CRS portal.

Each candidate acknowledges and agrees that NBOME will provide the candidate’s COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-CE, and Level 2-PE examination score reports to the candidate and office of the dean of the candidate’s school and NBOME will provide the COMLEX-USA Level 3 examination score reports to the candidate and the office of the dean of the candidate’s school of graduation, and score reports will be released to the program director, director of medical education, or designated institutional official of the candidate’s graduate medical education program. Each candidate acknowledges and agrees that their score reports may be provided to additional third parties as provided in the Bulletin of Information (BOI) (including but not limited to as specified in the Privacy and Use of Candidate Data section herein) and in the NBOME Privacy Notice posted on the NBOME website.

No COMLEX-USA scores will be reported by telephone, email, or fax.

For candidates tested before July 1, 2012, a reprint of the score report may be requested in writing (including email), along with a fee as determined by the NBOME. Refer to the NBOME website for information on Non-Examination Related fees.

Score Reports are generally posted to the candidate’s account at “View Score Report” and the secure school page of the NBOME CRS portal. Specific score release target dates for COMLEX-USA scores, based on dates of test administration, can be found under Score Release Dates on the website.

Score report release can be subject to delays that are contingent upon candidate scheduling, standard setting, and other variables.

Score Annotations

All Levels

On occasion, scores may be released with the following annotations:

I – Irregular Conduct which occurred on the part of the candidate. Candidate conduct that may be considered irregular is described under “Irregular Conduct.” Candidates (including any representative the candidate has authorized in writing), Medical Licensing Agencies, candidate’s medical school, and residency/fellowship program directors may obtain further information regarding this annotation by contacting the NBOME.

O – Other Condition(s) Conduct which occurred during the administration of an examination and resulted in the examination not being scored, or the examination was scored after being administered or taken by the candidate under different or unusual conditions. Authorized persons may obtain further information regarding this annotation by contacting the NBOME. Authorized persons may obtain further information regarding this annotation by contacting the NBOME.

Posting Scores

In 2019, when the new passing standards are applied to the Level 1, Level 2-CE and Level 2-PE examinations under the COMLEX-USA Master Blueprint in 2019, initial score report releases will be delayed.
 

Levels 1, 2-CE

Approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the date of examination administration (after the initial score release, please see the score release schedule on the NBOME website).

Level 2-PE

Approximately 8 to 10 weeks from the date of examination administration.

Level 3

Approximately 8 to 10 weeks from the completion of the examination (after the initial score release, please see the score release schedule on the NBOME website).

Score Confirmation

All Levels

Before releasing examination results and posting the candidate’s score report, the NBOME conducts a process of quality assurance to ensure that all candidate scores are accurate. However, the NBOME will confirm for a candidate any examination score if a candidate so chooses. To request a score confirmation, a candidate must submit a request from the “View Scores” tab of his/her NBOME online account within 120 days of the examination date. Please be advised that there is a $50 fee per score confirmation request.

Levels 1, 2-CE, 3

For COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-CE, and Level 3, score confirmation involves confirmation of responses recorded by computer at the test site. Because score conformation is limited solely to review of the responses recorded, it is unlikely to change the candidate score. The NBOME will confirm whether all sections were complete and that the candidate’s responses were graded against the proper form. NBOME does not release information about the scoring of individual examination questions.

Further information regarding COMLEX-USA cognitive examination score reports can be found within the FAQs on the NBOME website. Candidates should carefully review the information provided prior to contacting NBOME.

Level 2-PE

For the COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE, score confirmation involves confirmation of the numerical aspects that make up the scores and pass/fail decisions, but does not include further review or re-scoring of the recorded performances or the e-SOAP notes.

Privacy and Use of Candidate Data

All Levels

It is the policy of the NBOME that candidate scores and other confidential data, including personally identifiable information, provided by the candidate or about the candidate, will be protected from improper access, use, or disclosure and will not be released to any third party, except as provided or authorized in the Bulletin of Information (BOI), or at the request of the candidate, or as required by law; provided NBOME may use a candidate’s de-identified score or other candidate data or information for research or other purposes related to the mission of NBOME without notification to or the permission of the candidate unless and until the candidate specifically notifies the NBOME in writing that his or her score, data, and information may not be used by the NBOME for research or other purposes.

For more information please see NBOME’s Privacy Notice on our website.

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