Scoring Principles


Examination Scoring

For the COMLEX-USA computer-based cognitive examinations, the number of items answered correctly (the raw score) is converted to a 3-digit standard score for the purposes of reporting results and providing a pass-fail designation. The mean of the 3-digit standard score for all three COMLEX-USA computer-based cognitive examinations has historically been in the 500-550 range.

With the exception of pretest questions (or tryouts), 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 scaled score that takes into account the response to each question and its psychometric properties.

The minimum passing score for all COMLEX-USA examinations is based solely on a candidate’s performance on the total examination, not on performance in individual content areas. Score reports include graphical performance profiles summarizing strengths and weaknesses for areas outlined in the blueprint.

COMLEX-USA computer-based examinations are administered continuously throughout the year. Osteopathic medical schools receive summary reports at the end of the annual testing cycle. COMLEX-USA school summary reports include school information compared with 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.

The scores reported for Parts I, II and III after 1988 are 3-digit standard scores for the whole examinations. Scores reported for Parts I and II before 1987 are the minimum scaled scores (2-digit) among all the component scores of the examinations. Score reported for Part III are scaled scores (2-digit) for the whole examination.
Standard Deviation (approx.)
Level 2-CE100
Mean Score First-Time Candidates
Level 2-CE520
Minimum Passing Score
Level 2-CE400

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 that have taken these examinations previously. The percentage of examinees that pass or fail the examination is not predetermined. Some items may be included in the examination solely for research purposes and are not included in the candidate’s score.

For more information on interpreting COMLEX-USA scores, refer to the FAQs.

Reference Materials

Fundamental Osteopathic Medical Competency Domains

Upcoming Changes

COMLEX-USA Master Blueprint Effective 2018


Client Registration System Tutorial

Practice Exams

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