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:
|COMLEX-USA Level 1
|COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE
|COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE
|COMLEX-USA Level 3
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.
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.
COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE
For COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE, details about examination scoring are available in the
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
Setting the Minimum Pass/Fail Standard
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.
Primary Intended Use And Secondary Uses of COMLEX-USA Examination Scores
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 Milestones 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.
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).
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
Score report release can be subject to delays that are contingent upon candidate
scheduling, standard setting, and other variables.
COMLEX-USA All Levels
On occasion, scores may be released with the following annotations:
I – Irregular Conduct 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) that occurred during administration of an examination beyond the control
of the candidate (e.g., candidate illness, computer malfunction) that resulted in the examination
not being scored, or the examination being scored after test administration to the candidate under
different or unusual conditions. 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 notation by
contacting the NBOME.
- In 2019, when the new passing standards are applied to the new Level 1, Level 2-CE and Level 2-
PE examinations under the new COMLEX-USA Master Blueprint in 2019, initial score report
releases will be delayed.
Approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the date of examination administration.
Approximately 8 to 10 weeks from the completion of the examination (after the initial score release).
In particular for the two-day Level 3 examination, the initial score release will likely not occur until early in 2019
Approximately 8 to 10 weeks from the date of examination administration.
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.
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
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.
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
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.