Myths and Misconceptions – COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE

We’re guessing you don’t necessarily believe everything you hear or read these days, especially on the internet. While knowledge sharing is one of the best ways to help students and colleagues exchange ideas and best-practices related to COMLEX-USA, the high-stress, high-stakes environment you’re living in is a tangled grapevine of mysterious myths and misconceptions.

Our latest blog series is designed to help dispel some of the more popular (and more entertaining) myths and rumors about COMLEX-USA and the #RoadToDOLicensure. From things we’ve found on the internet to things we’ve experienced first-hand, what follows are some of our favorites from over the years, specifically related to Level 2-PE.  From the straight-forward to the completely off-the-wall, let’s set the record straight.




You have to pass X number of encounters to pass COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE.
The score for the PE exam is compensatory across the day, which means that passing is determined based on your performance throughout the day, not just on each individual encounter. Fun fact: there is no passing standard for each individual encounter.







We fail 10% of students each year…just because.

All levels of COMLEX-USA exams are based on standard passing scores determined by an independent group of national educators, practicing physicians, and state licensing board representatives. To pass the exam, you must meet the passing standard. Passing rates aren’t based on a curve or a pre-determined number of failures.









One Standardized Patient didn’t like me, so I failed the exam.
Having one bad interaction with a Standardized Patient doesn’t automatically determine the end result. Conversely, Standardized Patients have a lot to keep track of following each encounter, including the case they are portraying. AND they do it 12 times daily. Truly, they don’t have enough time to determine if they “like” you or not; they are simply too focused on their role, documentation of their encounter, and the assessment duties of their job.






Stay tuned for next month’s blog just in time for #MATCH2020 where we’ll share some of the latest myths and misconceptions related to applying to residency.