This content is for candidates who took the COMLEX-USA Level 1 before May 2019. Click here to view the current documentation.
For the COMLEX-USA computer-based cognitive examinations, the number of items answered correctly (the raw score) is converted to a standard score for the purposes of reporting results and providing a pass-fail designation. The mean of the 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, 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 standard score that takes into account the response to each question and the psychometric properties of the examination.
A passing score for all COMLEX-USA Levels is based solely on a candidate’s performance on the total examination, not on a candidate’s performance in individual content areas. Score reports display a graphical representation of performance profiles that summarizes strengths and weaknesses in relation to the examination 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 provide school-level in comparison to 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 standard scores (2-digit) among all the component scores of the examinations. Score reported for Part III are standard scores (2-digit) for the whole examination.
Interpreting Examination Scores
COMLEX-USA Level 1
|Standard Deviation (approx.)||85|
|Mean Score First-Time Candidates (approx.)||520|
|Minimum Passing Score||400|
In order to avoid misinterpretation, keep in mind that performance profiles:
- Should not be used to interpret areas of importance or emphasis for any particular examination
- Are not additive for projecting the total score or pass/fail status
- Do not contain metrics technically designed to be sub-scores
- May be based on a relatively small number of items, meaning reliability of subscores may be lower than the reliability for the entire test
- The NBOME uses psychometrically sound approach to convert candidate total raw score e.g., number corrects on multiple choice questions and key features to a standard score. The percentage of candidates that pass or fail the examination is not predetermined. Some items may be included in the examination primarily for research purposes and are not contributed to the candidate’s score.
The conversion of standard scores involves information about the performance of candidates that have taken these examinations previously.
For more information on interpreting COMLEX-USA scores, refer to the