tmjf_sifu

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just received my COMLEX III results and i don't understand my score. i took it in december and if i remember correctly, there were a little less than 200 questions per book. somehow, i received a score much higher than ~800
(close to 1000). i understand that they perform mystic cranial shamanism and wave their magic "points fairy" wand over the results before sending them out, but what gives? the scores i received on I and II actually made sense and were just under 800 (with 200 questions per booklet = ~800 questions for each step). does anyone know the total number of points possible for III or understand the math they used?
thx, :confused: seefwah
 

Test Boy

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i never heard of anyone getting over 800. that's really awesome! you must have gotten every single question correct. really awesome.
 
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tmjf_sifu

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Test Boy said:
i never heard of anyone getting over 800. that's really awesome! you must have gotten every single question correct. really awesome.
there is no way i could have gotten all of the questions correct, i am just not that smart and i did not study that much.

that is why i am so confused, it doesn't make any sense. i swear that there were four test booklets and there were no more than 200 questions per book!?

weird! thanks for answering. anyone else have any ideas?
seefwah :confused:
 
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tmjf_sifu

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well, i wasn't getting very far here, so i went to the source. i emailed the contact person at the NBOME for questions regarding the scoring of the comlex. here are the replies to my questions:

"Dr. ____,
I sat for COMLEX III in December 2004. I received my scores last week
and I am confused by the 'Standard Score'. In Steps I and II, I
noted there were approximately 200 questions per booklet, resulting in approximately 800 questions per step. My scores for I and II were under 800, which made sense. As expected, step three also had approximately 200 questions per booklet. However, my "Standard Score' was nearly 1000. This doesn't make sense to me. Could you please explain to me how this score was derived and what it means?

Reply from NBOME:
"Standard scores are not number of items you got correctly. So, a
300-item exam can have a standard score of 800. Theoretically, standard score can be as low as negative and as high as
over 1000. Of cause we cannot report negative standard scores."

well, if you can't report negative scores, how can you report falsely elevated positive scores?

This really muddied the waters for me, so i asked a second question:

"Thank you for replying. Your reply did provide a bit of new information,
but I am still confused. Let me ask this: what is the highest score an
examinee may attain? What is a perfect score on step III?"

I assumed that this would allow me some point of reference if i could find out what the maximum was, unfortunately, the reply was unhelpful:

"We really did not compute hypothetical highest score. We just report what
we get. Highest can be over 1000."

Criminy, this surely does not build confidence in this test. how can they number crunch and perform numerical voodoo without knowing the range their grading scale encompasses. they create an average, you would think they would know the upper and lower limits of their score ranges. if they were using some complicated calculation, all they would have to do is use 800/800 for the number correct and churn out the maximum standard score. why the hell did they not calculate the maximum if they have guys whose entire work day is spent trying to make the comlex scores somehow relevant to academic performance. consequently, i have no idea what my score means. it is essentially worthless to me unless i can discern the absolute number of questions missed.

you know, right before i took step I, i remember a representative from the NBOME telling me that only one person had ever achieved a perfect score on the comlex. hmmmm, i wonder if i can find that info online...

hope this was of some interest to someone.
seefwah
 

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Look at your percentile score. The percentile score is the number of applicants that scored at or below your score - IF yours is 100%, by definition that means your score was the highest scored.

Like the NBOME said in their email, it has nothing to do with the number of questions you got right. It has to do with standard deviations. My GUESS is that with level 3 exam in December, since the mean was 500 and the standard deviation was 120, that the 100% score would be 860. (since the 100% score on Level 1 in June 2002 was exactly 3 SDs from the mean).

I have seen scores >800 on both level 1 and level 3 of comlex before... never 1000?!?!? Kudos to you.
 

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tmjf_sifu said:
O.K.
just received my COMLEX III results and i don't understand my score. i took it in december and if i remember correctly, there were a little less than 200 questions per book. somehow, i received a score much higher than ~800
(close to 1000). i understand that they perform mystic cranial shamanism and wave their magic "points fairy" wand over the results before sending them out, but what gives? the scores i received on I and II actually made sense and were just under 800 (with 200 questions per booklet = ~800 questions for each step). does anyone know the total number of points possible for III or understand the math they used?
thx, :confused: seefwah
all that matters is that you passed like everybody else...perhaps, you want everyone to give you a nice pat on the back confirming how well you did :idea:
 
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tmjf_sifu

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GMO2003 said:
all that matters is that you passed like everybody else...perhaps, you want everyone to give you a nice pat on the back confirming how well you did :idea:
i don't subscribe to your philosophy. first, (somehow) some people did not pass. while i agree that passing the test is vital, it is also important to do it well. some of us wish to do better than the "bare minimum". we also wish to know how well we did so we can see if all of our efforts to learn and be the best physician possible are paying off. i no longer have biochem exams, anatomy exams or class rankings to reveal this. knowing how well i did in comparison to the rest of the examinee pool helps validate my efforts. the drive to maximize performance is an important professional quality.

additionally, i don't need the affirmation of anonymous individuals to feel good about myself. i don't need a pat on the back from you. i can reach my own back. (actually, your comment is an indirect pat on the back. your snideness reveals your jealousy). :idea: :smuggrin:

finally, i came here for help, because my score did not make sense. based on the performance of the NBOME in the past (inaccurately printing whole sections of questions on step II) i believed that they might have made a mistake, which could affect licensing. as i have stated before, i do not see how i could have achieved such a score. i am simply not that smart and have never been lucky. i appreciate the other posts. thank you for the pat...
seefwah :laugh:
 

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tmjf_sifu said:
i don't subscribe to your philosophy. first, (somehow) some people did not pass. while i agree that passing the test is vital, it is also important to do it well. some of us wish to do better than the "bare minimum". we also wish to know how well we did so we can see if all of our efforts to learn and be the best physician possible are paying off. i no longer have biochem exams, anatomy exams or class rankings to reveal this. knowing how well i did in comparison to the rest of the examinee pool helps validate my efforts. the drive to maximize performance is an important professional quality.

additionally, i don't need the affirmation of anonymous individuals to feel good about myself. i don't need a pat on the back from you. i can reach my own back. (actually, your comment is an indirect pat on the back. your snideness reveals your jealousy). :idea: :smuggrin:

finally, i came here for help, because my score did not make sense. based on the performance of the NBOME in the past (inaccurately printing whole sections of questions on step II) i believed that they might have made a mistake, which could affect licensing. as i have stated before, i do not see how i could have achieved such a score. i am simply not that smart and have never been lucky. i appreciate the other posts. thank you for the pat...
seefwah :laugh:
jealous of what?? in the grand scheme of things who the heck cares how you did on step III besides yourself...I just feel bad for some of my fellow classmates who are for all intents and purposes very smart individuals who did not pass this time around...I feel fortunate for passing...I went through Swanson's a couple of nights before the test...I thought the entire COMLEX III was like a huge nut filled turd...some of the questions came out of left field and made absolutely no friggin sense whatsoever.

WTF was there a pic of a scrotal U/S??? give me a friggin break...my arse still feels sore
 

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DDuncan said:
Look at your percentile score. The percentile score is the number of applicants that scored at or below your score - IF yours is 100%, by definition that means your score was the highest scored.

Just for the record, by definition percentile scores only go to 99. (I guess, technically it could go to 99.9, but there is no 100th percentile)
 

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DrMom said:
Just for the record, by definition percentile scores only go to 99. (I guess, technically it could go to 99.9, but there is no 100th percentile)
DrMom,
Scores go to 100th percentile (at least they did for the COMLEX level 1 June 2002). Ask the NBOME. I do agree that USMLE only reports 2 digit scores to 99 (NOT to be mistaken to be 99th percentile).
 

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DDuncan said:
DrMom,
Scores go to 100th percentile (at least they did for the COMLEX level 1 June 2002). Ask the NBOME. I do agree that USMLE only reports 2 digit scores to 99 (NOT to be mistaken to be 99th percentile).
Lovely. The NBOME does refer to them as percentiles, right? I don't feel like digging out my score report.
 
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