f***ed up comlex transcript

Discussion in 'Step II' started by smedly2, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. smedly2

    smedly2 Member
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    I had a residency interview yesterday and the interviewer was totally confused about my level I score report. Comlex now sends 3 digit and 2 digit scores and not the percentile for level I. The 2 digit number is lower than the percent score if you got over an 85%. I guess allopathic programs got used to our percentiles and this PD assumed my 2 digit score was my percentile! Its 5 points lower!
    I understand the need for change away from % for the computer based exam but if level I was taken by paper & pencil and scored as percent....why change it now?

    Has anyone else had this problem???? any explanations???

    thanks
     
  2. Heme/Onc

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    This is the type of stuff that really kills me.......why not just make it simple and make the COMLEX have the same scoring system as the USMLE??? Why not make us take the USMLE and have an osteopathic addendum??? This is why the AOA is in danger of losing money from memberships if they don't change their way!
     
  3. smedly2

    smedly2 Member
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    They suck.... its sabotage to keep osteopathic students from getting allopathic residencies!!!!
    maybe not.

    I asked NBOME to explain this change and the formula used to come up with the 2 digit score. This is their response:

    "400 in 3-digit score is 75 in 2-digit score, 500 is 80 (if this is Level 1).
    5 points in 2-digit score are worth 100 points in another scale. This does
    not mean 20 points of 3-digit score are worth 1 point of 2-digit score in
    average. It does demonstrate that 3 points of 2-digit scores should mean a
    large difference on 3-digit scores.

    Testing
    NBOME"

    Not a full answer to my question but its something. It still doesnt help the allopathic programs understand the score report.
     
  4. Idiopathic

    Idiopathic Newly Minted
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    I agree. My 92 2-digit COMLEX is statistically way more impressive than my 99 2-digit USMLE, but everyone's gaga over the latter and 'meh' over the former, and I have definitely noticed.
     
  5. smedly2

    smedly2 Member
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    I just got my II. I did 23 points better 3 digit (614 to 637) and my 2 digit score went up by 7 (85 to 92). this is not consistent with what nbome told me in the post above......about the 100 points to increase 2 digit by 5 points. nbome sucks!
     
  6. Bookworm

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    i told my confused interviewer my percentile and then proceed to state i had no idea how either nbme or nbome calculated two digit scores, but despite the fact that my usmle 2digit was higher than my comlex 2 digit, the percentile was higher on my comlex(i had calculated my usmle percentile by mean and standard deviation)
     
  7. Idiopathic

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    I dont think that your 2-digit score went to 92, but your percentile might have. A 92 2-digit corresponds to a 725+ 3-digit. But I think you likely had a percentile of 92, however your transcript which goes to programs doesn list your %.
     
  8. smedly2

    smedly2 Member
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    No really, my 2 digit score is 92 with 637 but thats level II. I was thinking that the 5 point for 100 points rule is for level I only. And nbome will make up the rules for II a bit later.
     
  9. community

    community Senior Member
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    I've already posted on this topic and am attaching an explanation for this subject below. The NBOME has an explanation about the scoring for the COMLEX on their webite which you should all take the responsibility to understand before going out on your interviews, otherwise you may not appear as well prepared as you should be. Anyway, I hope the info below helps:

    FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING PERCENTILE INFO, I THOUGHT THIS INFO MIGHT HELP. IT IS TAKEN FROM BOTH NBME.ORG AND NBOME.ORG

    COMLEX INFO:
    What types of score reports will candidates and schools receive from their computer-based COMLEX-USA examinations? When and how will the scores be reported?
    For the computer-based COMLEX-USA examinations, candidates will still receive an official printed copy of their score reports from the NBOME by mail. The student score report will provide 3-digit standard scores, 2-digit standard scores, and a pass/fail designation. The 2-digit scores are linear transformations of the 3-digit scores so that 75 is designated as the minimum 2-digit passing score. Percentile rank will no longer be reported due to the fact that candidates will be taking the examination throughout the year.

    USMLE INFO:
    USMLE SCORE REPORTING: PERCENTILE INFORMATION DISCONTINUED
    May 1999
    Policy Change
    As of May 1999, percentile information is no longer provided in connection with reports of USMLE scores.
    Background
    The primary focus of USMLE is on the licensure decision, and Steps 1, 2, and 3 scores are used in this process. The scores for each administration of a USMLE Step are equated so that a given two-digit or three-digit score always represents the same level of examinee performance for that Step. In other words, a score of 200 on one administration of a Step indicates the equivalent level of examinee performance as a score of 200 on any other administration of the same Step. This equivalence holds even if the pass-fail standard is changed, which permits comparing performance across time.
    It is important also to remember that the two-digit score shown on USMLE transcripts is not a percentile. The two-digit score is a total test score that is designed to meet the requirements of many state licensing authorities. The two-digit score scale is one on which a 75 is always the minimum passing score. However, a given two-digit score may represent a different level of performance if the two administrations were subject to different pass/fail standards.
    Percentiles are different from the two- and three-digit equated scores in that they can only be interpreted in the context of the examinee (norm) group upon which they are based. When the norm group changes, the percentile for a given score will change and percentiles based on different groups cannot be compared. Although the performance of large groups of examinees typically does not change dramatically from one year to the next, over a longer period of time there have been substantial changes. For example, in the late 1980s, applications to medical schools showed a marked decline, and this was reflected by lower performance on the initial administrations of USMLE as compared to the present when group USMLE performance has improved. As a result, identical three-digit scores are associated with significantly different percentiles if those percentiles are based upon the examinees from the different periods.
    Problems with Comparison of Percentile Ranks
    It is important to note that the above phenomenon has little impact in the licensure context for which USMLE was designed. Nevertheless, it also is clear that USMLE scores are used by third parties for a number of different reasons, with a heavy reliance upon corresponding percentile data. It has come to our attention that, in these secondary uses of USMLE data, failure to appreciate fully the relative nature of percentiles has caused a number of problems. The three most common are:
    1. Student A took Step 1 in 1994 and reports a score of 210 and a percentile of 58. Student B took Step 1 in 1996 and reports a score of 210 and a percentile of 48.
    • Are both reports correct? Yes. Each student used the percentile conversion charts developed for the cohort which included the examination that he/she took. In each case the reference group was different and so the percentiles calculated for the same score were different.
    • Which student had better performance on Step 1? Both students scored 210, so their performance was identical. The percentiles, although "correct" imply that Student A "did better" on Step 1 but, in fact, the two students performed equally well.
    2. Student A took Step 1 in 1994 and reports a score of 206 and a percentile of 50. Student B took Step 1 in 1996, and reports a score of 210 and a percentile of 48.
    • Are both reports correct? Yes. Each student used the percentile conversion charts developed for the cohort which included the examination that he/she took. In each case the reference group was different.
    • Which student had better performance on Step 1? Although Student A fell into a higher percentile rank because a different norm group was used, Student B actually had a slightly better performance on Step 1 as represented by the three-digit score. It should be noted that the difference between the scores is very small (i.e., approximately 0.2 standard deviations) and probably reflects no practical difference.
    3. A student took Step 1 in 1994. He/she reports a score of 218 and a percentile of 73. A medical school official refers to a USMLE percentile conversion table and finds that the student's percentile is 63.
    • Are both percentiles correct? Yes. Both the student and school official have obtained accurate but apparently inconsistent information as a result of using percentile charts based on different examination cohorts. This is because the percentile for the Step 1 score varies depending on the norm group used to calculate the percentiles. The applicant was in the 73rd percentile of those who took Step 1 in 1994 and the 63rd percentile compared to those who took Step 1 in 1995 and 1996.
    These examples clearly show a potential for misinterpretation of the scores if the user is not familiar with: a) the difference between two- or three-digit equated scores and percentile information, and b) the examinee group upon which the percentile information is based.
    Summary
    Percentiles are not meaningful when attempting to rank order students whose percentile equivalents were calculated using different examinee groups. Utilizing percentiles can lead to the types of errors illustrated above. It is for these reasons that percentile information is no longer available in connection with USMLE scores.
     
  10. smedly2

    smedly2 Member
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    Thank you for your reply. I have no issue with the way the computer based test is being scored. My problem is that COMLEX I, which current 4th yrs took as a paper exam and not on a computer, is being scored like the computer exam. Its wrong. We took this exam as a group and we were given a percentile based on performance compared to the group........thats what should be sent to programs.
     
  11. Idiopathic

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    My interviewer today made it a point to ask me what my COMLEX score meant. He rationalized from the explanation that the NBOME sends that my score was "X standard deviations above the mean" when it reality it was "X+2 standard deviations above the mean". I was happy to be able to explain it to him.
     

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