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How low is a 220 USMLE?

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Burnermed

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Disappointed by my step 1 score (220). I guess its not that bad, but I massively underperformed from my UWORLD sim 1 & 2 tests (243 on both). I never really wanted anything big. FM probably. Maybe IM or psych and I'm thinking I scored too low to specialize which would make FM=IM as far as career options and FM would be less work. Previously thought EM would be cool if I liked it but I think I scored too low for that. Anyways how bad of a score is this for a DO student?
I don't think I'll be able to do any better on step 2. My motivation is gone, and I'm sick of medical school at this point. I just want a residency with the not crazy hours, that lets me stay in the city with my girlfriend. Big midwestern city (want to keep anonymity).
 
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DrStephenStrange

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I think a 220 is still fine for IM, EM, and Psych. There are plenty of low tier university and great community IM programs that will accept a 220, and keep your options open for all subspecialties. EM values SLOE and step 2 a lot more than step 1, and from looking at the match data majority (over 70%) of people that had a step 1 ranging from 200-220 matched. For psych, despite all the discussions about increase in competitiveness, which by the way is false, you'd still have a chance if you show real interest in it and do well on aways. Psych is one of those weird specialties where you see people with 240-250 step1 not match and yet other people with 220 do match, result: people think it's crazy competitive because they didn't match with a 250+ when in fact those PDs are actually looking for real interest and good fit for the field.
 
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Hippocrates II

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EM seems to weigh other things more heavily than other specialties, so I wouldn't rule that out if you're interested. You're fine for FM or IM as long as you apply realistically. I know this is SDN where anyone of modest intelligence scores a 240+, but the world is full of practicing docs who scored around what you did.
 
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Isoval

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I’m in a similar position as you; my UWSA1 and 2 were both in the low 240s and I scored a 224 on the real thing. @iforget2 seems like he’s on the same boat.

I’ve been trying to do some research and see where I stand, and the result is that it appears low- to mid-tier university IM, FM, Peds, etc. and a significant majority of community/communiversity are still very much within reach. Ditto with basically any specialty that isn’t hypercompetitive (urology) or surgical.
 
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Prehealth1011

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It's the most common cutoff for a lot of fields.
You can score 270 on Step 1 and still not match EM. SLOE is king. Work hard on your EM rotation and do well on step 2.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

220 is fine for pretty much everything except derm and surgical subs. Might not match an elite program but there will be community programs in lots of fields that will give you a look.

Sub-specialization after IM is more about where you do residency than board scores.
 
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DameJulie

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how likely is it for a below-average DO to score a 220? I know it sounds a silly question.
 

SurgDoc95

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how likely is it for a below-average DO to score a 220? I know it sounds a silly question.

Depends on how you define below average. If you mean by class rank I’d say it’s variable. I was far from a stellar pre clinical student but got 220-229 and a level 1 of 525-575. I’d argue I could’ve done better on boards had I paid even less attention to school specific material, but then again I didn’t want the red flag of failed courses on my app so guess that was the trade off.

If you’re just not getting the prerequisite knowledge base in your first two years it’ll be difficult regardless of your pre clinical scores
 
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DrStephenStrange

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how likely is it for a below-average DO to score a 220? I know it sounds a silly question.
What I realized during board prep is that most of what my school taught me was garbage, and you could ignore a lot of it and do stellar in USMLE step 1. UFAPS + BnB is what everyone should really be focused on. Now, with that said, being below average because you were slacking (or just focusing on boards) vs being below average with studying 7-10 hours a day outside of class is very different. The latter example I'd imagine would have a harder time with Step 1 because that person still hasn't figured out how to study efficiently (assuming the slacker is efficient and didn't slack on board studying). Although, 220-229 is also below average, so I might be wrong. I, a below average student, haven't taken the exam yet. Give me a few more weeks lol.
 
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BlueBleck

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how likely is it for a below-average DO to score a 220?

fairly likely. If you believe USNWR, DO school step1 scores are around 220. ~Half of your classmates will fall below the average.

 

Ho0v-man

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how likely is it for a below-average DO to score a 220? I know it sounds a silly question.
It’s impossible to know. Seriously. There were people in the top quartile at my school who failed the first comsae. There were people in the third quartile that crack 230 no problem.

It’s just not something worth stressing about. If someone told you it’s unlikely or that it’s probable, would it really change anything? You better bust your butt no matter what the odds are because that’s what everyone’s doing.
 
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SurgDoc95

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It’s impossible to know. Seriously. There were people in the top quartile at my school who failed the first comsae. There were people in the third quartile that crack 230 no problem.

It’s just not something worth stressing about. If someone told you it’s unlikely or that it’s probable, would it really change anything? You better bust your butt no matter what the odds are because that’s what everyone’s doing.


Quartile ranking means almost nothing imo. The quicker schools move to unranked P/F the better, but the P/F step 1 does kind of throw a monkey wrench in that assessment
 
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Burnermed

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how likely is it for a below-average DO to score a 220? I know it sounds a silly question.
I don't know if this helps or matters to you. But I'm not the best student. I've struggled with the time commitment of medical school, and am just barely out of the bottom third of my class. So I am definitely below average. I've always scored pretty well on standardized tests though. MCAT, ACT. Very proud of how I scored. This one fell through even though I had some pretty solid score projections. Is what it is, but from my perspective I kind of agree with you can never really know. I noticed that the reference range on usmle is like 20 pts so you could score a 240 on the practice and end up with a 220 like me and statistically it'd all check out. Just do you best.
 

Isoval

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I don't know if this helps or matters to you. But I'm not the best student. I've struggled with the time commitment of medical school, and am just barely out of the bottom third of my class. So I am definitely below average. I've always scored pretty well on standardized tests though. MCAT, ACT. Very proud of how I scored. This one fell through even though I had some pretty solid score projections. Is what it is, but from my perspective I kind of agree with you can never really know. I noticed that the reference range on usmle is like 20 pts so you could score a 240 on the practice and end up with a 220 like me and statistically it'd all check out. Just do you best.

Ditto.

I was 243 (UWSA1), 241 (UWSA 2), 224 (real)

Edit: LOL wait, I just realized I already said this earlier on this thread.
 
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Burnermed

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Ditto.

I was 243 (UWSA1), 241 (UWSA 2), 224 (real)

Edit: LOL wait, I just realized I already said this earlier on this thread.
Yup. We did some quality bonding over it lol
 
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