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Is 590 (86th percentile) a good shelf score?

theWUbear

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    I got a 590 on the biochemistry shelf, which was 86th percentile. Is this an average score, a good score, or a great score? If it is something impressive or indicative of my ability to do well in medical school or on the STEPs I might make a bullet for it in my CV. Thanks for your advising
     

    the duck

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      I got a 590 on the biochemistry shelf, which was 86th percentile. Is this an average score, a good score, or a great score? If it is something impressive or indicative of my ability to do well in medical school or on the STEPs I might make a bullet for it in my CV. Thanks for your advising

      A score of this level, says you scored better than 86% of people who took the exam, and worse than 14% percent of people who took the exam.
       
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      Kfire326

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        I got a 590 on the biochemistry shelf, which was 86th percentile. Is this an average score, a good score, or a great score? If it is something impressive or indicative of my ability to do well in medical school or on the STEPs I might make a bullet for it in my CV. Thanks for your advising

        lol wut

        and exam scores do not belong in CVs, except maybe for step 1 and 2 when you take them.
         

        Isoprop

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          I got a 590 on the biochemistry shelf, which was 86th percentile. Is this an average score, a good score, or a great score?
          It's higher than average.

          If it is something impressive or indicative of my ability to do well in medical school or on the STEPs I might make a bullet for it in my CV. Thanks for your advising

          Yes it's quite impressive that you can do well. Hopefully, your school can send your score when you apply to med schools.

          It's not something you put on your CV.
           

          Isoprop

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            Put in a different way, scoring a 32 on the MCAT puts you at ~86th percentile. Of course, getting a 32 the MCAT means a lot more to adcoms than a 590 on a biochem shelf.
             

            indya

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              A score of this level, says you scored better than 86% of people who took the exam, and worse than 14% percent of people who took the exam.

              ORLY_icon236.jpg
               

              theWUbear

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                `jesus ****ing christ. i throught about this for about 2 minutes, before coming to the conclusion that pre-meds that did not know what shelf exams were would shut their respective mouths regarding my question as to the selection sample of of students taking NBME exams, but you all were kind enough to prove me wrong. re-posting this in the allopathic forum
                 
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                slowbutsteady

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                  `jesus ****ing christ. i throught about this for about 2 minutes, before coming to the conclusion that pre-meds that did not know what shelf exams were would shut their respective mouths regarding my question as to the selection sample of of students taking NBME exams, but you all were kind enough to prove me wrong. re-posting this in the allopathic forum


                  You will be either ignored, mocked or eaten alive in the allo forum.

                  I may just mosey on over there to watch the fun, or crickets.
                   

                  gujuDoc

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                    `jesus ****ing christ. i throught about this for about 2 minutes, before coming to the conclusion that pre-meds that did not know what shelf exams were would shut their respective mouths regarding my question as to the selection sample of of students taking NBME exams, but you all were kind enough to prove me wrong. re-posting this in the allopathic forum

                    You posted this in preallo not allo, so obviously unless the med students comment no one is going to have an answer to your question.

                    Secondly, that would be a practice shelf exam right??? Because if you are not a med student how would you know how you'd get on a real shelf exam? and more specifically, how do you know that like the MCAT that the real exam is not slightly harder in questions and stuff to get the same score??? Lastly, that is shelf practice score for one subjection. Your USMLE step 1 is going to be a combination of all subjects from years 1 and 2 with I believe more focus on year 2 courses due to its integration with disease and therapy.
                     

                    MilkmanAl

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                      `jesus ****ing christ. i throught about this for about 2 minutes, before coming to the conclusion that pre-meds that did not know what shelf exams were would shut their respective mouths regarding my question as to the selection sample of of students taking NBME exams, but you all were kind enough to prove me wrong. re-posting this in the allopathic forum
                      I don't think that is going to change your responses too much, actually.
                       

                      mmmcdowe

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                        I don't think that is going to change your responses too much, actually.

                        In fact it will probably be worse because people will be annoyed that a pre-med is taking shelf exams.

                        OP, unless you got a letter of commendation or a cookie from the exam writers for your score then there is NO legitimate reason to put it on your resume even if you were in the 99.9th percentile. Your overall grade in the class is sufficient evidence to be considered for medical admission.
                         

                        gujuDoc

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                          There's a few post-bacc/SMPs that allow premeds to take med school classes, take the shelf, and report it to med schools.

                          really? All the SMPs I know don't do shelf exams. But then I dont know all SMPs out there. I Know BUSM doesn't do shelfs for first years or for SMP students. That's odd.
                           

                          fahimaz7

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                            I didn't know that the NBME allowed anyone other than a medical student to take a shelf exam. I know these exams are under tight security here at MCG, and they take them very seriously.

                            _______

                            The NBME provides subject tests in the basic and clinical sciences for the purpose of assessing the educational achievement of individuals in specific subject areas.

                            These examinations may be provided to medical schools and other institutions with a legitimate interest in the education of physicians or other health professionals. All institutions using these examinations must comply with test administration standards, including security provisions.

                            Subject tests are primarily designed for use as final examinations after courses, clerkships, or other units of instruction. Scores achieved on NBME subject tests cannot be used by examinees for credit toward the examination requirements for medical licensure in the United States.
                             
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                            theWUbear

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                              I didn't know that the NBME allowed anyone other than a medical student to take a shelf exam. I know these exams are under tight security here at MCG, and they take them very seriously.

                              Indeed, this forms the basis for my confusion about the significance of the percentile. Yes, I took the shelf as part of a medical biochemistry course I took at an SMP. I am wondering if the percentile compares me to medical students or to anyone who took the shelf exam (be them med students, premeds, or random people taking a class somewhere that offers the shelf exam). The latter would clearly dilute the significance of the percentile.

                              I am also interested in understanding more about the shelf as an indicator of STEP scores, which gujudoc alluded to a bit. I am wondering whether an adcom member might think that a high shelf score (if the 590 is indeed high) demonstrates ability to be competitive on the STEPs.

                              Thank you for the help! Even the 18 year olds who have no idea what a shelf exam is but attempted to teach me what a percentile is ;) I appreciate the PMs dbags
                               

                              mmmcdowe

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                                Indeed, this forms the basis for my confusion about the significance of the percentile. Yes, I took the shelf as part of a medical biochemistry course I took at an SMP. I am wondering if the percentile compares me to medical students or to anyone who took the shelf exam (be them med students, premeds, or random people taking a class somewhere that offers the shelf exam). The latter would clearly dilute the significance of the percentile.

                                I am also interested in understanding more about the shelf as an indicator of STEP scores, which gujudoc alluded to a bit. I am wondering whether an adcom member might think that a high shelf score (if the 590 is indeed high) demonstrates ability to be competitive on the STEPs.

                                Thank you for the help! Even the 18 year olds who have no idea what a shelf exam is but attempted to teach me what a percentile is ;) I appreciate the PMs dbags

                                No. For one, you aren't in medical school. I don't know how your SMP works, so perhaps this is not true, but are you taking all of the coursework as the medical students or just some of it? Taking less and being tested against students who are taking more courses would inflate your grade. Even if you are taking everything or more as the medical students (and assuming only medical students are taking it, which seems unlikely considering you and other SMP students are taking it), your shelf exams are not that predictive of your step score.

                                I'm not really that sure that schools are even directly trying to select people who they think will have the highest USMLE scores, though obviously they want students who can do well on exams. Your overall GPA and your MCAT are probably statistics that they are more comfortable using towards this end though, especially if they are not familiar with pre-clinical shelves or your SMP format.

                                . Also, a lot of schools don't use those exams, so the percentile may not be representative of the medical student population as a whole.
                                 

                                ModerateMouse

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                                  In one of the threads (on the allo. forum?) people were talking about how at different schools shelf exams have widely varying meanings.

                                  At some schools shelf exams make up a good chunk of your score, while at other schools shelf exams are simply something students do "for practice/fun".

                                  As a result, some of the people don't try very hard at all, while others do. So, the scores don't seem to reflect your "real" standing with respect to other med. students.

                                  I am just getting this from the allo. forum...
                                   

                                  slowbutsteady

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                                    Indeed, this forms the basis for my confusion about the significance of the percentile. Yes, I took the shelf as part of a medical biochemistry course I took at an SMP. I am wondering if the percentile compares me to medical students or to anyone who took the shelf exam (be them med students, premeds, or random people taking a class somewhere that offers the shelf exam). The latter would clearly dilute the significance of the percentile.

                                    I am also interested in understanding more about the shelf as an indicator of STEP scores, which gujudoc alluded to a bit. I am wondering whether an adcom member might think that a high shelf score (if the 590 is indeed high) demonstrates ability to be competitive on the STEPs.

                                    Thank you for the help! Even the 18 year olds who have no idea what a shelf exam is but attempted to teach me what a percentile is ;) I appreciate the PMs dbags


                                    I promise, promise, promise that your mediocre score on a biochem "practice shelf" indicates absolutely NOTHING about your future on the Step I.

                                    Posting it here indicates a lot of other stuff though. Not pretty.
                                     

                                    fahimaz7

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                                      In one of the threads (on the allo. forum?) people were talking about how at different schools shelf exams have widely varying meanings.

                                      At some schools shelf exams make up a good chunk of your score, while at other schools shelf exams are simply something students do "for practice/fun".

                                      As a result, some of the people don't try very hard at all, while others do. So, the scores don't seem to reflect your "real" standing with respect to other med. students.

                                      I am just getting this from the allo. forum...

                                      My school uses it to give their students an idea of what they need to work on for Step 1. We do not receive a grade (although we get the raw score and the percentile charts to see how we perform nationally), but we must pass the exam. If we don't, we have a mandatory meeting with our dean of curriculum.

                                      I took the NBME shelf exam for Physio and Biochemistry last year. Both were hard tests...
                                       

                                      apumic

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                                        I promise, promise, promise that your mediocre score on a biochem "practice shelf" indicates absolutely NOTHING about your future on the Step I.

                                        Posting it here indicates a lot of other stuff though. Not pretty.


                                        Hey dude, calm down and look at the bright side!

                                        If the OP DOES end up going to the Caribbean, at least AUA will allow him/her to pass biochem AND take Step 1!
                                         
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                                        Forthegood

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                                          This thread just really rings all the bells doesn't it?

                                          1. Terrible original post.
                                          2. Wrong forum.
                                          3. Premeds responding to something they know nothing about.
                                          4. A few jabs at the OPs inability to reason.
                                          5. OP angrily lashes back.
                                          6. All-out war.
                                           

                                          apumic

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                                            This thread just really rings all the bells doesn't it?

                                            1. Terrible original post.
                                            2. Wrong forum.
                                            3. Premeds responding to something they know nothing about.
                                            4. A few jabs at the OPs inability to reason.
                                            5. OP angrily lashes back.
                                            6. All-out war.

                                            Sounds like an otherwise slow night's entertainment, huh?
                                             

                                            slowbutsteady

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                                              This thread just really rings all the bells doesn't it?

                                              1. Terrible original post.
                                              2. Wrong forum.
                                              3. Premeds responding to something they know nothing about.
                                              4. A few jabs at the OPs inability to reason.
                                              5. OP angrily lashes back.
                                              6. All-out war.


                                              Yeah, good times.

                                              I wish the angry OP would return. He's funny.
                                               

                                              fahimaz7

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                                                So when are shelf exams taken?

                                                I think the current recommendation is during high school, but only if the student is doing A/P classes at the local community college. I'm really surprised that the early matriculation programs (straight out of high school) don't use this to screen their applicants. It's such a good predictor of overall academic success in medical school.
































                                                Either that or it's used in medical school, shortly after a student completes the required course load, to give the student an opportunity to see if he is retaining the information that is being presented.
                                                 

                                                gujuDoc

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                                                  I think the current recommendation is during high school, but only if the student is doing A/P classes at the local community college. I'm really surprised that the early matriculation programs (straight out of high school) don't use this to screen their applicants. It's such a good predictor of overall academic success in medical school.

























                                                  Either that or it's used in medical school, shortly after a student completes the required course load, to give the student an opportunity to see if he is retaining the information that is being presented.

                                                  Your and slow but steady's posts made me laugh. :D
                                                   

                                                  gujuDoc

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                                                    umad


                                                    glad to see that you still have good sense of trolling abilities :):thumbup:

                                                    Bleargh just brings reason back to things. lol.

                                                    Honestly, I highly doubt a shelf exam in one subject will be indicative of step 1 scores. If you took every single first year course, took shelfs on them and saw the same pattern, then maybe. But one or two shelf exams when you don't even take all the med courses is not going to indicate anything as med students have alluded to.

                                                    I highly doubt your performance on a NBME shelf exam will be helpful to med school admissions.

                                                    At this stage I mean your MCAT and GPA is more important then how you do on a random NBME shelf exam, even if it is a real one because of your SMP.

                                                    A lot of med schools don't even use the NBME exams for years 1 and 2. I know USF med used to use them and stopped using them in 1st 2 years. Umiami med never used them in 1st 2 years. so since not all schools are required to use them in the 1st 2 years and not all schools do use them in 1st two yeas, I'd venture to guess it would have very little impressiveness on an MD admissions committee.

                                                    And also some schools don't value SMPs as much as others. So it would depend where you are applying.
                                                     

                                                    theWUbear

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                                                      Thought I'd bring back this pleasant thread, full of two basic tenets of SDN (Burnett's law, and pre-meds chiming in on things they have no idea about).

                                                      I just opened my AMCAS. There is indeed a section for "Other Tests". I am wondering if a 590 on the shelf (86% percentile) is something I should include, or if that would not look impressive. From what has transpired in this thread I can safely say 1. zomg why is premed taking shelf! and 2. shelfs totally don't predict boards
                                                       

                                                      FIREitUP

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                                                        Thought I'd bring back this pleasant thread, full of two basic tenets of SDN (Burnett's law, and pre-meds chiming in on things they have no idea about).

                                                        I just opened my AMCAS. There is indeed a section for "Other Tests". I am wondering if a 590 on the shelf (86% percentile) is something I should include, or if that would not look impressive. From what has transpired in this thread I can safely say 1. zomg why is premed taking shelf! and 2. shelfs totally don't predict boards

                                                        no.
                                                         

                                                        theWUbear

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                                                          quoting the on point responses thus far for reference

                                                          In one of the threads (on the allo. forum?) people were talking about how at different schools shelf exams have widely varying meanings.

                                                          At some schools shelf exams make up a good chunk of your score, while at other schools shelf exams are simply something students do "for practice/fun".

                                                          As a result, some of the people don't try very hard at all, while others do. So, the scores don't seem to reflect your "real" standing with respect to other med. students.

                                                          I am just getting this from the allo. forum...

                                                          Put in a different way, scoring a 32 on the MCAT puts you at ~86th percentile. Of course, getting a 32 the MCAT means a lot more to adcoms than a 590 on a biochem shelf.
                                                           
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