is there correlation bw shelf scores in basic science and USMLE score?

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15+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2005
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does anyone know? whats a good raw score ? is there a correlation bw usmle and that?


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my shelf scores correlated perfectly with my step 1 score. they were a better predictor of my step 1 score than uworld, NBMEs, kaplan, anything.

FA has a scale for shelf scores. in general:
380 = pass (187)
500 = 220 (50th percentile)
660 = 250 (94th percentile)
>740 = 260+ (99th percentile)
It depends on preparation level. I scored from 400-900's on my shelf exams so it's hard to draw a correlation, but for sure if you score 700+ on all your shelf exams across the board you will dominate step 1 if you put in comparable effort. To know it at that level once means you will know it again when step 1 comes around. If you don't do as well on your shelf exams as you want to on step 1, you probably need a little extra time to prepare.
we only get our shelf scores in the 2 digit index score, where 70 is the national average and 8 points is the standard deviation. these scores are not curved by my school.

Anatomy shelf: >95
Biochem shelf: 87ish
Histo shelf: 91
Physio shelf: 89
Neuro shelf: 90
Behavioral sciences: 85ish (i think)

Step 1: 266

So i think there's a decent correlation, but keep in mind that when we all take the shelfs, we dont care all that much about it. i know for my school, shelfs are only worth like 15% of the grade so you basically know what you need to do to honor, high pass etc. tons of confounding variable when looking at this correlation, since some students dont even take them seriously, but then really bog down for step 1.