# National Average for step 1

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

#### Renovar

##### Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member

As I am preparing my CV and other credentials for my dean's letter appointment, I am starting to wonder, is the national board average for Step 1 really 215.

For it to be an average, it means approx 1/2 the med students in US and Canada 1st time takers scores lower and 1/2 people scores higher. But I dont know why, just by talking to people I know, even *******es, beat the national mean. If people I know is any indication, 215 is more like 20th percentile.

Do anyone else have the same feeling?

A

#### ajl102

*******es in what sense?
If we're talking about people who are socially or culturally inept, this can actually help in test preparation. This may be more toward the "jackass" end of the spectrum, technically.

We may be talking about people who don't appear confident. This too can create an anxiety level that can give someone an edge at crunch-time.

I think the common wisdom regarding step 1 performance is that the hardworking type wins. Performance = sweat = stress = willingness to suffer short-term...

#### ramsestiger

##### Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
The word average does NOT necessarily mean that half the people scored above and half below. That's the median, which is just one type of average. Generally, average refers to the mean. Just for future reference, the word average really means central tendency, which can refer to 1 or more of 4 mathematical numbers: mean, median, mode, or midrange. I won't go into much more detail unless someone requests it.

Now, if you factor in people overseas that get totally slammed by the test since it's technically is in a foreign language, U.S. students overseas who might not have been the best test-takers to start, and even some DO students who don't really care about the test since the COMLEX is much more important to them (us), I think you would see that it's possible that a lot of people that take it might not be at par with U.S. med students in terms of proficiency, effort, or even intelligence. Remember, even 40-yr-old physicians that want to immigrate to the U.S. have to take the USMLE, and they're just trying to pass after forgetting a lot of the stuff they didn't use over the years.

Unless the national average only refers to the MD students in the U.S., I suspect that it is skewed a little. Half the people do not have to score below the average - just imagine if a bunch of Filipinos take it and tank on it or something. IMHO, no one that passes or even takes the test is a "*******," but I guess you're free to form your own opinions. Just remember, some people are very humble so they may appear to be less knowledgeable to you than they really are.

#### pathstudent

##### Sound Kapital
15+ Year Member
The national average for American Medical Students who were first time takers in 2002 was 216 with a standard deviation of 22 with a first time pass rate of 91%, so says the office of academic affairs office at my school.

Both the average and pass rate are lower for FMGs, Carribean Schools, DOs and second time takers from US med schools.

From what I understand, the scores are more or less normally distributed. I doubt a 215 would be the 20th percentile considering 9% of first time US med students fail it. Ultimately 95-96 pass it with two attempts.