Dermpire

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It seems that the curves on the NBME exams have changed a bit over the past few years based on some of the posts I've seen and I'd like to get a more accurate estimate for those taking the exams offline.

If you're able to, could you please post your % correct as well as the score that you got on the NBME exam.

For example:
NBME 13: (150/200) = 75% = 2XX
NBME 15: (190/200) = 95% = 2XX
NBME 16: (120/200) = 60% = 2XX
NBME 17: (185/200) = 92.5% = 2XX
NBME 18: (200/200) = 100% = 2XX
NBME 19: (170/200) = 85% = 2XX

Actual Score: 2XX

You don't need to fill out all of the information, whatever you have now is great and you can always come back and edit it later with new information.
 
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coldcase331

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Feb 23, 2015
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15: 18 wrong - 600 - 248
16: 9 wrong - 670 - 263
13: 7 wrong - 680 - 265
17: 5 wrong - 700 - 269
19: 4 wrong - 710 - 271
18: 11 wrong - 670 - 263

You're right about the curve changing.
You sir, are a god


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sharkbyte

Take me to the top
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Dec 27, 2013
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15: 18 wrong - 600 - 248
16: 9 wrong - 670 - 263
13: 7 wrong - 680 - 265
17: 5 wrong - 700 - 269
19: 4 wrong - 710 - 271
18: 11 wrong - 670 - 263

You're right about the curve changing.
Man, how do you get scores like these?? 4 wrong? Incredible...
 

Lannister

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May 21, 2013
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NBME 13: (175/200) = 87.5% = 234
UWSA1: (130/160) = 81.25% = 258
UWSA2: (135/160) = 84.4% = 256
NBME 15: (190/200) = 95% = 261
NBME 16: (190/200) = 95% = 263
NBME 17: (189/200) = 94.5% = 257
NBME 18: (183/200) = 91.5% = 255
NBME 19: (189/200) = 94.5% = 255

Step 1: 261
 
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coldcase331

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Can someone explain to me how these curves work? How is it that an 87.5% on NBME 13 is a 234 (slightly above national average), but getting a 63% on something like Uworld is average? Are the questions easier? Or are people more prepared by the time they get to the real exam?
 
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Nephronlearner

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Sep 19, 2013
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NBME 13: 35 incorrect (82.5%) - 219
NBME 15: 25 incorrect (87.5%) - 236
NBME 16: 20 incorrect (90%) - 246
NBME 17: 12 incorrect (94%) - 255
NBME 19: 22 incorrect (89%) - 236
NBME 18: 12 incorrect (94%) - 261
 
Mar 26, 2018
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Can someone explain to me how these curves work? How is it that an 87.5% on NBME 13 is a 234 (slightly above national average), but getting a 63% on something like Uworld is average? Are the questions easier? Or are people more prepared by the time they get to the real exam?
Apart from the ocassional wtf questions, nbme Qs are way easier than Uworld.
 
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WongerRabbit

2+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2016
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Medical Student (Accepted)
NBME 13: 244 (181/200)
UWSA1: 258 (130/160)
NBME 15: 259 (189/200)
NBME 16: 250 (182/200)
NMBE 19: 255 (189/200)
NBME 17: 259 (190/200)
UWSA2: 262 (141/160)
NBME 18: 257 (185/200)
 
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coldcase331

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More data to add

NBME 13 (177/200, 88.5%): 238
NBME 17 (177/200, 88.5%): 236
 
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21Rush12

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:( exam in 2 weeks and literally a downward trend
UWSA 1: 123/160 = 76.9%, 251
UWSA 2: 113/160 = 70.6%, 232
NBME 13: 159/200 = 79.5%, 209
Hey for what it’s worth, 13 is quite different from the rest of the NBMEs. Don’t get too discouraged, 16 and 17 are much better/more reflective of Uworld from my experience thus far.
 

RaginMD

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Apr 16, 2017
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UPDATED:

UWSA1: 98/160 (yeah I know its bad)= 57% 205
UWSA2 (1 week before)= 237 (73% correct)
NBME 16: 146/200 = 73% 200 (major yikes)
NBME 17: 171/200 = 85% 225
NBME 15: 221 (this one was hard for me for some reason)
NBME19 (2 weeks before): 230

One week to go, taking NBME 18 in a couple days. At this point I'll take just about any passing score. I just want to get it over with.
 
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Jzen12

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Mar 2, 2014
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NBME 13: (177/200) = 89% = 238
NBME 15: (176/200) = 88% = 238
NBME 16: (173/200) = 87% = 236
UWSA 1: (120/160) = 75% = 247
NBME 17: (181/200) = 91% = 242
NBME 19: (183/200) = 92% = 244
UWSA 2: (127/160) = 79% = 247
NBME 18: (179/200) = 89% = 250
 
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Blunt Dissection

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Hey for what it’s worth, 13 is quite different from the rest of the NBMEs. Don’t get too discouraged, 16 and 17 are much better/more reflective of Uworld from my experience thus far.
I hope that’s the case! Actually sitting 15 right now. Half way through and taking my break so glad I checked for a bit of a confidence boost that things will hopefully get better hahaha!
 

Blunt Dissection

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Dude.. 209-->236 in 48 hours?! Did 13 just hit your weak spots or what in the world?! As someone who didn't do so hot on 13 this gives me hope haha
Making the transition from UWorld questions to nbme questions was I think the big factor. I noticed that UWorld often has really hard stems, which was evident based on how much time left I had in each block (sometimes as little as 30 seconds left to answer my last question).

When I did nbme 13 though, I finished each of the 50 question blocks with literally 15-20 minutes left and I didn’t think it went as bad as it did. After doing my review of 13, I found that my biggest mistake throughout was second guessing myself. The stems on the nbmes are really simple and straightforward, but the answer choices suck big time. I always had it narrowed down to 2 and I missed something in the stem that would have helped me to pick the right answer. When I did 15, I made sure to slow down and double read the question and stem and eliminated answer choices if I could find even one thing that was wrong with it.

15 itself seemed a lot less tricky than 13 did so that probably helped a bunch too. I’m hoping to see some more improvements when I do 16 in 2 days. I think what I’ve learned is basically -
1) Keep at it even if it you’re not scoring what you’d hope.
2) spend the time to really consider what you did wrong outside of having a knowledge deficit.
 

orangetea

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Jan 8, 2014
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Dude.. 209-->236 in 48 hours?! Did 13 just hit your weak spots or what in the world?! As someone who didn't do so hot on 13 this gives me hope haha
I also do not think the NBME is curved similar to the exam. An 87% on the real exam should easily equate to high 240-250s .. and a 79% should not be a 209 (which is 10ish points above passing).. none of it makes any sense hahaha but thank you all for posting all this it really does shed light on the fact that NBME is not ALWAYS as predictive as people make it out to be
 
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mikil100

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Jan 9, 2011
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NBME 13: 92% 610 250

NBME 19: 94.5% 640 255

NBME 18: 92% 640 257

NBME 17: 96% 670 263

Exams taken 5-7 days apart for the most part.

UWSA1 279 (93%), UWSA2 (95%) 275 for reference. I very much prefer the UW curve lol
 

DubbiDoctor

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NBME 13: 92% 610 250

NBME 19: 94.5% 640 255

NBME 18: 92% 640 257

NBME 17: 96% 670 263

Exams taken 5-7 days apart for the most part.

UWSA1 279 (93%), UWSA2 (95%) 275 for reference. I very much prefer the UW curve lol
Insane practice scores. Since you're at the point where you're scoring 95% correct on UWorld and NBME, I recommend taking your exam now, unless you think you can fill in any remaining gaps in your knowledge. When are you taking your exam - and what have you done, other than practice tests, to prepare?
 

RaginMD

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I don't know what med schools you guys go to but your practice exam scores are insane. My school has only had a small handful of people make in the 260s on the real deal and only three people that I know of have actually made over a 270. I need to redo med school and go somewhere better! Our school does a horrible job and giving you the solid groundwork to prepare for STEP1. I basically have had to relearn 2 years from the ground up in 5 weeks. Kudos to you guys though! I just want to get the average at this point.
 
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mikil100

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Insane practice scores. Since you're at the point where you're scoring 95% correct on UWorld and NBME, I recommend taking your exam now, unless you think you can fill in any remaining gaps in your knowledge. When are you taking your exam - and what have you done, other than practice tests, to prepare?
I take my test in just a tad over a week, and trust me I'm counting the days haha.

My score has only gone up 13 points from the start of dedicated to now on NBME's. I'm not counting the UWSA's because they are far away from any of my NBME's (275 on UWSA2 was 1 day before 257 on NBME18, for example). I found UWSA much easier than practice NBME's.

The majority of my prep came during M2, which I completed the Zanki deck along with my studies, as well as all of the organ specific blocks of Kaplan. Starting January I continued to do that, as well as doing 20 random UW questions a day (only from blocks I had already done, after I took a unit test that would get added to the randomized pool of UW questions). By the time dedicated came around I finished my first pass of UW in 4 days of dedicated. Of coursing during the school year I also used Pathoma/FA/Sketchy/B&B to actually learn the material as well.... (cause lol at medical school curriculum).

During dedicated I've pretty much just done a second pass of UW, around 120-160Q's a day, and watched B&B videos of my weaks areas, as well as re-watch Pathoma, and read FA cover to cover. Because reading FA is a rather passive activity I have a word doc that contains information in FA that I've NEVER heard of, or am completely unfamiliar with. A lot from the general principles and pathology section ended up in there. Why read FA over and over when I can just re-read the document on weird information I didn't know. Its short too- only like 15 pages double spaced. I have tried to keep up with my Anki deck as well. I'm just now passing through Sketchy videos to refresh my memory on Micro/Pharm.

Overal my approach has been to cast a wide net with multiple resources, hammer long term memory with Anki, and then flesh out my weak spots by practice questions and then return to further review those weak areas. Big emphasis on active learning, best way to learn is to challenge what you know and see things you do know in unfamiliar circumstances.
 

coldcase331

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Feb 23, 2015
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I take my test in just a tad over a week, and trust me I'm counting the days haha.

My score has only gone up 13 points from the start of dedicated to now on NBME's. I'm not counting the UWSA's because they are far away from any of my NBME's (275 on UWSA2 was 1 day before 257 on NBME18, for example). I found UWSA much easier than practice NBME's.

The majority of my prep came during M2, which I completed the Zanki deck along with my studies, as well as all of the organ specific blocks of Kaplan. Starting January I continued to do that, as well as doing 20 random UW questions a day (only from blocks I had already done, after I took a unit test that would get added to the randomized pool of UW questions). By the time dedicated came around I finished my first pass of UW in 4 days of dedicated. Of coursing during the school year I also used Pathoma/FA/Sketchy/B&B to actually learn the material as well.... (cause lol at medical school curriculum).

During dedicated I've pretty much just done a second pass of UW, around 120-160Q's a day, and watched B&B videos of my weaks areas, as well as re-watch Pathoma, and read FA cover to cover. Because reading FA is a rather passive activity I have a word doc that contains information in FA that I've NEVER heard of, or am completely unfamiliar with. A lot from the general principles and pathology section ended up in there. Why read FA over and over when I can just re-read the document on weird information I didn't know. Its short too- only like 15 pages double spaced. I have tried to keep up with my Anki deck as well. I'm just now passing through Sketchy videos to refresh my memory on Micro/Pharm.

Overal my approach has been to cast a wide net with multiple resources, hammer long term memory with Anki, and then flesh out my weak spots by practice questions and then return to further review those weak areas. Big emphasis on active learning, best way to learn is to challenge what you know and see things you do know in unfamiliar circumstances.
If there is anyone deserving of a 270+ score, it is you.
 
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Jzen12

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Mar 2, 2014
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Has the NBME grading scale become more harsh recently? Just going off some posts from previous years, it seems that way.
Anyone have any insight on how predictive the NBMEs are recently?
 

coldcase331

2+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2015
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Has the NBME grading scale become more harsh recently? Just going off some posts from previous years, it seems that way.
Anyone have any insight on how predictive the NBMEs are recently?
Apparently they changed the scale about 1-2 years ago, which makes sense because they didn't want to give a false sense of security to people if the scale on the real exam had changed
 
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LongDucDong

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Mar 21, 2017
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How was the difficulty in relation to 18?
Didn't take 18 yet. wanted to do 19 first because i heard the curve was tough and i didn't want to kill my confidence. 19 turned out better than i thought it would, though. gonna take 18 in a few days.
 
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LongDucDong

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Mar 21, 2017
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Congrats on the upward movement! May I ask how 19 compared to 17/15 (and 13 if you did that one). I found 13 kinda 'dated' compared to 15 but haven't taken 17-19 yet. Thanks friend :).
I actually didn't take 13, i may or may not b/c i hear people say that its dated. Just 15, 16, 17, UWSA1, 19. 15 was pretty early in my studying, but i thought it was fairly straightforward.. i think i got lucky with some guesses though. i thought 17 was pretty tough.. maybe it just didn't hit topics that i knew very well. then i thought 19 had easier questions, but the curve is what makes 19 hard, not the question difficulty.

to be honest, none of the nbme's that i've taken have been complex problem solving questions or particularly well written (not that i'm the first to notice this). i'm kinda disappointed with their quality, but i'll certainly keep forking over $60, because the last thing i want to do is not take an nbme and then hear people say that they had some questions that were nearly identical
 

papito22

2+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2014
43
19
NBME 15: 170/200, 230
NBME 16: 172/200, 234
NBME 17: 174/200, 234
NBME 18: 162/200, 228 :(
UWSA1: 129/160, 258
UWSA2: TBD

Really hoping for >240 but would be thrilled with >230
 
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Jan 17, 2018
129
116
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This is What I have so Far:
NBME 15 10 weeks out 76% 205
NBME 13 12 days out 88% 236 (rough curve no?)
 
Jan 17, 2018
129
116
Status
Medical Student
UPDATED:

UWSA1: 98/160 (yeah I know its bad)= 57% 205
UWSA2 (1 week before)= 237 (73% correct)
NBME 16: 146/200 = 73% 200 (major yikes)
NBME 17: 171/200 = 85% 225
NBME 15: 221 (this one was hard for me for some reason)
NBME19 (2 weeks before): 230

One week to go, taking NBME 18 in a couple days. At this point I'll take just about any passing score. I just want to get it over with.
hey did you get the score for the real deal yet?
 
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