Q-bank score

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Jun 9, 2003
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Just a follow-up of my old post. I heard that the "unwritten rule" is if you add 10% to your Q-bank score avg, that's what you'll get on the real deal. True? Thanks

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I hear all sorts of theories about qbank and the real thing. i hope that step1 is easier than qbank. at first, it was kicking my ass big time. I've heard that if you are able to overall average around a 70 on qbank, then you should be sitting pretty to do above average on the real thing. let's hear from those that took step 1..
i dunno about an actual 10%, but i'd agree with souljah in that if you do about 60%, you should pass... if you get around 70%, you'll do well....

that said, i averaged around 65% overall but got a score in the 250s (not said to sound egotistic or anything)...

what i think is important to realize about kaplan (at least what I think about kaplan) is that much of their questions don't seem to be "test what you know" type questions, per se, but more like "we want to make an educational point here" questions - so if you're not rolling in the 70s, then don't work yourself up too much... just make sure y'all read the explanations on (at least) any questions you're not slam-dunk sure about...

good luck,
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10% added to your q bank score would mean really low scores for most people if you are talking about that 2 -digit number we are given on our score report (which isn't a percentage, by the way). Your q bank percentage will only give you a rough estimate of how well you will do, I've heard of people having 70-80% on q bank and barely passing, and I've heard of people getting 50-60% on q bank and scoring above the SD. In general though, the higher your q bank, the higher you will probably score on the usmle. I would aim for 55-60% on q bank to pass, if you are scoring anywhere above 70%, you will probably be well above the avg on the actual USMLE.
Thanks for the feedback. What was your low and high scores on q-bank? Personally, I probably started Q-bank too early so I had several tests in the 40% range, but now I'm doing 64% , but my overall average is still in the 50's because of the early tests. I still have 50% of the Q-bank left to do. If I do the last 25% of the Q-bank at 65%+, does that mean I'm ready?? Thanks
Q bank is really not a good tool to use to determine if you are going to pass, and it is definitely not a good tool to use to figure out what you can expect to score. Take the nbme online assessment. If you can "pass" that - 335-360 or above, then you will likely pass the real thing. The questions are the most representative of the real usmle questions, too, whereas q bank questions are not.
I plan to take NBME in a couple of weeks. But I've heard such mixed things about Q-bank (easier, harder, same) and it seems you are a minority view that q-bank can't predict a "probable" pass. But I think you make a good point about NBME, so that will be my decision maker, to go forward or postpone. 350 is a pass on NBME?? 500 is the mean right? Thanks
for the NBME thing..

do they score it for you? do they provide explanations for all of their questions? how do you know how your score compares to the average or different percentiles?

Originally posted by souljah1
for the NBME thing..

do they score it for you? do they provide explanations for all of their questions? how do you know how your score compares to the average or different percentiles?


They give you a score report along with a breakdown of your performance in different areas. The mean for the test is set at 500 with an SD of 100.

If we assume a good correlation between this and your performance on the real thing (and experiences vary), anything above around a 350 should be passing. (You can do the calculation yourself, though, using z scores, if you want a more precise number.) They do NOT provide explanations or even, to my knowledge, tell you which ones you missed or got right.

The reason for this, I speculate, is that in no time flat, people would be selling or distributing the assembled questions and answers. And they would lose a significant proportion of their income from this project.
one thing that you can do (this is what I did when I took the test) is jot down notes while you are taking the test. that way you can look up the answers to the questions that you were unsure about.
How many test to I get for the 45$? Can I take one test now (200 questions) and then take the other test in 3 weeks? I'd like to see where I stand now. Is that possible?