Passing on the COMLEX is typically around 50 ~ 55%. On the USMLE, approximately in the same range.
On the COMLEX, the mean test score is standardized to be the 50th %-ile and the other score-ranks are spread out across a gaussian-like curve.
The USMLE is scored differently. They have both a 2-digit and a 3-digit score. The passing score for the 3-digit number is set as 182...with the mean test score generally falling in the 205 ~ 215 range. Again, they use those voodoo statistics to snap the scores to a gaussian-like curve. As far as the 2-digit score, I am not as familiar with that one.
However, neither the USMLE nor the COMLEX have a predetermined number of people who must fail each test session, as would be implied by a true gaussian distribution. Both of them set a threshold and all testors who meet/exceed that threshold will pass...those who do not, will be retaking.
You can visit either the NBME or the NBOME web sites for addtional details.
Honestly, we have a terrific curriculum at Mizzou, so I wasn't too worried about re-learning the stuff we've gone over in the first 2 years.
But...I'll tell you what I did.
I memorized First Aid. Literally.
I dismembered the binding of the book and made notecards by scanning in all the pages on my computer (sounds tedious, but it works for me.) I would suggest just memorizing it any way you know how. Boy does it make a difference!
I read BRS Pathology and Physiology 2 times.
I did and re-did all of the Board Simulator Series questions on the computer (the disk costs 100 dollars, and you don't need the disk to run the program...) There are something like 3000 questions there, and even though they're not in the same 'format' as the USMLE, they help tremendously. It's all about reviewing and finding your weaknesses.
All of this was done in 4 weeks. No kidding. Just 4 weeks.
Now, there's a NBME practice test that my school gives in February, and I barely passed that. I think passing is "60" or something, and I got a "61." Regardless of what the scores are, I was only 1 point above passing.
Step I seems like a monster to study for, but it's really not. It's quite managable, as long as you stick with a limited number of texts and get to know them intimately.
I think your idea of scanning and making note cards is inspired. I was wondering how you did it and if you had any files you might be willing to email me. I know they must be big though. Thanks. My email is: [email protected]
I'm sorry, but in August I installed a new soundcard, which totally screwed up my computer.
I had to re-boot, and I lost all of the files.
Good luck to you....
(PS, I never could figure out how to turn Adobe files into Word documents, which would allow for their manipulation into a notecard foremat. This would have been advantageous, given how Medschool.com had all of First Aid posted on the net--in Adobe.)