Jan 4, 2015
52
22
Status
Medical Student
I've been scoring in the high B (85-90)% range for all of my second year exams thus far and I was wondering if this is a good predictor for a 250+ on step1. Obviously it is not so clear cut but most people say that the best predictor of a high step 1 score is doing well in preclinical classes, especially during second year.
 

Jlaw

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2009
814
271
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I've been scoring in the high B (85-90)% range for all of my second year exams thus far and I was wondering if this is a good predictor for a 250+ on step1. Obviously it is not so clear cut but most people say that the best predictor of a high step 1 score is doing well in preclinical classes, especially during second year.
Doing well is a good predictor but since you can't really compare grades from one school to the next it doesn't tell you much other than you are probably on the right path. UWorld scores and NBME self assessments are much better predictors. But even if you are crushing it during 1st and 2nd year the breadth of information on step 1 is so vast that you may still need 2-3 months of prep/review time to actually translate your knowledge into a 250+ score.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mimelim

ImgEmHopeful

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2015
62
35
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I graduated basic sciences with 90% average. I did all the nbmes + UWA. Right before my test I hit a 252 on my last nbme and I got 250 on step 1. But I also studied my ass off for step one. Total prob little less than 6wks but we're talking 12+h days with one half day off a week. I did uworld 2x, DIT, pathoma, and read through FA 3x. Didn't annotate anything from Uworld just read the explanations.
 

ImgEmHopeful

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2015
62
35
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I've been scoring in the high B (85-90)% range for all of my second year exams thus far and I was wondering if this is a good predictor for a 250+ on step1. Obviously it is not so clear cut but most people say that the best predictor of a high step 1 score is doing well in preclinical classes, especially during second year.
I graduated basic sciences with 90% average. I did all the nbmes + UWA. Right before my test I hit a 252 on my last nbme and I got 250 on step 1. But I also studied my ass off for step one. Total prob little less than 6wks but we're talking 12+h days with one half day off a week. I did uworld 2x, DIT, pathoma, and read through FA 3x. Didn't annotate anything from Uworld just read the explanations. If you want to know where you are do an NBME and pay the extra ten bucks to see which ones you got wrong.
 

cbrons

Ratatoskr! *Roar*
10+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2007
6,567
3,639
DEFEND MIDDLE LANE!
Status
Non-Student
I've been scoring in the high B (85-90)% range for all of my second year exams thus far and I was wondering if this is a good predictor for a 250+ on step1. Obviously it is not so clear cut but most people say that the best predictor of a high step 1 score is doing well in preclinical classes, especially during second year.
No it is not

Esp if your school has worthless memorize-fest lectures
 
  • Like
Reactions: padfoot777

masaraksh

7+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2011
1,791
2,148
Northeast
Status
Medical Student
Personally, I wish it were that easy! I am doing 90%+ so far into M2, but feel far from certain that I'll be able to reach near 250, let along break 250.
 

Donald Juan

7+ Year Member
May 22, 2011
1,699
2,596
GA
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It really doesn't mean much to any of us at face value. If at your school an 85% puts you at the top of the class then you're probably on the right track. If it puts you below the average, you probably aren't.

Don't let SDN scores fool you: 250 is freaking hard to get. Most of the time even amazing students have to study their ass off to get that high. If you're a below average student like me, you have to start blowing off classes to board study starting halfway through 2nd year just to get in the 240's.
 

operaman

7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2010
1,921
4,475
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Perhaps more than the % correct would be what percentile that is compared to your peers. A 250 is approx 90th percentile or so (I forget the exact number but you can look up the norms tables), so if you're in that ballpark you're probably right on track. Obviously there's a wide range, but if you're in the top quartile of your class at an average med school, you are probably in the running for a 250+ score, though obviously not guaranteed. There are outliers who rank much lower but still pull out a high score, but these are by far the exception to the rule. As others have said, an NBME exam is a much better predictor, but it's too early in the year for that to be of much use to you since you haven't covered so much of the material yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Entadus
OP
D
Jan 4, 2015
52
22
Status
Medical Student
the 85-90% usually puts me around 50-70 percentile rank in my class. our school averages a low 230's for step 1.
 

Entadus

Happy on 5-HT
10+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2008
1,726
1,002
California
Status
Resident [Any Field]
the 85-90% usually puts me around 50-70 percentile rank in my class. our school averages a low 230's for step 1.
So you can expect to score around 230-240.

50-70th percentile is just above average, which means just above "low 230's"

If you want 250+ you should be scoring 85th percentile in your class, or higher. There is still no guarantee, but that would at least be consistent
 
Mar 6, 2013
83
67
Status
Medical Student
OP it totally depends on your curriculum and what you're personally studying. I broke 250 and was around the average on every class exam 2nd year and just studied for boards. There's other people in my class though who scored really well all year on school exams and had a really hard time studying for boards bc they studied the class material all year, a substantial amount of which was not within the scope of step 1. 250+ is totally attainable if you put priority on learning the material that's on the usmle. Everybody says the same handful of resources on every thread about step 1 for a reason, learn those and work through practice questions like its your job this year
 
Oct 24, 2013
843
1,438
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I agree with pretty much every comment above
im averaging >95% (with my peer class averages ranging from 83-85 generally).... saw a chart that showed at this level everyone in the last five years scored >245.
but im not a good standardized test taker and won't be surprised if I break that trend, but its clearly not a bad sign.
yes, and 240 is now below average for more than several competitive specialties. Would feel nice to be above average if i end up interested in one of those.
 
Aug 9, 2014
1,981
1,018
Status
Medical Student
I've been scoring in the high B (85-90)% range for all of my second year exams thus far and I was wondering if this is a good predictor for a 250+ on step1. Obviously it is not so clear cut but most people say that the best predictor of a high step 1 score is doing well in preclinical classes, especially during second year.
What %ile is that for your class? Our average exam grades were 80-84 with a SD of ~7.

wtf is this obsession with 250
ikr, why does everyone want to be average? Way back when I was an MS2 you got a 260 or you failed.
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
35,551
65,168
4th Dimension
So you can expect to score around 230-240.

50-70th percentile is just above average, which means just above "low 230's"

If you want 250+ you should be scoring 85th percentile in your class, or higher. There is still no guarantee, but that would at least be consistent
Percentile rank in class and board performance can vary pretty widely. Class is class, the boards are the boards. Anybody can cram one class and spit it back out, but scoring 250+ requires a much larger capability for both memorization and conceptual thinking.
 

Entadus

Happy on 5-HT
10+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2008
1,726
1,002
California
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Percentile rank in class and board performance can vary pretty widely. Class is class, the boards are the boards. Anybody can cram one class and spit it back out, but scoring 250+ requires a much larger capability for both memorization and conceptual thinking.
Agreed but there is some correlation between 0 and 1. The only thing we have to look at is probability. There is zero need to have a debate like every other similar thread:pigeon:
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
35,551
65,168
4th Dimension
Agreed but there is some correlation between 0 and 1. The only thing we have to look at is probability. There is zero need to have a debate like every other similar thread:pigeon:
You might have a point, who knows. There's definitely a correlation. But there's a few people in my class, for instance, that are focusing on the boards at the expense of their class grades, as there is a lot of lower yield material covered in class (such as our clinical skills course (patient interviewing, physical exam skills, history taking, etc), which make up half of our grade but is almost entirely composed of material untested on Step 1). If you've got a school that has professors that test in a manner that is very similar to the Steps, it's probably a good predictor. But if your school doesn't grade in a manner similar to the Steps, it is probably a less accurate predictor, if accurate at all.
 
Mar 26, 2013
501
499
Status
Medical Student
you guys know there's a whole step 1 subforum right? Getting a lot of these type of posts in allo lately...
 
  • Like
Reactions: CherryRedDracul

wjs010

7+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2012
2,089
510
Status
Medical Student
Percentile rank in class and board performance can vary pretty widely. Class is class, the boards are the boards. Anybody can cram one class and spit it back out, but scoring 250+ requires a much larger capability for both memorization and conceptual thinking.
Exactly . And that's why I thinks classes aren't much of a predictor. I mean, if you do well in class, you probably won't do poorly.. But, the best predictor is how you study. When you study for exams, were you cramming? Because that knowledge goes away fast. But if you studied daily and have developed a long term storage of the info, I'd say doing that and doing qbanks is a WAY better predictor than just tests. Tests show a study time frame of about 2-3 weeks. Qbanks and boards show a very long term understanding and memorization.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Jack

wjs010

7+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2012
2,089
510
Status
Medical Student
My class avg is usually 72-78... It hard to tell. But if I'm scoring mid 80s, I may be scoring above avg, but it feels more like I just was lucky enough to cram more facts .. Everyone probably has a decent conceptual grasp on most of the material( because the concepts are hard,
But not ridiculously hard) . It's the memorization that separates everyone
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Jack

ImgEmHopeful

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2015
62
35
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My class avg is usually 72-78... It hard to tell. But if I'm scoring mid 80s, I may be scoring above avg, but it feels more like I just was lucky enough to cram more facts .. Everyone probably has a decent conceptual grasp on most of the material( because the concepts are hard,
But not ridiculously hard) . It's the memorization that separates everyone
I always hated when profs said don't memorize understand. Homie I have to memorize to understand.
 
Last edited:

lodestar

7+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2011
288
247
Atlanta
Status
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ImgEmHopeful

ImgEmHopeful

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2015
62
35
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Last edited:

mimelim

Vascular Surgery
7+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2011
4,878
14,339
Status
Attending Physician
Thanks that is really interesting. You gotta figure people with high scores are more likely to post them and people lie out there rear ended about there grades.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner!
 
Aug 9, 2014
1,981
1,018
Status
Medical Student
Not quite an answer to your question, but 85% of all future domestic M.D.'s will make < 251, so notwithstanding the lofty scores reported on SDN, 250 is quite good indeed:

http://www.usmle.org/pdfs/transcripts/USMLE_Step_Examination_Score_Interpretation_Guidelines.pdf

Indubitably, those who score 250+ are justifiably quite proud of it and might be more apt to post their experiences on SDN. The most selective residency programs average about 245 for their matriculants.
Also turn your attention to these two largely ignored paragraphs.

Measurement error is present on all tests, and the standard error of measurement (SEM)
provides an index of the imprecision of scores. Using the SEM, it is possible to calculate a score
interval that indicates how much a score might vary across repeated testing using different sets
of items covering similar content. Plus and minus one SEM represents an interval that will encompass about two thirds of the observed scores for an examinee’s given true score. Currently, the SEM is approximately 5 for Step 1 and 6 points for Steps 2CK and 3

The standard error of difference (SED) in scores is an index used to assess whether the
difference between two scores is statistically meaningful. If the scores received by two
examinees differ by two or more SEDs, it is likely that the examinees are different in their proficiency. Currently, the SED is approximately 7 points for Step 1
, 9 points for Step 2CK, and 8
points for Step 3.
I could be interpreting that wrong, but it sounds like +/- 5 points for any given form and +/- 14 points between individuals of similar knowledge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blob229 and Vexare