Scoring of the USMLE?

mercaptovizadeh

ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,894
2,385
326
How exactly is it scored? People say it's on a curve, but how? E.g. scores are all 230, 250, 190, etc., i.e. it reflects the number of questions you got right out of 300 (270 is such a stellar score and 300 is unattainable). So is the curving part in this score or is it just in the percentile they give you?
 
About the Ads

RussianJoo

Useless Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2004
2,231
44
296
Rock City
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
How exactly is it scored? People say it's on a curve, but how? E.g. scores are all 230, 250, 190, etc., i.e. it reflects the number of questions you got right out of 300 (270 is such a stellar score and 300 is unattainable). So is the curving part in this score or is it just in the percentile they give you?


why would you say it's out of 300 when there are 350 q's on the test? does every test automatically have 50 experimental q's, i don't think so.
 

agranulocytosis

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2007
580
46
246
  1. Attending Physician
why would you say it's out of 300 when there are 350 q's on the test? does every test automatically have 50 experimental q's, i don't think so.

I thought it actually was true :confused:

A few of my friends currently in residency tell me there's a full block that's experimental. Perhaps that's what it works out to be with 50 questions in total throughout the exam or that's how it used to be in days past?
 

mercaptovizadeh

ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,894
2,385
326
I thought it actually was true :confused:

A few of my friends currently in residency tell me there's a full block that's experimental. Perhaps that's what it works out to be with 50 questions in total throughout the exam or that's how it used to be in days past?

I'm pretty sure that 50 questions are experimental. I just heard today that apparently they aren't a single block - they're interspersed among good questions. That might neutralize the claim that you would be hurting someone by placing experimental blocks randomly earlier in the exam and pushing good questions to the end when people are more fatigued.
 

RussianJoo

Useless Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2004
2,231
44
296
Rock City
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
ok i don't know, i just heard that there was a range of how many experimental q's can be in an exam, so i thought every exam would be different. but i guess it would make sense to have 50 q's worth. didn't the mcat have an experimental block that was a whole block, but we just didn't know which block it was.
 

mercaptovizadeh

ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,894
2,385
326
ok i don't know, i just heard that there was a range of how many experimental q's can be in an exam, so i thought every exam would be different. but i guess it would make sense to have 50 q's worth. didn't the mcat have an experimental block that was a whole block, but we just didn't know which block it was.

The MCAT definitely had an experimental essay. We wrote two essays but only one was scored. But I thought all the multiple choice questions were valid. Either way, it's a completely different because that test is heavily curved (missing 1 or 2 questions drops you from 15 to 14, for example) and we don't even get a raw score (70-something bio and 70-something physical and 60 verbal questions).
 

lankysudanese

antibiotics fetish
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2007
469
0
101
  1. Resident [Any Field]
why would you say it's out of 300 when there are 350 q's on the test? does every test automatically have 50 experimental q's, i don't think so.

I'm pretty sure that 50 questions are experimental. I just heard today that apparently they aren't a single block - they're interspersed among good questions. That might neutralize the claim that you would be hurting someone by placing experimental blocks randomly earlier in the exam and pushing good questions to the end when people are more fatigued.

first of all, it has never been officially stated that the exam is out of 300, or that the maximum score is 300. The truth remains that the scoring of Step 1 is an enigma (nobody knows if the scores follow a normal distribution or not, what the highest score possible is, or whether the score is directly correlated to the % questions answered correctly).
secondly, i don't know how anyone can accurately guess how many experimental questions they got in their test. I had 15-20 questions which I thought were ridiculously tough, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were experimental and were not intended to be used for scoring. It might just be an indication of areas/subjects which have not been addressed (yet) by the review resources on the market, or maybe the questions were on basic material and I just failed to make the connection.

just my thoughts
 

blz

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2002
1,282
4
0
LA
  1. Resident [Any Field]
first of all, it has never been officially stated that the exam is out of 300, or that the maximum score is 300. The truth remains that the scoring of Step 1 is an enigma (nobody knows if the scores follow a normal distribution or not, what the highest score possible is, or whether the score is directly correlated to the % questions answered correctly).
secondly, i don't know how anyone can accurately guess how many experimental questions they got in their test. I had 15-20 questions which I thought were ridiculously tough, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were experimental and were not intended to be used for scoring. It might just be an indication of areas/subjects which have not been addressed (yet) by the review resources on the market, or maybe the questions were on basic material and I just failed to make the connection.

just my thoughts

Yea, I agree.

All the speculation in this thread is useless. "you just heard today from someone" - like they know what they're talking about.
 
This thread is more than 13 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.