Aug 2, 2009
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I just got finished reading the thread about people having 20-30 point discrepancies on their actual score and the practice tests. I want to encourage anyone who experienced this to either submit a rescore, or if you don't want to fork out the $$, send an email to nbme. I really think something is going on here, and the more support we have, the better the chance nbme will take it seriously. I understand we may just be in denial, but I haven't found any threads like this in the past 3 years. So if you feel like you got shanked, and there really was a 20-30 point difference in your scores- at least write nbme an email about it. Especially if you received that "script error" message at some point during the exam. We have nothing to lose at this point!

And if you are one of those random unhappy people who likes to criticize/insult on posts that don't apply to you, please keep your comments to yourself. This forum is meant to be a positive and supportive resource, not a place for you to trash on other people to make yourself feel better. Thanks :)
 

SpiresAAC

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I already submitted my $55 with a rescore request, but I agree with your call for action. Maybe I under-performed on test day, but I would like to know for sure that it was me and not a scoring error. And the only way we are going to be taken seriously is if everyone who legitimately thinks there was an error in scoring their exam contacts NBME with a rescore request or email. If enough people feel there was a scoring error, perhaps they will look into the problem more closely.

I have heard of this kind of stuff happening. Last year a lawyer friend of mine was originally told he had failed the bar exam. He was sure that he had not, and he had his school investigate the scoring. With much persistence and his school on his side, it was discovered that there was a glitch in the scoring of his computer-based exam and he had indeed passed the bar.
 

FractureFixer

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Jul 2, 2009
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Yeah and also send an email to harvard, they must have misread my med school application because FOR SURE I am harvard material......their admissions committee must have some conspiracy against me...:sleep:
 

dbth77

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you guys crack me up, I recommend anyone feeling the impulse to pay for a rescore to just donate the money to charity or something and start to come to grips with reality
 

fergustsi

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I already submitted my $55 with a rescore request, but I agree with your call for action. Maybe I under-performed on test day, but I would like to know for sure that it was me and not a scoring error. And the only way we are going to be taken seriously is if everyone who legitimately thinks there was an error in scoring their exam contacts NBME with a rescore request or email. If enough people feel there was a scoring error, perhaps they will look into the problem more closely.

I have heard of this kind of stuff happening. Last year a lawyer friend of mine was originally told he had failed the bar exam. He was sure that he had not, and he had his school investigate the scoring. With much persistence and his school on his side, it was discovered that there was a glitch in the scoring of his computer-based exam and he had indeed passed the bar.

last i checked when my sister sat for the bar, they were still done on scantron, not computer. i think you might be full of something...
 

cpants

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Man you are gonna be pissed when your rescore comes back 5 points lower.
 

ChimpanzeeMinky

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I sure do hope that you guys who are posting your snide remarks in a thread where it was specifically asked that you refrain from posting your worthless input get what's coming to you on a computer-based test that f's you over.

Anybody that suggests these tests are error-free is displaying a frightening level of naivete. So you think that a scantron based test is susceptible to errors but because another is fully computer-based, it must have 100% accuracy? I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

The scary thing is that even though computer based testing may be even more prone to catastrophic errors such as the ones some here may have experienced, there really is no way to prove it. Without something obvious showing up on review, like a fully empty section, an error is impossible to determine. Thus it is no surprise that most people's review requests are met with unchanged scores.

Those of you that are being arrogantly dismissive of these peoples' concerns should come up out of your holes and combat some of your ignorance by learning about electronic voting systems. There's a reason why many jurisdictions have reversed decisions to use these systems. They are not auditable without a separate paper trail, a solution that would not be effective for computer based testing. The only way to ensure that people don't continue to be screwed is giving up the computer approach and returning to paper and pencil, but I doubt that'll happen.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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I sure do hope that you guys who are posting your snide remarks in a thread where it was specifically asked that you refrain from posting your worthless input get what's coming to you on a computer-based test that f's you over.

Anybody that suggests these tests are error-free is displaying a frightening level of naivete. So you think that a scantron based test is susceptible to errors but because another is fully computer-based, it must have 100% accuracy? I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

The scary thing is that even though computer based testing may be even more prone to catastrophic errors such as the ones some here may have experienced, there really is no way to prove it. Without something obvious showing up on review, like a fully empty section, an error is impossible to determine. Thus it is no surprise that most people's review requests are met with unchanged scores.

Those of you that are being arrogantly dismissive of these peoples' concerns should come up out of your holes and combat some of your ignorance by learning about electronic voting systems. There's a reason why many jurisdictions have reversed decisions to use these systems. They are not auditable without a separate paper trail, a solution that would not be effective for computer based testing. The only way to ensure that people don't continue to be screwed is giving up the computer approach and returning to paper and pencil, but I doubt that'll happen.

There is no convincing evidence that the test is being misgraded. There is also no evidence about the actual level of preparedness of the individuals claiming that they were grossly underperforming.

You are also expressing alot of naivete since the simplest and most likely explanation here is not that the test is faulty (although it is true that it is a plausible explanation).

Suggesting that there is faulty grading opens up the question, is the NBME passing wanna-be physicians who aren't qualified? That is, are people passing Step 1 that shouldn't be passing since the test is not being graded correctly? If people are getting screwed one way, there are likely others benefiting the opposite way. If this is the case, then the examination's validity as a licensing exam, its chief purpose, is in question.
 

FractureFixer

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Jul 2, 2009
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I sure do hope that you guys who are posting your snide remarks in a thread where it was specifically asked that you refrain from posting your worthless input get what's coming to you on a computer-based test that f's you over.

Anybody that suggests these tests are error-free is displaying a frightening level of naivete. So you think that a scantron based test is susceptible to errors but because another is fully computer-based, it must have 100% accuracy? I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

The scary thing is that even though computer based testing may be even more prone to catastrophic errors such as the ones some here may have experienced, there really is no way to prove it. Without something obvious showing up on review, like a fully empty section, an error is impossible to determine. Thus it is no surprise that most people's review requests are met with unchanged scores.

Those of you that are being arrogantly dismissive of these peoples' concerns should come up out of your holes and combat some of your ignorance by learning about electronic voting systems. There's a reason why many jurisdictions have reversed decisions to use these systems. They are not auditable without a separate paper trail, a solution that would not be effective for computer based testing. The only way to ensure that people don't continue to be screwed is giving up the computer approach and returning to paper and pencil, but I doubt that'll happen.
AHH the naivete of a 2012 graduate! :rolleyes:
 
OP
D
Aug 2, 2009
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Wow, after reading this thread, I think there must be an error in the selection process for medical students also. Some of you really embarrass our profession and should be doing something a little more self absorbed to make a living.
 

cpants

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I sure do hope that you guys who are posting your snide remarks in a thread where it was specifically asked that you refrain from posting your worthless input get what's coming to you on a computer-based test that f's you over.

Anybody that suggests these tests are error-free is displaying a frightening level of naivete. So you think that a scantron based test is susceptible to errors but because another is fully computer-based, it must have 100% accuracy? I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

The scary thing is that even though computer based testing may be even more prone to catastrophic errors such as the ones some here may have experienced, there really is no way to prove it. Without something obvious showing up on review, like a fully empty section, an error is impossible to determine. Thus it is no surprise that most people's review requests are met with unchanged scores.

Those of you that are being arrogantly dismissive of these peoples' concerns should come up out of your holes and combat some of your ignorance by learning about electronic voting systems. There's a reason why many jurisdictions have reversed decisions to use these systems. They are not auditable without a separate paper trail, a solution that would not be effective for computer based testing. The only way to ensure that people don't continue to be screwed is giving up the computer approach and returning to paper and pencil, but I doubt that'll happen.
Hmm, which scenario is more likely?

A) The NBME did not adequately debug its software. Nor did they pay any attention to incoming score reports. Therefore they didn't notice an inordinate number of underperforming students. As a result, a bug slipped through the cracks, and lowered your score by 20-30 points.

B) You underperformed.

My vote is for C) Your low score was caused by a virus planted in Fred by the same government agents responsible for 9/11.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Although unlikely they made a mistake, I definitely can see the point of asking for a rescore. You have nothing to lsoe but 55 bucks, not too big of a deal imo. Plus, alot of ppl did have script errors on their tests which I guess can raise some concern, although it may mean nothing. Either way, I want to hear from someone who got a response back after sending in the regrade, I wonder if they just send the same score report back or give some kind of explanation for what they did during the rescoring. In the unlikely result something was changed, all hell is gonna break lose thats for sure.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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Wow, after reading this thread, I think there must be an error in the selection process for medical students also. Some of you really embarrass our profession and should be doing something a little more self absorbed to make a living.
Isn't it very self-absorbed to blame the NBME for your performance on the exam?
 

dbth77

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Wow, after reading this thread, I think there must be an error in the selection process for medical students also. Some of you really embarrass our profession and should be doing something a little more self absorbed to make a living.
funny, I thought the same thing re: selection process. you'd think the people being selected were smart enough to realize they scored low because they scored low, not because of some dramatic nbme error that threatens to overthrow the entire medical licensing process as we know it
 

dbth77

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Isn't it very self-absorbed to blame the NBME for your performance on the exam?
no, we're self-absorbed for accepting our results. the people who aren't self-absorbed are the ones of think so highly of themselves that the only way they could have scored low is if there was a crazy grading error. what a world we live in.
 

ChimpanzeeMinky

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Hmm, which scenario is more likely?

A) The NBME did not adequately debug its software. Nor did they pay any attention to incoming score reports. Therefore they didn't notice an inordinate number of underperforming students. As a result, a bug slipped through the cracks, and lowered your score by 20-30 points.

B) You underperformed.

My vote is for C) Your low score was caused by a virus planted in Fred by the same government agents responsible for 9/11.
I don't know which scenario is more likely, but I can tell you that your characterization of scenario isn't exactly realistic. It is entirely possible, within statistical norms, that a handful of students lost points due to malfunction that went undetected on review.

You guys are pretty scary - you put an awful lot of trust in the system. Is it possible that these grades were all legit and people just underperformed? Sure, but get off their freakin' case when they raise doubts about it.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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You guys are pretty scary - you put an awful lot of trust in the system. Is it possible that these grades were all legit and people just underperformed? Sure, but get off their freakin' case when they raise doubts about it.

The American public puts a lot of trust in the medical profession to self-regulate entry to the profession, part of which is through the NBME's USMLE examinations. Could you imagine the scandal that would erupt in the media if the exams were found to be invalid? At the very least, residency programs would stop trusting USMLE results. The point is that its in the NBME's best interest to keep the USMLE valid.
 

ChimpanzeeMinky

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The American public puts a lot of trust in the medical profession to self-regulate entry to the profession, part of which is through the NBME's USMLE examinations. Could you imagine the scandal that would erupt in the media if the exams were found to be invalid? At the very least, residency programs would stop trusting USMLE results. The point is that its in the NBME's best interest to keep the USMLE valid.
Kind of like the scandal that erupted in the media when the Diebold vote machines were found to have problems? Oh, wait...

You're missing the point anyway. They very well may not know that the there have been serious problems with the software. The errors, being limited, may be limited to specific system configurations or unusual operating circumstances that cause sporadic errors. They are surely not conducting exhaustive investigations into the software every time someone files a rescore request. What makes you think they'd catch these problems? Even if they did catch them, for the reasons you outlined above, it'd hardly be in their best interest to publicly admit to any such problems.

Software is prone to problems, and unless it is built to the specifications required by the space shuttle, there are going to be bugs that get through to release. Most won't be critical, and most critical will be caught and fixed. There are many situations where critical issues make it through, and that possibility is very real in this case. Don't fool yourself - just because you don't understand software doesn't mean the USMLE can't fall prey to these problems.