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Step I Board Scores

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by docmemi, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    what is a good (3 digit and 2 digit) score for getting a competitive residency, like anesth/rad/neuro or plastic surg/derm/EM, etc? i read that there are 350 questions....how many out of 350 would be passing and how many correct to get a good score for above competitive residencies?

    thanks in advance.

    (I posted this in the USMLE forum but got no responses. the pre-allo forum is the most active!).
     
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  2. theringworm

    theringworm Senior Member
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    Don't quote me, but this is what I have been told. Hopefully it's correct. I think the national avg is 216-217. Most semi-competitive residencies look for no lower than a 215. Now for the really competitive residencies, i.e. rads, opt. orth, etc the low end that schools would consider would be around 225. I am sure the are exceptions to all of these and it isn't all dependent on Step I scores. I don't know the 2 digit equivalents for these. Your question might be better answered in a different forum instead of the premed one.
     
  3. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    thanks. is the max 260? does anyone know how many correct out of 350 would give you at least a 225?
     
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  4. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    I thought the max was 260?

    The avg for ophtho is 228, the avg for derm is something like 235?
     
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  5. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    maybe its 260. i looked at the usmle website but it doesnt talk about scoring. schools are always trying to get people above avg...im assuming i need to get above a 230 or 235 to get the big residencies. right?? and just to understand this, what would be a good score to get like internal med, peds or family practice??

    thanks for helping everyone. i prolly shouldnt even be worried about this stuff right now.
     
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  6. theringworm

    theringworm Senior Member
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    Once again don't quote me on this, but I think anything no lower than 200 should get you in to a family or internal med. residency. Granted it might not be a big name residency but it's a residency none the less. Peds I would say would be a minimum of 205-210. Also keep in mind, there are more residency spots than there are applicants. The competition comes into play when more people want to go into a certain area of medicine, i.e. plastics, rad, orth. From what I have seen, there seems to be a numerous amount of general/family prac. plus it's not that competitive. So lower scores have better opportunities. A safe number would be a 217-220 for alomst anything. If you want to do, plastic, rad, ortho, opt. then you better make sure you're atleast in the high 220's if not low 230's. Once again residency spots are based on other things so just do your best.
     
  7. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    ok great. now i have a much better idea. thanks.

    the only question remaining for me is about how many questions correct out of 350 corresponds to 210, 215, 220, and 230? even though there might be a curve, im sure there is some sort of rough estimate out there. anyone know?
     
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  8. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    Geez. You havn't even started your M1 year yet. Relax. Have a beer. :hardy:
     
  9. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Clarifications:

    1) Stop worrying so much about Step I until you are at least partway through 1st year, preferably all the way through.
    2) The max score is higher than 260. The highest scores I have heard of, from several people, are in the 280's. Never heard of anyone with a 290 but perhaps it's possible. Don't know the maximum. The NBME and USMLE folks keep this under wraps and never say exactly how things are graded. I know for a fact the max is higher than 260 though for reasons stated above.
    3)A 99, the top 2 digit score, correlates with something like a 245 or even lower. You can't get a 100.
    4) THe average is 218 or so, the 3 digit for passing is about a 182. Standard deviation is around 20 points, use your statistical knowledge to figure things out. Thus, everything above 240 puts you in pretty select company. For competitive fields, a lot of people are in select company though. 2 digit score is NOT a percentile.
    5) Anything above 250 is generally considered "fantastic" and perhaps equivalent to a 40 MCAT, but don't quote me on that.

    I don't know the answer to your "how many questions out of 350" thread. There are a number of the 350 questions which are not actually scored, they are "practice" or "test" questions which are designed to see how people do on them, experimental type. My theory is that there are 350 questions, 50 throw away, and the maximum score is a 300, but I'm probably wrong, because theoretically, with the # of people who take this test, a few people should get perfect scores, like the SAT.

    In terms of matching, people here got their #1 choice in pediatrics with board scores below 190. I have heard of some programs in other specialties that have minimum board scores for granting interviews, but this is often not true. That being said, I received some interview requests when all the program had was my board score and my demographics (things are transmitted separately). In general, top students with good resumes have good board scores as well, so be careful about ascribing success in matching with high board scores. High step I (>250) with mediocre grades and poor LORs won't get you anywhere. It's all taken in context. In my humble opinion, in the comparison between MCAT importance in getting into med school vs USMLE importance in getting into residency, MCATs and med school win. Residency applications have more important things like LORs, your transcript, your extra things (research, papers), and your interview.

    **edit**Step II often doesn't factor into residency. Depending on when you take it (usually after 3rd year but before graduation) it may show up before match day at the programs you are interested in. If you do well, it can help of course. Doing poorly, not so much. So many people take it fairly late (december) and then decide whether to release the reports to their programs before match day.
     
  10. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    nice summary yaah. interesting how the usmle tries to hide grading stuff...like i said i found nothing on the wsite.

    from your post it seems like each questions counts as 1 point. is that true or false?

    dont worry, im relaxed. just am a little bored lately.
     
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