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This Years Mean and SD

Discussion in 'Step I' started by antihero94, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. antihero94

    antihero94 Junior Member
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    I am sorry since I know this has been posted a thousand times already, but what are the mean and standard deviation for this years exam?

    I called my dean and have my score just not my official score report, I am just trying to guestimate my percentile.
     
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  3. nasdr

    nasdr Member
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    mean: 217
    SD: 23

    plz correct me if i'm wrong.
     
  4. tomatoattack

    tomatoattack Junior Member
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    Is the test graded on a bell curve?

    Because one standard deviation away from the mean is approximately the 70th percentile, right? That means you have to have a 240 to get the 70th percentile. Two standard deviations away would be a 263, which would be the 95th percentile.

    I was under the impression that the most competitive residicies had average board scores around the 230's, which would be less that even the 70th percentile. So are the scores just a bunch higher this year or what?

    I was also under the impression that stuff like rad onc, derm, and neurosurg required like 80th percentile and up, which would be more like 250 and up, as opposed to the mid 230's given.

    I am confused any help would be appreciated!
    Let's sort this out!
     
  5. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Silent Sentinel
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    1 SD above the mean is not the 70th percentile, it is the 84th percentile. I think you're getting confused about how 70% of people will score within +/- 1 SD of the mean (68% technically, but close enough to 70%).
     
  6. tomatoattack

    tomatoattack Junior Member
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    Thanks for correction! I am now at least a little less confused (and still need to review how things like bell curves work)
     
  7. coachB

    coachB full fledged member
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    the test is not "graded on a bell curve." the distribution is just a reflection of a large population taking the test. the curve fits the results, not the other way around.
     
  8. Idiopathic

    Idiopathic Newly Minted
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    I disagree. The test is standardized, and the arbitrary three digit score is meant to approximate a specific place on the curve, which is the standard bell curve. The results are specifically manipulated to fit the curve (i.e. a 240 on this years test HAS TO BE one SD from the mean and as such fit at a specific place on the bell curve). This works because no one really knows what a 240 is or how different it is intrinsically from a 260, but the curve tells us that they are nearly 1 SD apart.
     
  9. coachB

    coachB full fledged member
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    you seem to fail to understand that the distribution is due to the results of the population and not the other way around. 240 on this year's test does not have to be one SD from the mean. all the report gives is a mean and SD from "recent administrations."

    standardized means that a 240 this year is the same as a 240 last year or next year. if you had an aberrant year with an abnormal number of high or low scorers, the mean and SD would change. in an extreme situation with a small sample size you might not even have a bell curve.
     
  10. tomatoattack

    tomatoattack Junior Member
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    "if you had an aberrant year with an abnormal number of high or low scorers, the mean and SD would change" The mean and the standard deviation HAVE changed from what everyone was talking about prior to this year ( and by that I mean average 215 and standard deviation of 15)

    "240 on this year's test does not have to be one SD from the mean" 240 on this year's test as far as anyone know DOES HAVE TO be one SD from the mean, because the mean is 217 and the SD is 23, so 240 is exactely one SD from the mean; as of this point in the year anyway.

    Since the "testing year" is for the most part over (due to the fact that most students take the exam in the break between MS2 and MS3) it seems safe to assume that what we are seeing now for the mean and SD are pretty much what it is going to be for the year.

    The ramificaitons of this are that since scores have "gotten better," it is harder to get a really great score this year as opposed to last year. Example: score of 240
    This year: one SD above the mean puts you in the 84th percentile
    Last year: (mean of 215 and SD of 15) almost 2 SDs above the mean so rough approximation of 95th percentile

    So your were better off with a 240 last year vs. this year, because this year you have failed to put as much seperation between yourself and the pack. Both years it would be considered a good score by most, but this year it isn't quite so earthshattering. Either the test is easier or people are studying more or i'm wrong about something.
     
  11. Pinner Doc

    Pinner Doc drop knees, not bombs
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    I think it's clear that the class of 2008 is just plain brilliant ;)
     
  12. tomatoattack

    tomatoattack Junior Member
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    Woot! for class of 2008 :cool:
     

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