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Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by WanabeDR, Aug 7, 2001.

  1. WanabeDR

    WanabeDR Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2001
    I am confused between USMLE & COMLEX exams. Would someone please tell me what are the differences between these two exams? And dose every one in medical school take both of them? :eek:
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  3. prolixless

    prolixless Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    The USMLE and the COMLEX are virtually identical in content except that the COMLEX also tests on osteopathic practices and principles. Also, the USMLE is a one day test whereas the COMLEX is a two day test. Hence the COMLEX is a longer test. DO students must take the COMLEX yet may also take the USMLE if they believe it will aid them in applying for an MD residency program. MD students must take the USMLE and cannot opt to take the COMLEX because they do not learn osteopathic principles and practice in MD school, nor do they have the option of applying to DO residency programs. One other thing: the general consensus on the comparative difficulty of the two exams is that they are just about equal in difficulty.
  4. Wheazer

    Wheazer Junior Member

    Aug 12, 2001
    I am a fourth year and have taken both exams. Generally speaking, they test your ability to study, cram, and vomit information equally but do so differently. The COMLEX is two days of torture. Four hundred questions each day divided into two blocks of 200 questions in a day (800 questions total) The exam was trial by volume, encompassing "buzz words" and common topics to minutia certainly not taught in this continent. The osteopathic questions were easy if you studied for a day or two. The USMLE was a computerized test lasting one day. It required more problem solving, and the difficult questions were generally something learned in your medical career. There are 7 blocks of 50 questions lasting one hour and break time of one hour to be divided at your discretion. The content differs somewhat between the two. I felt basic sciences were tested more rigorously on USMLE than COMLEX and USMLE was easier to take due to a single day of testing. However, I performed equally well on both exams with nearly identical scores. I think this speaks to equivalent teaching, testing and some modified studying.

    Good luck,

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