dispatchblue

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I have been searching everywhere for some type of chart/table that compares the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 scores of each medical school. Does anyone know where we could find this information? I feel like it would be useful to know how your schools stack up to others.

Now I know a number of schools publish this stuff independently, but that's horrifically inefficient and it would take me days to collect it all. I feel like someone out there has probably already done this (Princeton Review? AMCAS? Anyone?) and I would love to just download some Excel spreadsheet that they created.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 

dispatchblue

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Just to expand this topic a bit, I was wondering what would be a "good" score. Schools often say "we're x standard deviations above the mean" and things like that, but at what point does that start to matter? And what would be a 'good' score?

My next question concerns the quality of students. People who go to Harvard have a much higher base MCAT score and consequently are probably better test takers. This means that they will probably score higher on the USMLE than other schools regardless of whether or not Harvard actually gives them a good education. So how do you know when a school's good scores are actually due to a good education and not just the consequence of having the top students?
 
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87138

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So how do you know when a school's good scores are actually due to a good education and not just the consequence of having the top students?


You don't. And you'll find out when you hit the interview trail that, in a strange twist of fate, every single US Allopathic school's USMLE Step 1 scores are above the national average.
 
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JackInTheBox

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does your undergrad publish average MCAT scores to prospective pre-med students?
I've seen this analogy used before, and I think it's a specious argument at best. There are hundreds of possible majors at any undergrad institution, so it would be dumb for a school to publish MCAT scores. There are going to be thousands of people taking the test, all coming from different fields, so the pre-reqs and classes they've taken may be vastly different. You also have tons of people who want to be doctors, but find out after taking the test that they don't have what it takes. On the other hand, each medical school has at most a few hundred students, all of whom are there for one reason, and one reason only: to earn a medical degree, and they've all followed the exact same curriculum as the other students at that school.

With that said, I do think that Step 1 scores are much lower on the list of things that one should consider when choosing a medical school.
 

Dulcina

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I've seen this analogy used before, and I think it's a specious argument at best. There are hundreds of possible majors at any undergrad institution, so it would be dumb for a school to publish MCAT scores. There are going to be thousands of people taking the test, all coming from different fields, so the pre-reqs and classes they've taken may be vastly different. You also have tons of people who want to be doctors, but find out after taking the test that they don't have what it takes. On the other hand, each medical school has at most a few hundred students, all of whom are there for one reason, and one reason only: to earn a medical degree, and they've all followed the exact same curriculum as the other students at that school.

With that said, I do think that Step 1 scores are much lower on the list of things that one should consider when choosing a medical school.[/quote]

why do you say that? not that i disagree, i'm just curious. I always thought that step 1 scores were important since they determine which residencies are open to you.
 

87138

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I've seen this analogy used before, and I think it's a specious argument at best. There are hundreds of possible majors at any undergrad institution, so it would be dumb for a school to publish MCAT scores. There are going to be thousands of people taking the test, all coming from different fields, so the pre-reqs and classes they've taken may be vastly different. You also have tons of people who want to be doctors, but find out after taking the test that they don't have what it takes. On the other hand, each medical school has at most a few hundred students, all of whom are there for one reason, and one reason only: to earn a medical degree, and they've all followed the exact same curriculum as the other students at that school.

With that said, I do think that Step 1 scores are much lower on the list of things that one should consider when choosing a medical school.[/quote]

why do you say that? not that i disagree, i'm just curious. I always thought that step 1 scores were important since they determine which residencies are open to you.


Yes, your individual Step 1 scores are important for residency applications. But a particular school's average Step 1 score says very little at best, and absolutely nothing at worst.
 

Terpskins99

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With that said, I do think that Step 1 scores are much lower on the list of things that one should consider when choosing a medical school.
Not that it'll make a difference (since most schools do not publicize their Step 1 averages), but any reports of a school with a high failure rate on Step 1 should raise a ton of red flags.
 

alibai3ah

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I agree with JackIntheBox that analogy is absolutely ridiculous. Medical schools have far fewer numbers than undergrads, and therefore they should have a much easier time gathering tangible data from 120-180 students in a class. With respect to the OP's question, I believe that the scores reflect the student's motivation itself and not necesarrily the quality of the education you get at that particular medical school. You can see this even in undergrad, the top schools probably produce a greater number of 37's/38's on the MCATs; however, there are still a good number of students with high MCAT scores that go to "no name" undergrad schools as well. Same thing with USMLE's, the reason that Harvard has a high USMLE average says more about the student's than it does the school.
 

Raryn

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You don't. And you'll find out when you hit the interview trail that, in a strange twist of fate, every single US Allopathic school's USMLE Step 1 scores are above the national average.
The ones that publicize their scores are all above the national average.

If they're below average, why the hell would they tell you?
 

Dulcina

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Yes, your individual Step 1 scores are important for residency applications. But a particular school's average Step 1 score says very little at best, and absolutely nothing at worst.
very little = the ability of the school to prepare you for boards, and
nothing = the quality of the students that year?

hrmmm. i only ask bc i'm debating turning down an interview at a school that reportedly has a high step1 average (but no one will give me a number)
 

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I've seen this analogy used before, and I think it's a specious argument at best. There are hundreds of possible majors at any undergrad institution, so it would be dumb for a school to publish MCAT scores. There are going to be thousands of people taking the test, all coming from different fields, so the pre-reqs and classes they've taken may be vastly different. You also have tons of people who want to be doctors, but find out after taking the test that they don't have what it takes. On the other hand, each medical school has at most a few hundred students, all of whom are there for one reason, and one reason only: to earn a medical degree, and they've all followed the exact same curriculum as the other students at that school.

With that said, I do think that Step 1 scores are much lower on the list of things that one should consider when choosing a medical school.
If you don't like my analogy, refine it to your school's pre-med program. The reason I like that analogy is because your USMLE Step I score is largely a representation of your individual preparation.

Your class average might wind up being somewhere around 220, but in that you'll have people that failed the exam and people that scored over 260. The student that failed took the same courses as the student that got 260, they attended the same lectures, they're both there to be doctors. It comes down to individual preparation and performance.
 

JackInTheBox

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Not that it'll make a difference (since most schools do not publicize their Step 1 averages), but any reports of a school with a high failure rate on Step 1 should raise a ton of red flags.
Just out of curiosity, what would be considered a "high" failure rate? All the schools I've interviewed at always cite a high 90s first time pass rate. Also, the only times I've personally seen schools give hard numbers during their presentations are when the average score is 230+.
 
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87138

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The ones that publicize their scores are all above the national average.

If they're below average, why the hell would they tell you?

Obviously. Did you think I wasn't being sarcastic?
 

Terpskins99

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Just out of curiosity, what would be considered a "high" failure rate? All the schools I've interviewed at always cite a high 90s first time pass rate. Also, the only times I've personally seen schools give hard numbers during their presentations are when the average score is 230+.
And well they should. The average pass rate for first time takers of the USMLE (from an allopathic medical program) is 95%.

So just my opinion, any allopathic school that passes less than a 90% of their first time test-takers should make you think twice about going there (good luck finding this information). Of course, its a no brainer if you have to chose between them versus nobody and waiting another year to re-apply. ;)
 

streetlight

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why can't people just answer his question if there is a compilation of this data available? it's a legit question and if he wants to choose his medical school based on that information, then its his prerogative, not yours.
 

bcat85

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I wish the title of this forum was

"Pre-Allopathic: It doesn't matter how other medical students at a school do, you're the student who determines how good of a doctor you're going to be."

Average Step scores don't matter.

Neither does ranking.

Neither does match list.



But, to answer the OP's original question... A lot of schools do not report their step scores, so it would be unlikely you would find this anywhere.
 

mmmcdowe

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Maybe SDN users should attempt to compile a list of all the Step 1 averages that we can find? I'd be surprised if there wasn't a thread that had done this before.
 

lainapox

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Y'know, we could create a list based on all the stuff we've found out along the interview trail (%p/f as well as numerical score).


I wonder what y'all think about the significance (or insignificance) of the MCAT vs. USMLE(1) ratio. For example, comparing the %p and average scores of different schools with similar admitted student MCAT scores. Would that be useful at all? It might indicate that the school teaches students to be better test-takers, teaches specifically to the USMLE, or genuinely has an awesome and effective curriculum. Or it might mean nothing. What do y'all think?
 

ChubbyChaser

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Maybe SDN users should attempt to compile a list of all the Step 1 averages that we can find? I'd be surprised if there wasn't a thread that had done this before.
theres one out there....i doubt the accuracy of it though.
 

ChubbyChaser

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If you dont even know what a good score is, how on earth are you going to interpret the data?

It's like asking for a match list without knowing which programs are strong.

Each school is going to teach you essentially the same material. That is why everyone uses the same prep books for the boards. Your score is going to be based on how well you retained the info, how well you do on standardized tests and how hard you try
ummm this is a little different than match lists. The mean is roughly 220 so anything above that would be good, 240 is great, 250 is superb.
 

diosa428

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ummm this is a little different than match lists. The mean is roughly 220 so anything above that would be good, 240 is great, 250 is superb.
Aaaand every school probably boasts of an average between 225 - 235. It is somewhat irrelevant b/c some schools have outliers who don't bother studying b/c they've decided to go on to something other than residency and eventually need to pass but don't need the numbers to go into something competitive. Or they don't try hard b/c they want to go into family med. Or whatever. Additionally, who knows if the schools "averages" take into account the failing grades, or only the passing ones? B/c you can't graduate from most schools unless you've passed... so everyone who is graduating has to have passed, even if they didn't do so the first time they took the test. Who knows.
 

lord_jeebus

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Variation in scores within schools is very high.

Variation in scores between schools is low.

Hence, the influence of school choice on USMLE scores is negligible.
 

littlealex

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Honestly it's up to you to study. You're going to feel unprepared no matter where you go. Just have to buckle down and study hard at the end of the day.
Like many above had implied, it's dependent on the student much more than the school.
 

dispatchblue

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Thanks a lot for the help everyone. In general, I'm getting the impression that:

1. USMLE scores are unlikely to tell you very much useful of information.

2. Crappy schools aren't going to report them anyway

3. Most people don't report, so there is probably not going to be the kind of information I was hoping to find.


If anyone else finds something, please shoot me a message or something! Otherwise, I wanted to just say thanks to everyone for taking the post seriously and giving me some feedback.
 
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