watermen

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What is the highest possible score one can get in USMLE? Just curious to know...and what score is consider good enough to get into competitive residencies?
 

notatriagenurse

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I don't think any student will know your answer to the highest possible USMLE score. Call NBME.
 

Benzo4every1

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Highest Ive known someone who had in my school was a 276
Im sure it can go higher than that.
 
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watermen

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Harrie said:
I know you can at least get up to 280, probably higher
Then what about the 2 digits number? Is 99 the highest? Why does USMLE needs 2 digits and 3 digits scores? What is the different? Anyone mind to explain? thanks.

By the way, 280 means what? Does it means one can get into any residency?
 

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watermen said:
Then what about the 2 digits number? Is 99 the highest? Why does USMLE needs 2 digits and 3 digits scores? What is the different? Anyone mind to explain? thanks.

By the way, 280 means what? Does it means one can get into any residency?
280 means that you test very well, little more. It certainly would be an asset to have a 280, but really anything over 235 is very good.

99 is the highest 2-digit score, and the 2-digit score is specifically there for two reasons: one, it helps standardize performance from year to year, as a 210 one year will not be equitable to a 210 from 10 years ago (not that it should really matter, since people who tested 10 years ago rarely apply for residency with you) and the states require an arbitrary 2-digit score of '75' to get licensed. If you are going to start assigning scores, you might as well scale them to all test-takers.
 

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Harrie said:
I know you can at least get up to 280, probably higher
Hpw do you 'know' this? I have seen a 272, with my own eyes. I have never even heard of a 280 and certainly not a higher score.
 

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watermen said:
Then what about the 2 digits number? Is 99 the highest?
Yes, based on the simple rules of our fascinating numerical system, 99 is the highest two digit number. If you get a higher two digit number than 99, then you get to choose any residency you want.

280 does not mean you can get any residency. I have been told that once you get past 240, your residency placement is based more on your interview and other accomplishments, such as AOA, research, awards, etc. 280 would probably get you an interview anywhere in the country however.
 

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scholes said:
Yes, based on the simple rules of our fascinating numerical system, 99 is the highest two digit number. If you get a higher two digit number than 99, then you get to choose any residency you want.
This actually is very funny. I laughed so hard a little pee came out.
 
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watermen

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Thanks for all the replies.

What is the correspoding score of 3 digits to 2 digits? How is it calculated? When it comes to residency, which one will be looked at?

What is the average score of USMLE?

How is USMLE being marked? I mean if one can answer all the questions correctly, why not getting full mark and get the highest possible score? No one ever done it before?
 

SLUsagar

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in terms of top scores, are you guys talking about step 1 and/or 2???

step 1, i've heard of 270-ish scores, never a 280, but def. not saying it's not possible.
(methinks it's probable... :idea: )

step 2, heard of 270's for sure (trusted source), read about 280's from this website's other usmle thread, and judging that most people step 2's are higher than 1, i strongly believe 280's are possible - though i've never heard of a 290 on step 2.

In terms of 2 digit scoring system, i think's a freaking joke that it exists. Agreed, that it's only still present b/c of states' requirement for medical licensure (some states observe 3 digit scores, other anal states require 2 digit scores). Pisses me off b/c so many people, even med students, assume that the 2 digit score is a percentile -- which is flat out WRONG.

I really don't understand the scale either, i.e. why it stops where it does for a 99. At least in terms of step 2 scores, a 270 or 280 will obviously give you a "99"....but stupidly enough :mad: , so will a score of 245-ish.

what the fugging h*ll does that mean then? go figure.
 
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watermen

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SLUsagar said:
in terms of top scores, are you guys talking about step 1 and/or 2???

step 1, i've heard of 270-ish scores, never a 280, but def. not saying it's not possible.
(methinks it's probable... :idea: )

step 2, heard of 270's for sure (trusted source), read about 280's from this website's other usmle thread, and judging that most people step 2's are higher than 1, i strongly believe 280's are possible - though i've never heard of a 290 on step 2.

In terms of 2 digit scoring system, i think's a freaking joke that it exists. Agreed, that it's only still present b/c of states' requirement for medical licensure (some states observe 3 digit scores, other anal states require 2 digit scores). Pisses me off b/c so many people, even med students, assume that the 2 digit score is a percentile -- which is flat out WRONG.

I really don't understand the scale either, i.e. why it stops where it does for a 99. At least in terms of step 2 scores, a 270 or 280 will obviously give you a "99"....but stupidly enough :mad: , so will a score of 245-ish.

what the fugging h*ll does that mean then? go figure.
Thanks for your reply.

Sound like only those who set the questions know why.

I have been looking all around, but to no avail, why are they so secretive about USMLE score?...
 

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SLUsagar said:
I really don't understand the scale either, i.e. why it stops where it does for a 99. At least in terms of step 2 scores, a 270 or 280 will obviously give you a "99"....but stupidly enough :mad: , so will a score of 245-ish.
I heard a rumor that the concept of the two digit score was designed by a person who had scored a 245 on step 1. Apparently, he designed it in order to make him statistically identical to the one plastics applicant that scored a 280. It looks like someone has been sleeping with the president of the NBME.
 

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scholes said:
I heard a rumor that the concept of the two digit score was designed by a person who had scored a 245 on step 1. Apparently, he designed it in order to make him statistically identical to the one plastics applicant that scored a 280. It looks like someone has been sleeping with the president of the NBME.
I know a guy at my school who scored 278. He is a genius. Our dean said it is our school record.

Sorry i asked this on another thread, but here it is again:

"My question is, does anyone know the percentile of the three-digit scores? like, what percentage score 250 and above? 230 and above? (i know a score of 243+(?) is equivalent to 99 two-digit score, but that's not the same as percentile)

Any info would be appreciated!"
 

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Today, I actually heard a PROGRAM DIRECTOR of a very competitive specialty refer to the Step I 2-digit score as a "percentile." I think I almost had a complete loss of bowel AND bladder, much more dramatic than idiopathic's stress incontinence. :)
 

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medstudent123 said:
I know a guy at my school who scored 278. He is a genius. Our dean said it is our school record.

Sorry i asked this on another thread, but here it is again:

"My question is, does anyone know the percentile of the three-digit scores? like, what percentage score 250 and above? 230 and above? (i know a score of 243+(?) is equivalent to 99 two-digit score, but that's not the same as percentile)

Any info would be appreciated!"
Assuming the USMLE grading follows a simple bell curve, within one standard deviation from the mean comprises 68% of the population, or 34% on each side of the median (range: 16th - 84th percentile). Within two SD's comprises 95% of the population, or 47.5% on each side of the median (range: 2.5th percentile - 97.5th percentile). Within three SD's comprises 99.7% of the population, or 49.85% on each side of the median (range: 0.15th percentile - 99.85th percentile).

OK, now lets say the mean is 220 with a SD of 20 (roughly...varies year to year). In a bell curve, mean = median. Therefore, 220 is 50th percentile. 68% of the population is within one SD, so 68% (34% on each side of the median) scored between 200 and 240. Therefore 200 would be 16th percentile and 240 would be 84th percentile. 2 SD's would range 180 - 260 and would include 95% of the population, or 47.5% on each side of the median. So 180 would be 2.5th percentile and 260 would be 97.5th percentile. 160 would be 0.15th percentile and 280 would be 99.85th percentile. If this holds true, 0.15% of test takers should be at or above 280. If 10000 people take step 1 every year, 1500 people should score 280 or higher.

So you see, the guy who got a 245/99 on the test and went around bragging that he scored in the 99th percentile shows that a good step 1 score does not equal intelligence. This person actually scored around the 87th percentile. The irony of bragging about a good score incorrectly is amusing to me.
 

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Sorry to conflict with the reports above, but my understanding is that the scoring maxes out between 250-260. From what I understand, 270 range scores do exist, but there are only a handful each year.

Some competitive residency programs do set cut-offs, since this is easy to do with the software. I think this is maximally around ~220-230.

I think that just like the MCAT, there is a threshold. Once you get past ~230, your score does not matter as much.
 

notatriagenurse

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carrigallen said:
Sorry to conflict with the reports above, but my understanding is that the scoring maxes out between 250-260. From what I understand, 270 range scores do exist, but there are only a handful each year.

Some competitive residency programs do set cut-offs, since this is easy to do with the software. I think this is maximally around ~220-230.

I think that just like the MCAT, there is a threshold. Once you get past ~230, your score does not matter as much.
carrigallen are you assuming then that the USMLE is not a "true bell curve"? This to me is the only possible explanation to what you say in that only a few people can get >280 unlike what scholes is saying with his idea that .15% of the test takers leading to about 1500 people a year getting >280?? Anyone talk to NBME yet??
 

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notatriagenurse said:
carrigallen are you assuming then that the USMLE is not a "true bell curve"? This to me is the only possible explanation to what you say in that only a few people can get >280 unlike what scholes is saying with his idea that .15% of the test takers leading to about 1500 people a year getting >280?? Anyone talk to NBME yet??
scholes made a careless error with his math:

10,000 x 0.15% = 15

P.S. Just do your best and don't worry about the top score.
 

notatriagenurse

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the citizen said:
scholes made a careless error with his math:

10,000 x 0.15% = 15

P.S. Just do your best and don't worry about the top score.
the citizen, I don't care about the top score...I've taken both Steps, got well above average scores, and got many sexy invites for EM during this past interview season.
 

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notatriagenurse said:
the citizen, I don't care about the top score...I've taken both Steps, got well above average scores, and got many sexy invites for EM during this past interview season.
that's interesting considering you're both reading and posting in the "what is the highest possible score in USMLE" thread.

the highest i've heard at my school was someone in the 270s, i'm thinking 274 but i could be mistaken. the school gives us a 4 week step1 study plan based off of that student's schedule.

personally i would be thrilled just to get 240.
 

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zpdoc said:
this year i have heard rumors of a plastics applicant with a 280
Just to state the obvious....Harrie IS the plastics applicant with the 280 Step 2 score.

(Good luck in the match, Harrie, but I am sure you don't need it!)
 

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the citizen said:
scholes made a careless error with his math:

10,000 x 0.15% = 15

P.S. Just do your best and don't worry about the top score.

oh yeah...duh...my bad...like there is really 1500 people running around with those scores...i dont know what i was thinking
 

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Smurfette said:
Just to state the obvious....Harrie IS the plastics applicant with the 280 Step 2 score.

(Good luck in the match, Harrie, but I am sure you don't need it!)

The rumor is that there is someone applying to plastics who got a ~280 on step I (that is not me).
 
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watermen

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Harrie said:
The rumor is that there is someone applying to plastics who got a ~280 on step I (that is not me).
Can I know what most people score to get into competitive residency?

Is USMLE step 1 the most important thing in a doctor's medical career? Getting a low grade means that the doctor's future is not so bright, is this statement true?