# Why is the avg. unmatched step 1 so low?

#### Verno

I was looking at the 2010 match stats, and I'm having a hard time figuring out why the average step 1 for unmatched applicants was only 210, when the avg matched is 236. It seems like the average score for the unmatched should be at least low 220, maybe even higher. Statistics is not a strong area for me, so if anyone could shed some light on this seemingly strange distribution, I'd be greatly appreciative. Thanks.

#### odieoh

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I was looking at the 2010 match stats, and I'm having a hard time figuring out why the average step 1 for unmatched applicants was only 210, when the avg matched is 236. It seems like the average score for the unmatched should be at least low 220, maybe even higher. Statistics is not a strong area for me, so if anyone could shed some light on this seemingly strange distribution, I'd be greatly appreciative. Thanks.

What are you basing it on that it should be 220? Overall it makes sense that matched scores>Unmatched scores. . .not sure why you think 210 vs 220 is so strange.

#### MstaKing10

you're probably assuming that ALL applicants (matched or unmatched) have high and more closely clustered step scores so that the average would be about 230 with a small standard deviation. Fact is, there are a larger range of scores than you think, probably averaging 230 with a large standard deviation (10-15 ballpark). Also, for the subgroup of unmatched candidates, while the average is 210, this likely included scores of high 100's to low/mid 220's. This makes sense since most higher 220's and 230's likely belong in the matched category.

#### JMK2005

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I was looking at the 2010 match stats, and I'm having a hard time figuring out why the average step 1 for unmatched applicants was only 210, when the avg matched is 236. It seems like the average score for the unmatched should be at least low 220, maybe even higher. Statistics is not a strong area for me, so if anyone could shed some light on this seemingly strange distribution, I'd be greatly appreciative. Thanks.

Also, the numbers of unmatched applicants is smaller. So a single score of say 200 would have a larger impact on the overall average.

#### Verno

What are you basing it on that it should be 220? Overall it makes sense that matched scores>Unmatched scores. . .not sure why you think 210 vs 220 is so strange.

I was simply basing it on data from other highly competitive specialties. According to the nrmp data for 2009, the difference between matched and unmatched scores in these specialties is less than that seen in Ophthal. For example, Derm; 242 - 231 = 11, Ortho; 238 - 221 = 17, ENT; 240 - 223 = 17, Neuro Surg; 239 - 224 = 15. The difference between the matched and unmatched in Ophthal however is 236 - 210 = 26.

#### JMK2005

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I was simply basing it on data from other highly competitive specialties. According to the nrmp data for 2009, the difference between matched and unmatched scores in these specialties is less than that seen in Ophthal. For example, Derm; 242 - 231 = 11, Ortho; 238 - 221 = 17, ENT; 240 - 223 = 17, Neuro Surg; 239 - 224 = 15. The difference between the matched and unmatched in Ophthal however is 236 - 210 = 26.

What are the differences between matched and unmatched ophthalmology applicants in previous years?

#### JMK2005

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So, it appears the difference between matched an unmatched applicant has been consistent over the years. It is hard to say why without knowing more details about the characteristics between the matched and unmatched groups. All you know is that the two groups are very different with respect to USMLE.

In Derm, the differences between matched and unmatched applicants is smaller with respect to board scores. This may be because derm is much more competitive so you have a lot of applicants with high step 1 scores going unmatched. If you use that logic, then it may mean that ophthalmology is less competitive compared to the other specialties where the differences between match and unmatched are much smaller.

It does say that if you have a 210 and are applying to ophthalmology, better have a back up plan since the numbers are against you.

#### cme2c

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No idea, but do those other specialties have as many FMG applicants? It seems like Ophtho has a fairly high rate. So does that skew stats? I just can't see alot of FMGs clamoring to come do Derm.

#### MstaKing10

I was simply basing it on data from other highly competitive specialties. According to the nrmp data for 2009, the difference between matched and unmatched scores in these specialties is less than that seen in Ophthal. For example, Derm; 242 - 231 = 11, Ortho; 238 - 221 = 17, ENT; 240 - 223 = 17, Neuro Surg; 239 - 224 = 15. The difference between the matched and unmatched in Ophthal however is 236 - 210 = 26.

That's an interesting observation. Don't think competitiveness has anything to do with it as the average for all matched applicants is pretty much the same for all of those specialties. Perhaps more applicants with low board scores attempt ophtho compared to the other specialties, but unfortunately for them, they end up not matching thus bringing the unmatched score average down. Not sure.

#### iluvmac

my guess is that it has to do with the fact that ophtho is the early match..candidates with lower scores apply without much risk because they can just match via the regular match as a backup.

#### puzzled

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Does it matter?. There are very few jobs in ophthalmology in desirable locations, so the better people do not go in ophthalmology. Why should they? Five years with fellowship and you are lucky if you find a job, any job in a saturated location.

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