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You're busy with residency and just received this year's ITE score. And whether your score was good or bad, you're likely wondering: does my ITE score really matter?

In the grand scheme of things, your ITE score does not matter much. Since the exam is given annually, you’ll likely forget about your intern year ITE when taking the boards as a senior.

The ITE is valuable, as it serves as a benchmark and strongly correlates with your boards score. While you can “fail” the ITE and still pass your boards, that’s ill-advised. The ITE results provide you with valuable information and knowledge self-assessment. 

The ITE score report is personalized to show your performance against that of your peers in the same specialty nationwide and further breaks down the results by your year of training. It categorizes the percentage of correctly answered questions by system and details your performance on each section. This information is pivotal for board preparation, as you can target areas in which you are deficient. Check out this post on how to use your ITE score report to guide boards preparation


Do note that all of the information detailed above is shared with your program, which means that your program director has access to how you performed. Don’t take the exam lightly!

So how much does your ITE score matter? These frequently asked questions will help you decide.

ITE Score FAQs:

  1. Does the senior year ITE score matter more than other years, aside from providing valuable test-prep assessment?

Yes. Your senior year ITE has more value than prior years because it is the most accurate predictor of performance on boards. Time-wise, it’s the closest to the board exam, so the feedback provided is current. Furthermore, the content for the multiple choice questions is the most updated. 

  1. Since program directors have access to scores, what happens if a resident scores poorly?

It depends how low the score is. In most cases, scoring within the bottom 25th percentile causes concern and the program director would issue aid for the resident. This includes, but is not limited to, providing additional resources and/or study time, mentorship from an upper level, taking a leave of absence from rotations to prep, and delaying the board exam by one cycle. The more extreme measures are for those who score poorly in their senior year. 

  1. Why does it matter if I fail my ITE?

If you fail your ITE, you are not receiving the necessary assessment to appropriately prepare for your board exam. A poor score may also look bad for your program if you bring down the average. 


Check out our blog post on what to do next if you had a low ITE score.

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One-on-one tutoring for In-Training Exams and certification boards.
Dr. Mike Ren

Dr. Mike Ren

Mike is a driven tutor and supportive advisor. He is fresh out of residency from Baylor College of Medicine and will join as faculty this fall. His goal in mentorship is to help you achieve your full potential not only in terms of excellent exam scores, but also with respect to acing interviews at top-tier programs. He holds the belief that you learn best from those close to you in training. Dr. Ren is passionate about tutoring and has taught for much of his life – as an SAT tutor in high school, then he taught MCAT for the Princeton Review during his time at SMU and transitioned to an instructor for the family medicine shelf exam at Baylor College of Medicine and the Family medicine in-training and board exams as Chief Resident at Baylor. For years, he has worked closely with the office of student affairs and has experience as an admissions advisor. Dr. Ren has worked with numerous students entering medical and residency and keeps in touch with many of them today as they embark on their road to aspiring physicians. His supportiveness and approachability put his students at ease and provide a safe learning environment where questions and conversation flow. In terms of exam prep, Mike will help you develop critical reasoning skills and as an advisor he will hone your interview skills with insider knowledge to commonly asked admissions questions.
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