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What Does Step 1/Level 1 Going Pass/Fail Mean for DOs?

What will the world be like when USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1 are pass/fail? Obviously, something has to take its place. I have been involved in the resident selection process at my program for the last four years, and I can tell you from experience that a decent Step 1/Level 1 exam score gets your foot in the door and increases your chances of landing that audition or an interview.

Low scores automatically get you excluded and impressive marks become significantly important as the final rank list is constructed.

Board scores aren’t the only factor that admissions committees consider, but they are one of the most important and form a benchmark with which to evaluate students. 

Apples & Oranges: Comparing USMLE and COMLEX Scores

Ryan Kelsch contributed to this post.

A great number of DO students take both the USMLE and COMLEX in hopes of broadening their residency options. Others only take the COMLEX, and wonder how they stack up to their USMLE-taking brethren. Program directors and applicants alike want a quick and easy conversion. The two tests are distinct, the scoring algorithms for each are different, and the cohorts examined are dissimilar, but if one were to try to compare apples to oranges, this is how I would do it:

Starting at a 220 or higher? Five reasons to still work with a USMLE tutor

Every once in a while a student will ask the following question: "I've been getting good scores throughout medical school. Do I need to use a tutor to prepare for Step 1?" Though students are generally hoping for a "yes" or "no" reply, the answer is a little more complicated and depends on your priorities and end goal. Based on 13 years of student successes, the simplest answer is: Having a tutor can exponentially increase how high you score on your exam — even if you already know your stuff — and save you precious time, resources and energy in the process. How? Below, we've compiled the five most common benefits of working with one of our tutors:

How I Scored a 790 on COMLEX Level 1, a 263 on USMLE Step 1, and Lived to Write This Blog Post

In the past, we’ve recommended that most DO students not only take the COMLEX but the USMLE as well, which begs the question – how am I supposed to do that?? It’s no small feat, but as someone who has been through it and lived to tell the tale, I strongly believe that, with the right tools, anyone can succeed in these exams. In this post, I’ll share how I scored a 790 on Level 1 and a 263 on Step 1. Hopefully, some of the advice included below will help with your own preparations!

The Best Way to Study for the OMM portion of the COMLEX
Ryan Kelsch by Ryan Kelsch on Jun 9, 2016 in COMLEX, COMLEX Level 1

One of the major problems I've noticed students have when preparing for the COMLEX is that they underestimate the importance of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). It is absolutely high yield, and shouldn't be ignored when studying for any part of the COMLEX. To avoid future suffering, I want to focus now on how to prepare for the OMM portion of the test. 

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