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.