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Old 08-28-2010
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Stats Geographic Location and Timing of the Exam; Effects on the Score

I am an IMG have to take step1 in the U.S in October.
I need to know if there is any considerable negative effect on my score.
is it better or worse for an IMG to take exams in the U.S.A???

I really appreciate it.
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Old 08-28-2010
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Warning! No Effect

It does not matter where you take the exam. They compare the scores to recent US students takers (last six months). This is true no matter where you take the exam whether USA or any other country.

Also, another public myth that I want to dispel. It does not matter which state, city, or time of the year you take the exam. They always have the same standard to which they compare your performance and it's not related to who took the exam with you geographically or in chronology.
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Old 08-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talib View Post
It does not matter where you take the exam. They compare the scores to recent US students takers (last six months). This is true no matter where you take the exam whether USA or any other country.

Also, another public myth that I want to dispel. It does not matter which state, city, or time of the year you take the exam. They always have the same standard to which they compare your performance and it's not related to who took the exam with you geographically or in chronology.
I thought it was the testing pool for 3 months at a time?

Anyway this is true

it does not matter where you take it

also make sure

you do an online NBME to make sure your ready

500 or better and you are.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-01-2010
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I personally feel that its better to take the exam at the start of summer, same time USA students take it. We all know that this exam is graded on a curve so why wouldn't you take it when the largest group of people take it.

At the end of the year is a bad idea because the questions in the bank are slim pickings, meaning your exam could be weighted a lot more on certain subjects and could possibly make things harder.

Taking it at the start of the year is when they introduce untested questions which they slip out after 3 months or so.

So best time to take it: April - Sept.


That is only my personal feeling.

But 1 other thing to make you go hmmmmm, it seems most foreign students take the exam after Sept and they all seem to get 99 (or that's what they say) and if you are curved and don't get 99, then where does that leave you? somebody has to fail the exam. they only allow a certain amount to pass in a year.
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Old 09-01-2010
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Originally Posted by Peewee View Post
But 1 other thing to make you go hmmmmm, it seems most foreign students take the exam after Sept and they all seem to get 99 (or that's what they say) and if you are curved and don't get 99, then where does that leave you? somebody has to fail the exam. they only allow a certain amount to pass in a year.
The Step exams are not curved, never

They do not have to fail people, but they can make some pass that would not.

Got to stopp thinking like that.

If you can get 70% of exam questions correct then you will not fail no matter when you take it.

USMLE exams are not luck, its hard work and getting the questions right.

GL
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Old 09-01-2010
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The Step exams are not curved, never

They do not have to fail people, but they can make some pass that would not.

Got to stopp thinking like that.

If you can get 70% of exam questions correct then you will not fail no matter when you take it.

USMLE exams are not luck, its hard work and getting the questions right.

GL

"They do not have to fail people, but they can make some pass that would not."

thats called curving and if they do it one way, then they most certainly do it the other.

ANd there is no clear cut % right in order to pass. nobody knows what the exact % you need right in order to pass.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peewee View Post
"They do not have to fail people, but they can make some pass that would not."

thats called curving and if they do it one way, then they most certainly do it the other.

ANd there is no clear cut % right in order to pass. nobody knows what the exact % you need right in order to pass.
Yes there is a % correct, in fact I will guarantee that anyone who answers more then 70% correct will never fail and currently 65%

Theres a chart ( not mine made up by the NBME the ones who writes the USMLE)




Believe me it holds true

as far as a curve, the USMLE is never curved, don't think that way, the differences come on the high end not the low end mostly.

If anybody passes because of any adjustment to a test pool it is by something like 1% not 10% so thinking this way does not help.

Shoot for 70% correct on questions and everyone will pass.

Its proven and I proved it myself when I passed step one

GL
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Old 09-01-2010
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that is a nice graph to guide you. I don't doubt that if you score 70 or heck, even 75% right you will pass. But that guide is also misleading, it is not dead on, in fact my 2 digit score doesn't correlate with the 3 digit score, so right there means its not accurate.

there are other threads on here that say the same thing I am saying.. nobody knows what you need to score in order to pass because the exam is so guarded. But your graph does give people people to shoot for a number.

If things were cut and dry as you say they are then there is no reason for waiting 3 to 4 weeks for a score. In fact they should be able to give you the score right after the exam, but they don't.

Which means in order to keep their nice bell curve they have to doctor the results no matter how big or small.

But I understand what you are saying so I respect that.
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Old 09-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peewee View Post
that is a nice graph to guide you. I don't doubt that if you score 70 or heck, even 75% right you will pass. But that guide is also misleading, it is not dead on, in fact my 2 digit score doesn't correlate with the 3 digit score, so right there means its not accurate.

there are other threads on here that say the same thing I am saying.. nobody knows what you need to score in order to pass because the exam is so guarded. But your graph does give people people to shoot for a number.

If things were cut and dry as you say they are then there is no reason for waiting 3 to 4 weeks for a score. In fact they should be able to give you the score right after the exam, but they don't.

Which means in order to keep their nice bell curve they have to doctor the results no matter how big or small.

But I understand what you are saying so I respect that.
The graph was made before the new passing score and its an estimate, it will not be "Bang on" but the way this test is graded for Pass/ fail is not Dead "On" either.

My point is you need at least 65% correct to pass, and 70% ensures that.
To look on the internet for formulas or to believe what ever XYZ says is a waste of time.

This was from the test writers themselves, fine if you doubt them but they write and grade the test.

The main reason the focus is the NBME online shelf exams is because they wanted to quantify the results for students, how the 3 digit NBME result translates into the USMLE 2 digit and 3 digit score, its an estimate based on when 185 was passing, we know that 189 is not passing, so when that happened the % correct went up needed to pass the exam.

As confusing as they want it to be, this graph gives us a guide that estimates a true score based on % of correct answers.

Debate, dispute what ever its as close to what happens with USMLE scoring estimate I have ever found and I love the ability to know that if I score 80% correct all the time I know I will do well, yet those scoring less then 65% must take notice that they may not pass the USMLE.

Before this graph we only had........." I did USMLE World and was getting a 60% on blocks then on the USMLE I had an 85" So how does getting 60% correct on tests truly reflect the USMLE score for us? I think its easy to see that these people,
1. make it up
2. May have payed better attention to the questions on test day
3. Truly studied and was better prepared for the USMLE
but there is no way for us to truly know what is good progress then these posts by strangers.

I failed the USMLE a couple times after reading these posts and I then found out the truth:

You must answer most questions correct
Posters do tell the truth many times yet its about them and what works for them may not work for me
I have to learn to evaluate and answer questions in less then 90 secs
Limited study material is best, it allows proper time to study and focus, it must be as recent as possible
Online Q banks are a Must
NBME exams are good to know if you are ready

Understand I write this because I was mislead yet I succeeded

Good Luck


GL
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