USMLE Scores and Competitiveness for Residencies

How well students do at any given medical school seems to be a pretty well hidden statistic. The National Board of Medical Examiners releases the performance of a medical school only to that school. Medical schools often use their performance on the USMLEs to evaluate their courses. Some schools have posted their USMLE score distributions, but most have not.

Since performance on the MCAT correlates relatively well with performance on the USMLE (see MCAT predicts USMLE scores), schools with the highest admissions MCATs are likely also to have the highest USMLE scores.

As a side note, there has been some debate as to how well MCAT scores predict USMLE step 1 scores. Of the few variables considered, an individual's MCAT score appears to be the best predictor of their future USMLE score. From Bosco et al., 2002:

    Bivariate analyses (Table 1) demonstrated moderate correlations between sciGPA and the individual MCAT scores. Additionally, there was moderate correlation between sciGPA and USMLE Step 1 scores. There were substantial correlations between individual MCAT scores and USMLE Step 1 scores, including the individual Verbal Reasoning scores.

That said, in that study the combination of MCAT score and GPA only accounted for 54% of the variation in USMLE scores, so while there is a "substantial correlation" between the two, the USMLE step 1 score cannot be well predicted by just looking at undergraduate performance.

To find out how your score stacks up, enter your stats in the box above. The stats, which show your competitiveness for particular specialties, are based on national numbers and are not specific to individual programs.

You can find basic pass fail statistics for USMLE Step 1 data.

Here's a distribution of USMLE scores for all test takers:

How competitive am I for residency?

Will you be AOA?:Yes
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Have you done research?:Yes
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Do you have publications?:Yes
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Are you a US senior in med school?:Yes
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