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Predicting performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge using results from previous examinations

Authors Guiot HM, Franqui-Rivera H

Received 22 July 2018

Accepted for publication 5 November 2018

Published 14 December 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 943—949

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S180786

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Humberto M Guiot,1,2 Hilton Franqui-Rivera1,3

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, PR, USA; 2Department of Microbiology and Medical Zoology, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, PR, USA; 3Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, PR, USA

Background: Finding early specific indicators of failure in the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) could be used to develop early interventions that could solve deficiencies and help at-risk students to ultimately attain a passing score. This study was aimed at determining if the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE) could predict a passing score during the USMLE Step 1. We also assessed if the NBME Medicine Clinical Science Subject Examination (CSSE) or the USMLE Step 1 could predict passing scores during the USMLE Step 2 CK.
Methods: Gender and scores from 724 students who took the USMLE Step 1 were linked and analyzed with the scores of the NBME CBSE, the NBME Medicine CSSE, and the USMLE Step 2 CK using IBM-SPSS.
Results: There were significant correlations between the scores from NBME CBSE and USMLE Step 1 (r=0.73, P≤0.001), between the scores from the NBME Medicine CSSE and the USMLE Step 2 CK (r=0.572, P≤0.001), and between the scores from the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK (r=0.698, P≤0.001). Students with scores <66 in the NBME CBSE were less likely to approve the USMLE Step 1 on their first attempt (P≤0.00001). There was a significant correlation (r=0.684, P≤0.0001) between a score of ≥208 in the USMLE Step 1 and passing the Step 2 CK on the first attempt.
Conclusion: A score <66 in the NBME CBSE might indicate failure during the USMLE Step 1 first take. Similarly, a score <208 in the USMLE Step 1 might predict failure in the USMLE Step 2 CK.

Keywords: USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, NBME CBSE, NBME Medicine CSSE

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