USMLE Step 1 Percentile Calculator

USMLE Step 1 Percentile Calculators seem to be a desired item, as few appear to exist online. As you go through medical school, you will encounter a number of financial aid questions, scholarships, and random programs that ask for your USMLE Step 1 3-digit score, 2-digit score, and percentile. If you are like most other med students, you (or your non-medical loved ones who don’t understand the actual scoring system) are also just curious where you stand compared to everyone else.  Be forewarned that this is a dark subject: comparing some of the nation’s smartest students against each other means you can still be a genius and come out with a not-so-amazing percentile.Before we get to the actual calculator, it is important to understand what a percentile is, and what the common misconceptions are.  First off, this does NOT calculate the percent of questions you marked correctly on the exam.  The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) keeps a tight lock on those numbers and algorithms.  No one can convert from score to percentage.  The percentile on the other hand is the value at which you performed compared to others taking the exam, best visualized on a normal bell curve, whereby 50% marks the average score of test takers.

Med Student Books Step 1 Percentile Calculator

USMLE Step 1 Percentile Calculator
Enter Your Score Average Standard Deviation

The default average and standard deviation is an approximation to recent national numbers, and may be changed to match what is displayed on a student’s individual Step 1 score report, or approximated to USMLE World displayed averages for a given exam.

Keep in mind that the 2-digit score is neither a percentage nor a percentile.  It is the NBME’s own scale that was historically used to help set a passing rate, and there are rumors that it is in the process of being discontinued altogether. It is also important to note that the NBME purposefully withholds information on percentiles from medical students taking the USMLE board exams, as they specifically state on their site:

Percentiles are not provided in connection with USMLE scores. The calculation and provision of data to be used to rank or make comparisons among examinees is inconsistent with the primary goal of USMLE, which is to provide a series of assessments and recommendations for minimum passing requirements to the state licensing authorities to support decisions about initial licensure.  Furthermore, normative data such as percentiles are easily misinterpreted because, as the examinee group changes across time, the correspondence between percentile values and examinee ability can change.  For these reasons, USMLE does not report percentiles.

After reading all of the above disclaimer, consider yourself thoroughly warned about the implications of using the calculator.  It is recommended, when coming across someone who is not familiar with this policy, to direct them to posts such as this, or the NBME site directly, instead of actually providing them with a less-than-appealing percentile.  Nevertheless, some scholarships and other applications require the value, despite the misunderstanding. With all of the above disclaimer, is hesitant to provide an online USMLE Step 1 3-digit score-to-percentile converting calculator.

5 Responses to USMLE Step 1 Percentile Calculator

  1. Pingback: USMLE Score Percentile Calculator, Now Live | Med Student Books

  2. Pingback: Best USMLE Step 1 Score Calculator, by Clinical Review | Med Student Books

  3. Pingback: January 8th, 2014; Step 2CK Exam Results Thread - USMLE Forums

  4. Peace Ohue says:

    I just finished the practice session questions on the usmle website and I was wondering if you could please check my score equivalent since my average on the three blocks was 70%(cumulative on each of the three blocks – 56%, 84% and 70% respectively)? Kindly let me know what the approximate three digit equivalent would be.

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