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The United States Medical Licensing Examination score (USMLE score) is given to test takers as a 3-digit score. This score is commonly used by hospitals to determine eligibility for residency and fellowship. The three-digit score is based on a theoretical maximum of 300, but this has not been documented by the NBME / FSMB. Previously, a 2 digit score was also provided, but has since been eliminated. The two-digit score was normalized to the three-digit score such that a 75 was equal to the minimum passing score (currently 192) for the USMLE Step 1. Contrary to popular opinion, the two-digit score does not represent a percentile.
The NBME / FSMB have never clearly stated that the three-digit score is based on an absolute scale with a maximum of 300. However, this is the assumption stated by NBME with regard to their Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment (CBSSA). The minimum passing level for the three-digit score is 192 effective since January 1, 2014 The average score varies by year and tends to be near 220.
The two-digit scoring system has been deleted from USMLE Transcripts effective from April, 2013.
There are a number of score calculators and converters available for the USMLE. A free calculator and converter is available at www.ClinicalReview.com and permits the conversion between the three-digit score and two-digit score, along with an estimate of the percentile based on a probability distribution similar to a Gaussian distribution.
A second calculator is also available at that site which permits the conversion of scores from private testing services to an estimated USMLE score. According to their website, this calculation is based on a regression model that seeks to fit the best curve to the available data.
There are other calculators available. A commonly referenced calculator is available here. This calculator does not perform any conversions, but allows you to estimate your score based on performance from private testing services.
Finally, a calculator is available that permits you to estimate your USMLE Step 1 performance based on a single question bank. That calculator is available with a paid subscription to Kaplan QBank.