NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (2024)

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (1)

by Alec Palmerton, MDin Step 1 Pass-Fail

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NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (2)

Looking for a Step 1 NBME score converter? Do you want to know what you would have scored on Step 1 before it went pass-fail? Are you confused about what to make of the new pass-fail Step 1 and NBME score reports?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we have created a CBSSA to predicted Step 1 score converter. HINT: bookmark this page if you plan on taking any Step 1 NBMEs (PC: “Ctrl + D,” Mac: “Command + D”).

Why is it useful to know what you would have scored on Step 1, even if it’s pass-fail now? Because as we’ve discussed before, Step 1 was the single-best predictor of Step 2 CK scores. And given how important Step 2 CK is becoming in residency applications, it’s useful to know your trajectory so you can course-correct.

NOTE 2/5/2023: new NBME score converters were added for NBME (CBSSA) 18-25. (AKA the old “retired” NBMEs).

Table of Contents

How to Use the NBME Step 1 Score Converter

To use our NBME score conversion tool, all you have to do is count the number of questions you missed. To do so, first click “View Your Results Interactively.”

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (3)

View Your Results Interactively

Finally, enter the number of questions you got incorrect into the NBME Score Converter. The score conversion tool will convert it to your predicted Step 1 score.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (5)

Enter the number of incorrects into the NBME Score Converter to get your predicted Step 1 score

NBME (CBSSA) 25 to Step 1 Score Converter

Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 25 is worth 1.05 points.

To get a 250 on CBSSA 25, you could only miss 21 questions.

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NBME (CBSSA) 26 to Step 1 Score Converter

Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 26 is worth 1.11 points.

To get a 250 on CBSSA 26, you could only miss 23 questions.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (7)

NBME (CBSSA) 27 to Step 1 Score Converter

Like CBSSA 26, each question on Step 1 CBSSA 27 is worth 1.11 points.

To get a 250 on CBSSA 27, you could only miss 23 questions.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (8)

NBME (CBSSA) 28 to Step 1 Score Converter

Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 28 is worth 1.05 points.

To get a 250 on CBSSA 28, you could only miss 23 questions.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (9)

NBME (CBSSA) 29 to Step 1 Score Converter

Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 29 is worth 1.09 points.

To get a 250 on CBSSA 29, you could only miss 23 questions.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (10)

NBME (CBSSA) 30 to Step 1 Score Converter

Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 30 is worth 1.15 points. It is widely considered to be the most challenging NBME, and the best-fit line backs that up.

To get a 250 on CBSSA 30, you could only miss 24 questions.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (11)

CBSSA 18-24 (Retired) NBME Score Converter

For historical purposes, here are calculators for previous (retired) NBMEs 18-24. Note that CBSSA 19 was known for being particularly inaccurate, so treat those results with particular care. For what it is worth, CBSSA 18 was considered to be one of the most accurate of the NBMEs at that time.

NBME (CBSSA) 18 to Step 1 Score Converter

NOTE: NBME (CBSSA) 18 is retired. Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 18 is worth 1.06 points. It was widely considered the most accurate NBME of its cohort.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (12)

NBME (CBSSA) 19 to Step 1 Score Converter

NOTE: NBME (CBSSA) 19 is retired. Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 19 is worth 1.39 points. It was widely considered the LEAST accurate NBME of its cohort. This inaccuracy is likely the reason why it was retired before NBME 18, despite having been released later.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (13)

NBME (CBSSA) 20 to Step 1 Score Converter

NOTE: NBME (CBSSA) 20 is retired. Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 20 is worth 1.02 points.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (14)

NBME (CBSSA) 21 to Step 1 Score Converter

NOTE: NBME (CBSSA) 21 is retired. Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 21 is worth 1.02 points.

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NBME (CBSSA) 22 to Step 1 Score Converter

NOTE: NBME (CBSSA) 22 is retired. Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 22 is worth 0.985 points.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (16)

NBME (CBSSA) 23 to Step 1 Score Converter

NOTE: NBME (CBSSA) 23 is retired. Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 23 is worth 1.04 points.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (17)

NBME (CBSSA) 24 to Step 1 Score Converter

NOTE: NBME (CBSSA) 24 is retired. Each question on Step 1 CBSSA 24 is worth 1.03 points.

NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (18)

Step 1 Passing Score Percentage

What is the Step 1 passing score percentage? We won’t know with certainty. However, we can determine what percentage you would need on each CBSSA (NBME) to pass Step 1.

The passing score percentage for each of the Step 1 NBMEs is:

  • CBSSA 25 – 64% correct (73 incorrect)
  • CBSSA 26 – 64% correct (72 incorrect)
  • CBSSA 27 – 65% correct (71 incorrect)
  • CBSSA 28 – 63% correct (75 incorrect)
  • CBSSA 29 – 64% correct (72 incorrect)
  • CBSSA 30 – 65% correct (71 incorrect)

Assuming Step 1 is scored similarly to CBSSA 25-30, you would need somewhere between 63 to 65% correct to attain the passing score of 196.

How Much Is Each Step 1 NBME Question Worth?

Points per question on CBSSA:

  • 25: 1.05 point/question
  • 26: 1.11 point/question
  • 27: 1.11 point/question
  • 28: 1.05 point/question
  • 29: 1.09 point/question
  • 30: 1.15 point/question

Average points/question for CBSSA 25-30 = 1.09 points

How Many Points is Each Step 1 Question Worth?

The NBME has never stated how many points each question is worth on Step 1. That said, we can make an educated guess on how much each question is worth, to know how close/far away you are/were to passing.

Let’s start with the average points/question of CBSSA 25-30 of 1.09. A Step 1 NBME has 200 questions, while Step 1 has 280 questions. If every single question on Step 1 was worth the same amount, then each question might be worth 1.09 * 200/280 = 0.78 points/question.

Note it has been speculated that up to 25% (80 questions) of Step 1 is “experimental” and won’t contribute to your score. If that were true, then we could assume that each Step 1 question may be close to the 1.09 point/question average for CBSSA 25-30.

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NBME Score Conversion: CBSSA to Step 1 Converter (2024)

FAQs

How does Step 1 compare to NBME? ›

NBMEs consist of four sections of 50 questions while the UWSAs contain four sections of 40 questions. The actual USMLE Step 1 exam is made up of 7 blocks of a maximum of 40 questions per block.

What is the CBSE score equivalent to Step 1? ›

A CBSE score of 70 is approximately equivalent to a score of 200 on the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1. The vast majority of scores range from 45 to 95, and although the scores have the "look and feel" of percent-correct scores, they are not.

Is CBSSA for Step 1? ›

The Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment is for students planning to take the USMLE Step 1.

What score do you need to pass Step 1 on NBME? ›

Examination Feedback

NBME sets a standard of competence for the IFOM BSE that approximates the Step 1 passing standard. The IFOM BSE score that best approximates the Step 1 passing standard is 78.

Which NBMEs are most predictive for Step 1? ›

Many students ask, “Which is the most important NBME?” or “How do I decide which NBMEs to take?” Based on informal student reporting, NBME 28 and UWSA 2 are the most correlated with Step 1 performance.

What is a 90% chance of passing Step 1? ›

A 90% estimated probability of passing Step 1 within a week still means that 1 out of 10 students with the same level of performance will fail based on the predictive model. The estimated probability is not the same as the percentage of the content mastered.

How is the NBMe CBSE score? ›

Beginning in late February of 2022, the Comprehensive Basic Science Subject Exam (CBSE) score reports will include an equated percent correct score.

What is the equated percent correct score on the NBME? ›

Your CBSSA equated percent correct score represents the percentage of the content that you have mastered. It has been sta s cally adjusted to account for slight varia ons in exam form difficulty and may be slightly lower or higher than the actual percentage of ques ons you answered correctly on this specific form.

What is a bad Step 1 score? ›

The lowest passing score possible is 194, which equates to just north of 55% correct of the 350 questions. This score means that you are likely to only be able to match the less competitive specialities. A score of 215 to 230 would be considered as a weaker score, although working towards average.

How many NBMEs should I take for Step 1? ›

How many NBME tests should I take? Three NBME tests seems to be the number to shoot for Step 1 and 2 CK. There are six available Step 1 practice tests, three tests for Step 2 CK, and one test for Step 3.

What is an impressive Step 1 score? ›

The highest score possible on the USMLE Step 1 exam is a 300. As you read above, even a score of 240 is excellent, putting you into the top 15th percentile.

Which NBME to take for Step 1 2024? ›

NBME Free 120 is the closest in terms of the kind of questions you'll be asked as well as simulating the testing environment. The material covered on this test is extremely high-yield; there's also a chance some of the questions asked could appear on your real test.

What is a low pass on the NBME Step 1? ›

NBME provides students a low pass range on their NBME practice exams of 60%-70% with a recommended scoring range of 68%-70% for sense of security on test day. This will vary by student. But the rule of thumb is that if you are scoring consistently in this range, you can move forward with taking the exam.

What is the score equivalent to Step 1 CBSE? ›

Approximate Step 1 Equivalents
CBSE ScoreUSMLE Step 1
≥ 94≥260
92255
90250
10 more rows

What is the average NBME score? ›

Reported Step 1 scores range from 1-300 with a mean of 231 and a standard devia on of 20.

How accurate are the NBME self-assessments? ›

The NBME practice tests are a very accurate predictor of Step 1 and Step 2 CK performance, but only within a week of taking them!

Is Step 1 the hardest exam ever? ›

Traditionally, Step 1 has been thought of as both the most difficult and most important USMLE Step exam. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, this exam is the first in the series, and students taking it will have had less experience with the types of questions that the USMLE asks.

What percent of Step 1 questions are experimental? ›

However, it is estimated that the exam contains a total of 80 experimental questions, ie, that they make up roughly 25% of the exam. This allows the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to gather enough data to determine the performance of said questions.

Is Step 1 written by NBME? ›

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and NBME® work together to co-sponsor the USMLE, which comprises Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3.

References

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