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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter April 1, 2000

Relationship between academic achievement and COMLEX-USA Level 1 performance: a multisite study

  • HH Baker , RW Foster , BP Bates , MK Cope , TE McWilliams , A Musser and D Yens


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of performance on the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) Level 1 with academic performance at colleges accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Eighteen (95%) of 19 AOA-accredited colleges and 2146 students (91% of those taking the June 1999 examination) met criteria and participated. Students were classified by school representatives on the basis of academic performance in the first 2 years of the curriculum. The relationships of Level 1 performance with assigned classifications and grade point averages (GPAs) were studied. Of students classified in the highest 20% academically, the Level 1 pass rate was 100%, with a mean score of 599. Of students classified in the lowest 5%, the pass rate was 63.5%, with a mean of 416.3. For 16 schools that provided GPAs, the within-school correlations between Level 1 scores and GPAs ranged from r = 0.76 to r = 0.85, with a mean correlation of r = 0.79. School representatives were also asked to indicate, for each student, whether they expected the student to pass the examination. Pass rate for students in the "sure pass" category was 98.9%; "borderline," 82.5%; and "concerns," 61.5%. Academic performance in the first 2 years of osteopathic medical school was strongly associated with performance on COMPLEX-USA Level 1. The national pass rate for this examination was similar to those in previous years, and it remains unclear why school representatives overpredicted the number of failures. Further research is needed.

Published Online: 2000-04-01
Published in Print: 2000-04-01

© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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