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  1. #1
    IluvMD is offline Member 510 points
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    How is the shelf curved?

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    I just got done taking my first shelf for Anatomy. It was difficult and the questions were challenging but i think i did ok. I was just wondering if anyone knows how the shelf is curved. According to AUA, I would need a 56 to pass the shelf, is this score based on the % of answers i got right, if not then how is it curve? Thank you for your help..

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    Cyberia is offline Senior Member 515 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by IluvMD View Post
    I just got done taking my first shelf for Anatomy. It was difficult and the questions were challenging but i think i did ok. I was just wondering if anyone knows how the shelf is curved. According to AUA, I would need a 56 to pass the shelf, is this score based on the % of answers i got right, if not then how is it curve? Thank you for your help..
    You get a percentile score based on how other students took the exam. The average is going to be rated at a 70. But keep in mind that's it's EVERYONE who took that exam (US medical students mainly) not just folks at AUA. So if everyone who took the test averaged 85 questions right, then 85 questions would be "worth" a 70 percentile, or 70% on the shelf. Then just figure out the standard deviations from there (1 SD lower is 64). etc.

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    IluvMD is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    You get a percentile score based on how other students took the exam. The average is going to be rated at a 70. But keep in mind that's it's EVERYONE who took that exam (US medical students mainly) not just folks at AUA. So if everyone who took the test averaged 85 questions right, then 85 questions would be "worth" a 70 percentile, or 70% on the shelf. Then just figure out the standard deviations from there (1 SD lower is 64). etc.
    cyberia, thank you for the quick reply. Do you know if the average also include other Caribbean schools who administered the exam or just US medical schools? Will AUA curves the score again based on how its students does? For example, if the class average on the shelf is 10pts lower than the average score, will AUA takes that into consideration? Thanks

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    Cyberia is offline Senior Member 515 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by IluvMD View Post
    cyberia, thank you for the quick reply. Do you know if the average also include other Caribbean schools who administered the exam or just US medical schools? Will AUA curves the score again based on how its students does? For example, if the class average on the shelf is 10pts lower than the average score, will AUA takes that into consideration? Thanks
    For your first question, yes. But the VAST MAJORITY of students taking the exam are US medical students. Almost every medical school uses shelf exams as their "final". Now, not all medical schools actually "use" the grades from the shelf exams to calculate a student's grade..so some students just go in and write all "C's" just to get the hell out of there.
    Does AUA curve the shelf? I honestly don't know, but i don't think they can. I mean, you can write the NBME and get your actual score if you want. And if the NBME found out that their scores were being 'distorted' i don't think they would appreciate it too much..that's why I don't think AUA can manipulate a shelf score. Now AUA might "curve" how much of a % will be part of your final grade. But only the school admin's know the true answer. I will say that if you were passing the class, there's no way you can score lower than the 56. It's around the bottom 2.5-5% of all people who took the exam. And if you're not making at least a 64 on the shelf exams, you're technically failing them (according to the NBME)..

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    IluvMD is offline Member 510 points
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    so in essence there is not really a curve. From my understand, I would take my raw score, subtracted from the mean raw score and divided by the standard deviation. In this case, 6 for 1sd, or 12 for 2 standard dev. Is this right? Thanks cyberia. Appreciate it.

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    pradeepK is offline Member 510 points
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    The shelfs are scored by NBME like cyberia mentioned.. and according to NBME the average is set to 70 and each SD is 8 points.... considering a 56 is just about 2 SD below the mean its a very doable score if you have been passing the mini's.. and remember 2 SD below the mean is only like 5 percentile.... that is a failing grade...ideally you want to be close to 70 on the shelf exams...
    Last edited by pradeepK; 04-13-2010 at 08:06 PM.
    [X] Psych; [X] Surgery; [X] ObGyn; [X] Family; [X] IM; [X] Nephrology ; [*] ?; [ ] Peds; [ ] IM Sub-I; [ ] Radiology; [ ] Cardiology; [ ] 5-7 Electives?

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    iwanabmd is offline Member 516 points
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    2SD below the mean is 5% /2 = 2.5% (because 2.5% below 2SD and 2.5% above 2SD = 5%) . This is important for your statistics questions on STEP. come on Pradeep u should know this!
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  8. #8
    IluvMD is offline Member 510 points
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    Just a hypothetical question. Suppose that the average score is 85 on the shelf, what is the minimum score i need to achieve to get a 56, which is 2 std from the mean? Since 1 std is 6points, does it mean that a 56 would correlates to a score of 73?

    Also, what if the class average falls way short of the mean score on the shelf. Is it possible that 1/2 the class will fail the course or will AUA have its own curve to make sure a certain percent of students pass. The reason I'm asking is because the average scores on the 3 Anatomy minis were around 65, I don't think the class average would be that close on the shelf, perhaps even 10 points less. Does that mean 1/2 the class will fail? Thank you for your clarifications.

  9. #9
    pradeepK is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwanabmd View Post
    2SD below the mean is 5% /2 = 2.5% (because 2.5% below 2SD and 2.5% above 2SD = 5%) . This is important for your statistics questions on STEP. come on Pradeep u should know this!
    Funny you say that.. cuz it was on my COMP and my step... thank god i remembered to divide it by 2 on the exam that counted...
    [X] Psych; [X] Surgery; [X] ObGyn; [X] Family; [X] IM; [X] Nephrology ; [*] ?; [ ] Peds; [ ] IM Sub-I; [ ] Radiology; [ ] Cardiology; [ ] 5-7 Electives?

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    pradeepK is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by IluvMD View Post
    Just a hypothetical question. Suppose that the average score is 85 on the shelf, what is the minimum score i need to achieve to get a 56, which is 2 std from the mean? Since 1 std is 6points, does it mean that a 56 would correlates to a score of 73?

    Also, what if the class average falls way short of the mean score on the shelf. Is it possible that 1/2 the class will fail the course or will AUA have its own curve to make sure a certain percent of students pass. The reason I'm asking is because the average scores on the 3 Anatomy minis were around 65, I don't think the class average would be that close on the shelf, perhaps even 10 points less. Does that mean 1/2 the class will fail? Thank you for your clarifications.
    I am assuming you mean 85/120 questions right not 85% as an average. And first of all the shelf score is not a simple percentage or a percentile. It is simply a two digit score on a scale set by NBME. On their scale 70 is the average score on that exam not 85/120 right. And secondly the SD is dependent on the distribution of scores, there is no direct correlation between number of correct answers and NBME two digit score.
    And your concern about half the class failing.. let me explain it this way.. do u think half of your class is worse than 2.5% of people who take the exam??
    I was in your shoes once and I did the same thing your doing, but its nearly impossible to quantify or rationalize how you did on the shelf.. just have to keep it perspective that getting the minimum score is not difficult and u want to be close to 70 (US average).. to ensure that your learning what your suppose to during the semester..
    [X] Psych; [X] Surgery; [X] ObGyn; [X] Family; [X] IM; [X] Nephrology ; [*] ?; [ ] Peds; [ ] IM Sub-I; [ ] Radiology; [ ] Cardiology; [ ] 5-7 Electives?

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