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Exam Prep

Your first step toward medical licensure

COMLEX-USA Level 1 measures your knowledge of foundational and basic biomedical sciences relevant to solving clinical problems and promoting osteopathic medical care. The exam has 352 items and is administered over an 8-hour period.

You can prepare for COMLEX-USA Level 1 using self-assessment tools such as COMSAE or WelCOM or through practice exams. Learn more on the NBOME website.

The NBOME’s Road to DO Licensure is also designed to help you prepare for COMLEX-USA and to hear directly from others who have taken the test previously.

Exam registration

Visit the NBOME website to register, submit payment and schedule COMLEX-USA Level 1. If you have trouble registering, contact the Dean’s Office of your school because eligibility is initiated by your dean through a secure web page.

Be sure to read the Bulletin of Information before registering for the test. The NBOME has strict regulations regarding confidentiality and test-taker conduct prior to, during and after the administration of any COMLEX-USA examination.

On exam day

The exam consists of more than 400 multiple choice questions administered over a two four-hour sessions separated by a 40-minute break. Each session allows an optional 10-minute break during which you can access a locker for food, drink, medications or other stored items.

For more on what to expect on Exam Day, visit the NBOME website. Learn more about exam content in the COMLEX-USA Level 1 Blueprint.

After the exam

You’ll need to pass COMLEX-USA Level 1 in order to advance in the examination series. A passing score is based on how many questions you answer correctly on the total examination, not individual content areas. Note that scores are not adjusted or based on any curve due to the performance of others who tested at or about the same time.

You will receive an email providing access to your scores approximately one month after the exam. The minimum passing score for Level 1 is 400.

Note: COMLEX-USA Level 1 will move from reporting numeric scores to reporting only a pass/fail result beginning May 2022. Learn more on the NBOME website.

Visit the NBOME for more information on examination scoring.

  • Pro Tip: To convert your score from three digits to a two-digit percentile, open NBOME's Percentile Score Converter and enter your three-digit score. Next select the examination level and testing cycle of the exam before pressing the Convert button.

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