Outcomes and Analysis: Step 1 Self-Assessment Week Results

Remy Schneider - Apr 12, 2019

Update:  On January 26, 2022, the USMLE®  Step 1 exam became pass/fail. This means you are no longer dependent on the previous three-digit score. Read the official USMLE announcement here.

The first annual AMBOSS USMLE® Step 1 Self-Assessment Week just ended! Over 9,500 students from the United States (and the world) participated and have already received their approximate 3-digit score report and personalized learning recommendations. Students from over 190 U.S. medical schools answered over one million questions.

The Self-Assessment Week took place March 30-April 7, 2019. It consisted of a practice version of the USMLE Step 1 exam with 4 question blocks of 40 questions each (160 questions total) and was presented in the USMLE’s official timed format. It was the first self-assessment of its kind, using performance statistics from this year’s cohort of Step 1 takers.


The Outcome

Students received an approximate 3-digit predictive score on Tuesday, April 9th. The score range was 1-300, with a mean of 229 and a standard deviation of 20. Out of all participants, the highest score was 277 and the lowest was 155. Most students scored between 216-230 on the assessment.


Range of Student Scores



This score range includes Step 1 students from medical schools across the United States, which includes both MD and DO schools.

Participating U.S. Medical Schools



For students who took the self-assessment, the most challenging topics included Diabetes Mellitus and Hepatitis B, while some of the most challenging disciplines including Pathology and Biochemistry & Nutrition.

Topics Most Likely to be Answered Incorrectly




Percentage of Correct Answers by Discipline

Group 12


The most challenging question for medical students tested pathologic findings seen in glucagonoma, and only 21% of medical students got it correct. The easiest question covered professional communication when delivering serious news, which over 93% of US students got correct.


Toughest Question

Screenshot 2019-04-10 at 13.44.10


Easiest Question

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How to Analyze Your Performance and Score Higher with AMBOSS

Self-assessment participants can review any questions from the practice exam to help them better understand the topics covered. Powerful features in AMBOSS and a high-yield Knowledge Library help students learn how to get questions right in the future.

By using Guidance Mode, answer explanations, the Qbank and Knowledge Library side-by-side and other features, students can close knowledge gaps to help them score higher on the real Step 1 exam. In the video below, you can see the review process broken down into easy-to-follow steps.





How Scores Were Calculated

As with any other self-assessment, AMBOSS’ can only provide an estimate of how students will perform on the actual USMLE® Step 1 exam. While accurately predicting the exact score of every participant is impossible, we hope that our score can provide a good approximation of your future USMLE® Step 1 score. The predicted score was only one part of our analysis, however. We are confident your listed relative strengths and weaknesses will be a beneficial guide as you continue with your studies.

In addition to that, our questions are slightly more challenging than questions you may find in other self-assessments, and we have made adjustments to scores based on their difficulty. We did this when creating the self-assessment because we anticipated that users would have more opportunities to learn from these when reviewing their answers.

Interested in taking self-assessments for USMLE or NBME Shelf exams? Let us know!

We’ll email you with announcements as soon as our other self-assessments become available.