The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States (COMLEX) exam comprises of 3 series of Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examinations (OMLE) administered by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME).

Brief Note

· Comlex is like to the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

· The most usual pathway for osteopathic physicians to employ for medical licensure is COMLEX-USA. It is accepted in all 50 states.

· COMLEX-USA has 3-digit standard scores – Level 1, Level 2 (Cognitive Evaluation (CE)) and Level 3 (range of 9-999 and a mean of 500).

· Candidates mostly score between 250 and 800. The minimum passing score is 400 for level 1 and level 2. 350 is the minimum passing score for level 3.

How to study

· Develop a study system.

· Implement it.

· You would score better than average.

· Start with Kaplan USMULE step 1 question bank.

· Do not worry too much.

Tips that no one could give you – The time saving strategy.

1. First – Read the last line of the question.

2. Second – Read the answer choices.

3. You may be able to select the answer before reading the full question.

4. The passage may be a half page long.

5. You have saved your time.

6. Finally – If you cannot opt for the correct answer, read the question fully.

7. This is a successful time-saving strategy.

8. Having enough time for licensing exams will never be an issue anymore.

9. Anyway, review your questions.

10. Rule out the other answers to make sure the selected option is right.

Efficient usage of question banks

· Categorize the question banks.

o Subjects (Pharmacology, Microbiology, etc.)

o Systems (Head, Heart, Limbs, etc.)

· Learn one group of topics before moving to the next group.

· Prevent your mind from overwhelmed.

· In question banks do questions in tutor mode.

· In timed or untimed mode answer all the questions and review.

· Re-reading and re-comprehending take time.

· In tutor mode, once you answer the question, instantaneously you will see the right answer and explanation.

· Either in timed or untimed mode tries 50-100 questions a day.

· 1 hour to finish 10 questions if you thoroughly review each question.

· For 80 questions a day, you need 8 hours of studying.

· Stop after each block – do a review with those questions.

· If you need, try for COMSAE, an official practice exam (400 questions with old COMLEX questions).

· But COMSAE will show only your score and do not review the finished questions.

Comlex level 1 – Study materials

Do not approach with trepidation that will make it difficult to determine the correct answer.

1. 3 months to prepare for level 1.

2. COMLEX level 1 and USMLE step 1 are quite similar.

3. It is a much better learning tool for current question banks.

4. Use a COMLEX specific Question bank (COMBANK or COMQUEST).

5. Law of specificity.

6. Must practice doing questions in a COMLEX writing way.

7. COMBANK and USMLE are the best options.

8. Study OMM before taking COMLEX.

9. OMM is not an insignificant portion of the exam and often makes up 10% of the exams.

10. OMM questions in the exams are easy.

11. But this is not with other subjects like physiology and pathology.

12. Spend few hours for OMM and the result will be high.

COMLEX step 1 will have the following

· Anatomy

· Behavioral Science (Psychiatry)

· Biochemistry

· Genetics

· Immunology

· Microbiology

· Molecular Biology

· Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

· Pathology

· Pharmacology

· Physiology

· Other subjects

Briefing the Breakdown

· Scientific Understanding of Disease Mechanism (subjects listed above) – 75% to 85% of total questions

· History and Physical Exam – 5% to 12% of total questions

· Management – 3% to 7% of total questions

· Diagnostic Technology – 1% to 5% of total questions

· Health Promotion and Disease Prevention – 1% to 5% of total questions

Comlex Level 2 – Study Materials

1. 3 weeks to prepare step 2.

2. General review book.

3. Practice tests – COMSAE, UWorld SA, NBME).

Comlex Level 3 – Study Materials

1. 3 days to prepare for level 3.

2. It is quite expensive that other 3.

3. Use the question bank COMBANK.

4. Try amazon for OMT review book.

5. Manip review book will go good for level 3.


First aid – the most current edition comes in every December. This is your bible. Add notes to missing concepts of Pathoma and UWorld.

Pathoma – use this during pathology.

UWorld – at least pass and ideally two.


Review the first aid bible before you go for the exam.

Have a strong support network.

Master the right sources and be determined.

Overall, better try this exam when you are in the third year, so that you will have a better chance even if you fail.

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