The COMLEX, or, Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination, is a set of three standardized medical exams known as Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The second of the three exams, COMLEX Level 2 is unique because it is comprised of two parts: Level 2 Cognitive Evaluation (CE), and Level 2 Performance Evaluation (PE). Level 2-CE is the written portion of COMLEX Level 2, and, according to the NBOME website, “integrates application of knowledge in clinical science and foundational biomedical sciences and osteopathic principles with other physician competencies related to the clinical care of patients and promoting health in supervised clinical settings.”
What is COMLEX Level 2-CE?
Like Level 1, COMLEX Level 2-CE is a very challenging test and does require significant studying. However, comparatively, Level 2-CE carries less weight in the residency interview selection and matching process than Level 1. Still, as average Level 1 scores have risen, Level 2 scores have become increasingly important. Level 2-CE is designed like the other COMLEX exams to assess foundational biomedical sciences and osteopathic principles, however Level 2-CE emphasizes knowledge of clinical science, care, and settings. Success on COMLEX Level 2 ultimately decides if you should be allowed to proceed in your medical studies and anticipated career as a DO.
What content does COMLEX Level 2-CE cover?
COMLEX Level 2-CE requires competence in the areas of: application of osteopathic medical knowledge, osteopathic patient care and osteopathic principles and practice, communication, systems-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism and ethics. In addition Level 2-CE requires knowledge of the following clinical science disciplines: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Osteopathic Principles and Practice, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery.
*Questions are related to diverse clinical and patient presentations and the seven defined competency domains (italicized).
How is COMLEX Level 2-CE scored?
Level 2-CE is scored on a scale of 9-999 with the national average score for first time test takers being 520±100 (for 2016-2017). The lowest passing score for COMLEX Level 2-CE is 400 (as of January 2020). Like Level 1, students who pass Level 2-CE are not allowed to retake the exam. For most students, this means you only get one shot to do the absolute best you can.
How is COMLEX Level 2-CE administered?
Like Level 1, Level 2-CE consists of 400 questions divided into two 4 hour blocks. Examinees are permitted a 40 minute break between sessions and up to a 10 minute break during each session.
Receiving 1-on-1 help from an expert is always helpful. However, for some students, getting personalized help studying for COMLEX Level 2-CE is necessary in order to achieve their goals. We strongly encourage students who fit into one or more of the following categories to contact us and speak with our learning advisor to determine if tutoring is your best option for success.
- If you have previously failed COMLEX Level 1 one or more times, a Level 2-CE tutor will be incredibly beneficial in setting you up for a fail-free Level 2 experience.
- If you have previously failed any of the COMAT shelf exams especially including Medicine, Surgery, OB/GYN, and Pediatrics, you should consider a COMLEX Level 2-CE tutor. Failure on COMLEX related exams is a strong indicator of how you are going to do on Level 2-CE. A tutor will be able to help you identify what is going wrong that is causing you to fail, and work with you to strengthen weak content areas.
- If you have previously failed COMLEX Level 2-CE a tutor can work with you to come up with an action plan for passing and achieving a good score. We strongly urge you to contact us if you previously failed and are still more than 70 points from passing Level 2-CE with 8 or fewer weeks left before your next attempt.
- If you have previously failed USMLE Step 2 CK you are at serious risk for also failing COMLEX Level 2-CE. Since the content of Level 2-CE and Step 2-CK overlap, performance on USMLE Step 2 CK is a strong indicator of what performance on COMLEX Level 2-CE will be. A tutor can help you effectively prepare in order to be successful on Level 2-CE, and can also help prepare you for a Step 2 CK retake if necessary.
At Risk Students
- If you historically have high test anxiety and/or are a poor standardized test taker, a couple tutoring sessions focused on strategy and wellness can be very beneficial to your success. In addition, if preparing for COMLEX Level 1 was a traumatic experience for you, a tutor can help Level 2 prep go smoother.
- If you are more than 80 points away from passing COMLEX Level 2-CE and have 8 or fewer weeks left to study, contact us immediately. By the 8 week mark, students should be at or above passing. An 80 point gap is difficult to bridge without focused help on weak areas.
- If you worked successfully with a tutor for COMLEX Level 1 and found the structure and support helpful, then a Level 2 tutor can likely help you in the same way.
- If you are planning to apply into a competitive residency program or if you are trying to achieve a high score (>600) 1-on-1 tutoring is the best chance you have at accomplishing your goal.
In addition, enjoy our Unused Hour Guarantee! All unused 1-on-1 tutoring hours are fully refundable.