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Using Simulation Modeling Approach to Predict USMLE Steps 1 and 2 Performances

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, Jr., John Hughes, A. Dexter Samuels


The prediction models for the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 performances were constructed by the Monte Carlo simulation modeling approach via linear regression. The purpose of this study was to build robust simulation models to accurately identify the most important predictors and yield the valid range estimations of the Steps 1 and 2 scores. The application of simulation modeling approach was deemed an effective way in predicting student performances on licensure examinations. Also, sensitivity analysis (a/k/a what-if analysis) in the simulation models was used to predict the magnitudes of Steps 1 and 2 affected by changes in the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Basic Science Subject Board scores. In addition, the study results indicated that the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Verbal Reasoning score and Step 1 score were significant predictors of the Step 2 performance. Hence, institutions could screen qualified student applicants for interviews and document the effectiveness of basic science education program based on the simulation results.

Keywords: Sensitivity Analysis, simulation method, prediction model, USMLE

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