COMBank COMLEX Level 2 PE Review

COMBank COMLEX Level 2 PE Review


Dr. Kauffman teaches the PE course

Last year I was able to talk with Dr. Joshua Courtney, DO, the founder of COMBank and he mentioned that they were coming out with a product to help students get ready for the COMLEX Level 2 PE. He offered to let me try the COMBank COMLEX PE program and see what I thought before it was released.  Here are a few of my thoughts on the product:

First, I’d like to talk about getting ready for the PE. I think that I am not alone when I say that I was a litt

le nervous going into the PE. Dr. Kauffman breaks down the 

different parts of the PE in a way that made me feel more comfortab

le heading in to the big day. At my school we did OSCE testing and they expressed that it should be sufficient for us to do well when we went to take the PE, but my experience with my school has had ups and downs and I had a little doubt built up about my preparation. Now that I have finished the test and received my results I would say that my school had prepared me to a point. I know that they did a good job with teaching me to interview a patient, do a thorough physical exam, and write a SOAP note based on that experience; however, the PE experience is a little different from my school’s OSCEs and I was

glad that I had a little bit of insight from the COMBank program. One part of the program I really liked is the introduction videos. He goes into detail telling you what the NBOME is looking for in every aspect of the PE. He highlights what is important before entering the room, what they are looking for in your interactions with patients, and what they want to see in your notes. More than anything else this seemed to ease my mind.

The second thing I liked was his pattern for organizing your approach. I won’t go into it here because I feel that his pattern is something you should view the program to understand, but I can say that on test day it helped me. His method was not what I used before studying for the exam, and it is not what I use today, but on test day I felt organized, fast, and thorough.

The third thing I’d like to touch on is the variety of cases. Due to confidentiality required by the NBOME people who take the test are not allowed to talk about their cases and what they saw there, but I can say that the cases from COMBank are incredibly helpful. Obviously not every case I saw was a topic COMBank covered, and if the topic was similar, the flow of the experience varied. I really liked Dr. Kauffman’s ability to break down the cases and give me insight into differential diagnoses and plans. He gives a full synopsis after each case. He runs through scenarios with patients with chronic illnesses, acute problems, and healthy patients and gives assessments and plans for all of them. On test day this gave me the most calming feeling. Knowing that what I was putting in my notes was organized, rational, and legitimate helped the day go more smoothly.

Not everything was perfect for the experience. The interface I used was a little goofy. It could have been a little more intuitive. Also, some video titles didn’t match the title listed or didn’t match their SOAP note they provided. With this said I did get to use the system before it was released for use by the general public. Some of those issues may have been addressed. COMBank has always had solid products with quality content, but over the years of using them they do have a few grammatical and spelling errors fall through. I’m not sure how much I can complain about grammar and spelling since I understand how easy it is for such mistakes to slip through. Again, many of these things may have been fixed by now. The only other complaint I have is that on a few videos he took more than the allotted time, but usually they were fairly well timed.

Overall, I highly recommend their COMLEX PE program. I’ve already recommended it to many of my friends. They offer it in 2 week, 1 month, 2 month, 3 month and 6 month subscriptions. I can’t imagine getting through all 40+ videos in only 2 weeks unless you weren’t busy with rotations. They gave me access for 1 month and I almost finished them all (not quite), but I wish I had finished them all because some of the topics would have been helpful.


As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I have not been financially compensated for this review but was allowed to use their program for free. All opinions are my own.

Preparing For COMLEX Level 1

Three days ago I took the COMLEX Level 1 exam. I prepared for my test using the ComQuest level 1 question bank, and I am glad I did. Unfortunately, it was not my first time taking the COMLEX. Every time the test is administered there are people that fall short, and last summer that was me. I didn’t fail by much, but I didn’t pass on my first try and that really hurt.

When I took the test back in June I felt like I was prepared. I had done a live review course where they even took time to tutor us in how to approach questions, but there was one problem, they required us to use a USMLE based question bank. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a ton at that program, but I was not prepared for the way that questions appear on the COMLEX. On test day back in June I was really thrown off by the style of questions and the way the test asked things. While doing the live program I purchased a COMLEX based qbank to use too, but on test day I was shocked by the stark difference in question styles and topics. The qbank I purchased at that time did not represent the actual COMLEX very well.

This time around I used ComQuest, and I feel it made a big difference (UPDATE: I know it made big difference! I recently received a much higher (passing) score on the COMLEX). In fact, in my first two sections on the COMLEX exam I just took I had 4 questions that felt like they were almost word for word questions that I’d seen using  the ComQuest level 1 question bank.

Now not everything was perfect. I really feel like they have the best questions 6 different question banks that I was able to use, but their overall analysis of you individual questions sets is not as robust as other companies. ComQuest gives you your percentages in each of the subjects, but they are small and harder to follow than other companies.  They also lack a clear line for how well you need to perform on the qbank to be successful on the COMLEX; however, most question banks leave that a little vague. They do provide a question by question breakdown of how many other people got questions right and what answers they chose so you can tell if you are up to par with your peers.

One area they could improve on is the ability to create focused tests. No COMLEX based qbank, that I am aware of, lets you focus tests very well. Some of the USMLE qbanks will let you make a test that focuses on cardiology pharmacology or reproductive physiology, but all the COMLEX qbanks only allow you to focus on subjects as a whole like cardiology, reproductive, or pharmacology

Pros of ComQuest:

  • Questions on topics that show up on the real test.
  • The most accurate feel of questions.
  • Look of the questions bank match COMLEX’s look exactly.
  • Going from COMQuest’s bank to the real COMLEX feels seamless.
  • Their explanations are thorough but not overkill.
  • The “Bottom Line Points” give insight on the most important parts of the questions.
  • Not filled with grammar and spelling errors (which is a huge problem with another bank).
  • It is an osteopathic question bank, not one designed just for the USMLE.

Cons of ComQuest:

  • Lack of a mobile app.
  • They give you a breakdown of your knowledge, but could be more detailed.
  • Reports for your scores are tiny and could be easier to read.
  • Cannot create extremely focused tests.
  • Not able to highlight text in question stems (but no COMLEX qbank can at this time).

Overall impression:

ComQuest is the question bank that I would recommend most for students taking COMLEX level 1. I was thoroughly impressed with how accurately the portrayed the style, feel, and topic of each question in their bank. When test day came the only difference was that I was doing questions at a Prometric center instead of my home.

A deal for readers:

ComQuest has agreed to give a 10% discount to readers of this site. Just use the promotional code OMS10 CODE Expired!. This code is good through February 15, 2013. You can purchase a COMLEX question bank using the coupon code OMS10 at any time and activate your qbank when you are ready. I feel like they made a big difference for me, and highly recommend them to anyone.

I received this product for free from COMQUEST to facilitate in providing this review. By purchasing through my code I receive a sales commission which helps maintain this site. My opinions are my own and reflect my experience with their product accurately.