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.


  1. Thank you so much for your advise and help on this topic, I greatly appreciate it! Congratulations on passing the exam and best of luck!

  2. I failed the exam my first time arround as well after doing DIT (a good program in its own right). Since my failure, my scores have been improving but are only about 63% on COMBANK and 67% on COMQUEST. What score would you consider being a good score to pass with? The 67% is a “virgin” score, no repeats.

    • Comquest passing score is 59%, so you should be more than good. Also, it’s strange to see your comquest score is more than combank score. Usually it’s opposite as comquest is a bit harder.

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