USMLE score and Residency Chances estimators present for the USMLE & Residency Aspirants a unique table that you will not find neither on the net nor in any book. Now you can correlate all your scores together in one chart including NBME, KAPLAN QBank & USMLE WORLD QBank correlated to the REAL USMLE Step 1, 2 and 3 Performance in 2 digit and 3 digit scores.

Review on Match Services


Match Services or Match Boosters as I like to call are many to count around the net. But only few of them outstand there and are worthy to try. In this post I will go over some facts about the usage of these services and the Do's and Don'ts when selecting a match service.


Audience

Although International Medical Graduates (IMGs) use these services in wide, however, US Medical graduates also need guidance in selecting the programs especially when applying to competitive specialties or university programs that usually demands criteria on the higher side.


Format

Whatever the format of service delivered, the contents are the same: programs criteria! Two major differences between the most. The first is whether it is a web-based access or a book you download. The second is whether they sell you the service via a trusted platform like amazon or lulu or force you to use your payment cards on their vulnerable websites.


Price

This vary widely. Some sell you a yearly subscription which is usually expensive. Some will sell you access per specialty and some will sell you a combo access to all specialties but this will be around 4x the price in average. Some as we mentioned above sell you a book to download where you can read it on your offline computer or any other handheld device or phone, also the price vary. In general, single specialty varies from $40 - $100. Multispecialty might reach $300.


Timing

The best time to buy these services is August - September when you are preparing your list of programs to apply to. Although doing your own home work is advised when researching the program criteria, but this is for sure time consuming as most of the programs don't post them online but you need to email or contact them. This might delay your application and jeopardize your chances too match to a good program, if any.


Why to consider

These services give you access to presumably all programs criteria in the specialty you bought the book for or the service. It save you money by making you refrain from selecting the programs that require criteria you don't have like certain cut off USMLE scores or year of graduation. As mentioned above it will help saving time and energy by doing the toughest part of the work for you. Double checking in some programs or circumstances will not harm and might be advisable. But it will be much time consuming if you are applying for example to Internal Medicine and decided to research hundreds of programs criteria on your own.


Things to consider

1- Don't use services that you need to do the purchase on their website. Your credit card information might be stored on their own servers and issues might happen. I would rather see if they have an option to buy the books on a known trusted site like amazon or bookstore like Lulu or Barnes and Noble.

2- You will only need the service around August to September. Yearly subscription is not needed and almost always way more expensive than the one time purchase. So if you buy a book instead of subscription where you own the product for ever will give you more advantage. This is important just  in case you need to apply again in the next year so you don't have to pay again.

3- Don't buy multispecialty access as you will pay about 4x the price of access to two specialties if you are applying to two different specialties. It is rare that an applicant will apply to 3 specialties and if this happen the 3rd one is usually just few programs for back up which he can figure the criteria on his own with some effort. The alternative to the expensive multispecialty is buying multiple cheaper books from another match service. There is no service better than another, they give you the same information.

4- Buy the service where pervious years applicants wrote reviews about the products. Some services who can control their own websites will write their own reviews and present it to you as if real customers did. This will not happen on Amazon.com, Lulu.com or B&Ns where genuine reviews from real purchases are given or easily recognized.


Products available

Am not here to advertise for any service nor to encourage any applicant on a behavior he or she might not be initially planning for. As I said, most of them will provide you with the same information at their best. I personally used matchadoc few years ago when I matched. The reason I selected them is that they were the most affordable at that time and were recommended by my friends who matched. Am not sure about the market now, you can help me Google it! Good luck!

NBME Q Kaplan Q UW Q Bank USMLE
400 39% 49% 197
410 40% 50% 199
420 42% 51% 200
430 44% 52% 201
440 45% 53% 203
450 47% 54% 206
460 48% 55% 208
470 50% 56% 211
480 52% 57% 213
490 54% 58% 216
500 55% 59% 222
510 57% 60% 225
520 58% 60% 228
530 59% 61% 230
540 60% 62% 232
550 62% 63% 234
560 63% 63% 236
570 64% 64% 238
580 65% 65% 240
590 67% 65% 241
600 68% 66% 242
610 69% 67% 243
620 71% 67% 244
630 72% 68% 245
640 73% 68% 247
650 74% 69% 249
660 75% 70% 250
670 76% 71% 252
680 76% 72% 253
690 77% 73% 255
700 78% 74% 256
710 79% 75% 257
720 79% 76% 258
730 80% 77% 259
740 81% 78% 260
750 81% 79% 261
760 82% 80% 262
770 82% 81% 263
780 83% 82% 264
790 84% 83% 265