COMQUEST is one of the two main question banks that is designed to help medical students prepare specifically for the COMLEX. (The other is Combank, and you can read its review here.)
I want to give you a thorough review of COMQUEST. This review will answer the following questions:
- What does COMQUEST question bank look like?
- How many questions are there?
- How much does COMQUEST cost?
- Does COMQUEST prepare you for COMLEX?
- Should you buy COMQUEST or not?
(Just as a side note, this review is based on the Level 2 question bank. More likely than not, the quality of the Level 2 question bank should be similar to the Level 1 and Level 3 question banks. So if Level 2 is good, Level 1 and Level 3 should be good.)
It is my hope that by the end of this review, you will have enough information to make an education decision on whether you want to buy this question bank or not.
So, let’s begin.
What Does COMQUEST Question Bank Look Like?
The best way to answer this question is through pictures. As “they” say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
These images have been scaled down. So click on an image to bring up a bigger picture.
The pictures have been removed because COMQUEST asked for them to be removed. I hope the descriptions help.
Picture 1 – Create a New Exam
This is one of the first things you will see as you begin your question bank subscription. You will be very familiar with the “create a new exam” screen.
When you create an exam, you can choose to make the exam timed, untimed, or tutor. If you choose a tutor exam, whenever you answer a question, you will instantly know if you were correct or not. The explanations will appear along with the correct answer.
As you can see, the questions cover many different aspects of medicine. When you create an exam, you can choose the categories you want to be tested on.
You can also type in the number of questions you want for your practice exam. In the COMLEX, a block has 50 questions. So there should not be any need to have more than 50 questions in a practice exam.
Picture 2 – Exam Interface
You will get very used to this screen because this is where you will take your exams.
In the center of the screen, you have the questions and answer choices.
The top left shows the question number.
The top right shows the remaining time left (for timed exams).
You can navigate through the exam with the “previous” and “next” button.
Notice the “mark” and “review” button. I will go into detail about them in a moment.
On top of the “review” button, can bring up the lab values. You can also pause a timed exam.
Picture 3 – Lab Values
This is how the lab values would appear if you clicked on the “lab values” button.
Picture 4 – Exam Interface (Paused and Marked)
In this screenshot, the exam is currently paused. When an exam is paused, the timer stops. You can click on the “resume” button, on top of the “lab values” button to resume the timer.
Also notice that the red “marked” button has replaced the blue “mark” button on the bottom. This means that the question is currently marked.
Picture 5 – Review an Exam
Once you have answered all the questions in an exam, you will want to review it. You can do so by clicking on the “review” button.
Doing so will bring you to this screen.
Notice the red flag and a “yes” under the “marked” column for question 3. That means question 3 was marked. If you click on the “review marked” button, you will only review the marked questions.
You will also want to make sure that you have a “yes” under the “complete” column for each question. If a question is incomplete, click on the “review incomplete” button to review it.
The “review all” button should be self explanatory.
When you review a question, you have the option to change the answer. If you are in the timed or untimed mode, no answer is finalized until you click on the “end exam” button.
(In the tutor mode, an answer is finalized once you select it.)
Picture 6 – Exam Results
Once you end an exam, the results of your exam would be displayed. The average score would also be displayed.
This is good because you have a benchmark to beat.
There is another “review exam” button. This “review exam” button would allow you to go back to each question and read the correct answers and explanations (assuming that you are not in tutor mode).
After every exam, you would want to revisit the exam for the correct answers and explanations. Not doing would make the time you spent taking the exam quite pointless.
Picture 7 – Revisit Past Exams
If for some reason you did not read the correct answers and explanations after you have ended an exam, you can revisit it.
Clicking on the “exam results” button would bring up all the exams you have previously taken. Click on the “review” link under the action column to look at the answers and explanations.
Picture 8 – Explanation
This is what the explanation would look like. It is usually quite lengthy and verbose. But if you want a summary of the explanation, the “take home message” is where you want to look.
Thoughts on COMQUEST Interface
COMQUEST has copied the COMLEX exam layout quite nicely.
There are a few differences though:
- You cannot highlight parts of the question.
- You cannot strikeout answers.
The questions and answer choices are images, instead of text. As a result, the exam feels a little clunky.
I guess that is COMQUEST’s way of making sure you do not pirate its questions.
Is it the best way to prevent pirating? No.
If someone really wanted to pirate the question bank, I am sure it could still be done.
COMQUEST should allow people to copy and paste its questions. (The explanations could be copied and pasted.) Personally, I study by copying and pasting to a Word document. Then I highlight the important parts to make reviewing much faster.
Overall, the interface is good, but not great.
How Many Questions Are There?
This question could be answered by looking at Picture 1. But because I am such a big help, I did the work for you.
There are a total of 1091 questions.
The categories and numbers of questions per category are listed below:
- biostatistics: 38
- cardiology: 78
- dermatology: 34
- endocrine: 68
- GI: 113
- heme / onc: 38
- medical jurisprudence: 46
- musculoskeletal: 38
- nephrology / GU: 49
- neurology: 70
- OB/GYN: 97
- OMM: 123
- pediatrics: 115
- psychiatry: 62
- respiratory: 63
- surgery: 59
How Much Does COMQUEST Cost?
The price depends on the length of your subscription:
- 30-days: $75
- 60-days: $120
- 90-days: $115
- 180-days: $225
- 365-days: $350
If you choose the one-year subscription service, that comes to $0.32 per question. (Combank was $0.19 per question.)
Does COMQUEST Prepare you for COMLEX?
In short … Yes.
I completed 75% of the question bank, mainly in the following sections: psychiatry, pediatrics, OB/GYN, and all medicine specialties. I used COMQUEST to help me prepare for the COMAT (osteopathic shelf exam), which is very similar to COMLEX. (And then I used Combank to prepare me for Step 2.)
I felt that COMQUEST did prepare me for the shelf exam. My shelf exam scores were higher than average. Some practice questions even showed up on the COMAT.
I am strongly convinced that COMLEX tests you on everything, from basic medical sciences to diagnosis to management — no matter if you are taking Step 1, Step 2, or Step 3. Unlike Combank, COMQUEST was very specific to Step 2 (i.e. diagnosing, imaging, initial step in management, screening guidelines, etc.). Its question bank for Step 2 did not have many, if any, questions on basic medical sciences. So do not expect questions about a drug’s mechanism of actions. Expect questions to be clinically-based.
This is both a good and bad thing, from the standpoint of someone taking Step 2. The good thing is that if you are already strong in the first and second year subjects, this question bank would be a very efficient way to prepare for COMLEX. The bad thing is that if you are not strong in the first and second year subjects, and if you did not review Step 1 materials, you may not do well on the exam.
Should You Buy COMQUEST or Not?
You should buy COMQUEST (even if you are already have Combank), mainly because it does help you prepare for the boards.
In addition, the questions were well-written. I did not find any errors. One of my friends had a question and wrote to the company through the question bank interface. To my surprise, she received a response within a few hours. Customer service is superb, much better than Combank’s.
Overall, compared to Combank, this is a more expensive question bank. However, the questions are top-notch and the service is excellent. You do get what you pay for.
Just by using COMQUEST and Combank as a guide on what to study, I successfully passed my first two licensing exams, both on the first try.
New! Learn how to pass COMLEX 2-PE on the first try. See here to find out more.
This article is part of The Complete Guide to COMLEX. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about the osteopathic medical board exams.