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Does Your ITE Score Matter?

You’re busy with residency and just received this year’s ITE score. And whether your score was good or bad, you’re likely wondering: does my ITE score really matter?

In the grand scheme of things, your ITE score does not matter much. Since the exam is given annually, you’ll likely forget about your intern year ITE when taking the boards as a senior.

The ITE is valuable, as it serves as a benchmark and strongly correlates with your boards score. While you can “fail” the ITE and still pass your boards, that’s ill-advised. The ITE results provide you with valuable information and knowledge self-assessment.

The ITE score report is personalized to show your performance against that of your peers in the same specialty nationwide and further breaks down the results by your year of training. It categorizes the percentage of correctly answered questions by system and details your performance on each section. This information is pivotal for board preparation, as you can target areas in which you are deficient. Check out this post on how to use your ITE score report to guide boards preparation.


Do note that all of the information detailed above is shared with your program, which means that your program director has access to how you performed. Don’t take the exam lightly!

So how much does your ITE score matter? These frequently asked questions will help you decide.

ITE Score FAQs:

  1. Does the senior year ITE score matter more than other years, aside from providing valuable test-prep assessment?

Yes. Your senior year ITE has more value than prior years because it is the most accurate predictor of performance on boards. Time-wise, it’s the closest to the board exam, so the feedback provided is current. Furthermore, the content for the multiple choice questions is the most updated.

  1. Since program directors have access to scores, what happens if a resident scores poorly?

It depends how low the score is. In most cases, scoring within the bottom 25th percentile causes concern and the program director would issue aid for the resident. This includes, but is not limited to, providing additional resources and/or study time, mentorship from an upper level, taking a leave of absence from rotations to prep, and delaying the board exam by one cycle. The more extreme measures are for those who score poorly in their senior year.

  1. Why does it matter if I fail my ITE?

If you fail your ITE, you are not receiving the necessary assessment to appropriately prepare for your board exam. A poor score may also look bad for your program if you bring down the average.


Check out our blog post on what to do next if you had a low ITE score.