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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 293-295

Performance of medical students in final professional examination: Can in-course continuous assessments predict students at risk?


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, International Medical University, Seremban, Malaysia
2 Department of Internal Medicine, International Medical University, Seremban, Malaysia
3 Department of Paediatrics, International Medical University, Seremban, Malaysia
4 Department of Family Medicine, International Medical University, Seremban, Malaysia
5 Examination Division, International Medical University, Seremban, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
K Nagandla
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, International Medical University, Seremban
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.261197

Background. Assessment drives students’ learning. It measures the level of students’ understanding. We aimed to determine whether performance in continuous assessment can predict failure in the final professional examination results. Methods. We retrieved the in-course continuous assessment (ICA) and final professional examination results of 3 cohorts of medical students (n = 245) from the examination unit of the International Medical University, Seremban, Malaysia. The ICA was 3 sets of composite marks derived from course works, which includes summative theory paper with short answer questions and 1 of the best answers. The clinical examination includes end-of-posting practical examination. These examinations are conducted every 6 months in semesters 6, 7 and 8; they are graded as pass/fail for each student. The final professional examination including modified essay questions (MEQs), 1 8-question objective structured practical examination (OSPE) and a 16-station objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), were graded as pass/fail. Failure in the continuous assessment that can predict failure in each component of the final professional examination was tested using chi-square test and presented as odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results. Failure in ICA in semesters 6-8 strongly predicts failure in MEQs, OSPE and OSCE of the final professional examination with OR of 3.8-14.3 (all analyses p< 0.001) and OR of 2.4-6.9 (p<0.05). However, the correlation was stronger with MEQs and OSPE compared to OSCE. Conclusion. ICA with theory and clinical examination had a direct relationship with students’ performance in the final examination and is a useful assessment tool.


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