ERIC Number: EJ1094537
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
Relationships between Preclinical Course Grades and Standardized Exam Performance
Hu, Yinin; Martindale, James R.; LeGallo, Robin D.; White, Casey B.; McGahren, Eugene D.; Schroen, Anneke T.
Advances in Health Sciences Education, v21 n2 p389-399 May 2016
Success in residency matching is largely contingent upon standardized exam scores. Identifying predictors of standardized exam performance could promote primary intervention and lead to design insights for preclinical courses. We hypothesized that clinically relevant courses with an emphasis on higher-order cognitive understanding are most strongly associated with performance on United States Medical Licensing Examination Step exams and National Board of Medical Examiners clinical subject exams. Academic data from students between 2007 and 2012 were collected. Preclinical course scores and standardized exam scores were used for statistical modeling with multiple linear regression. Preclinical courses were categorized as having either a basic science or a clinical knowledge focus. Medical College Admissions Test scores were included as an additional predictive variable. The study sample comprised 795 graduating medical students. Median score on Step 1 was 234 (interquartile range 219-245.5), and 10.2% (81/795) scored lower than one standard deviation below the national average (205). Pathology course score was the strongest predictor of performance on all clinical subject exams and Step exams, outperforming the Medical College Admissions Test in strength of association. Using Pathology score <75 as a screening metric for Step 1 score <205 results in sensitivity and specificity of 37 and 97%, respectively, and a likelihood ratio of 11.9. Performance in Pathology, a clinically relevant course with case-based learning, is significantly related to subsequent performance on standardized exams. Multiple linear regression is useful for identifying courses that have potential as risk stratifiers.
Descriptors: Correlation, Standardized Tests, Scores, Predictor Variables, Graduate Medical Education, Intervention, Licensing Examinations (Professions), Regression (Statistics), Medical Students, Classification, Pathology, Medical Schools, College Entrance Examinations, Case Method (Teaching Technique), Risk, Instructional Design
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Medical College Admission Test; United States Medical Licensing Examination