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ERIC Number: EJ990405
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0260-2938
Psychometric Characteristics of Integrated Multi-Specialty Examinations: Ebel Ratings and Unidimensionality
Homer, Matt; Darling, Jonathan; Pell, Godfrey
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v37 n7 p787-804 2012
Over recent years, UK medical schools have moved to more integrated summative examinations. This paper analyses data from the written assessment of undergraduate medical students to investigate two key psychometric aspects of this type of high-stakes assessment. Firstly, the strength of the relationship between examiner predictions of item performance (as required under the Ebel standard setting method employed) and actual item performance ("facility") in the examination is explored. It is found that there is a systematic pattern of difference between these two measures, with examiners tending to underestimate the difficulty of items classified as relatively easy, and overestimating that of items classified harder. The implications of these differences for standard setting are considered. Secondly, the integration of the assessment raises the question as to whether the student total score in the exam can provide a single meaningful measure of student performance across a broad range of medical specialties. Therefore, Rasch measurement theory is employed to evaluate psychometric characteristics of the examination, including its dimensionality. Once adjustment is made for item interdependency, the examination is shown to be unidimensional with fit to the Rasch model implying that a single underlying trait, clinical knowledge, is being measured. (Contains 2 notes, 3 figures and 4 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom