A correlation between pretest and posttest scores for a formative assessment and modified essay question (MEQ) scores for a summative assessment among fifth-year medical students in the gastrointestinal emergency session
Keywords:Pretest, Posttest, Formative assessment, Summative assessment, Modified essay question
Formative testing is used to track and evaluate a (learning) program that is still being implemented. As a result, formative testing can aid intrinsic motivation. Summative assessments are used to examine the competencies of the students, evaluate a previously completed (learning) program, and to qualify them for more advanced educational segments. Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) have a greater ability to test knowledge and factual recall. On the other hand, the modified essay questions (MEQ) aim to assess the problem-solving and the clinical reasoning skills of the students. The present study aims to evaluate the correlation between the pretest and posttest scores for a formative assessment and MEQ score for a summative assessment among fifth-year medical students. This was a retrospective observational study by fifth-year medical students in the gastrointestinal emergency session in the subject of the emergency and trauma in the 2021 academic year. The correlation between the pre-and-posttest scores and the MEQ score was calculated using the correlation coefficient and paired t-test. A total of 100 medical students were enrolled in this study, with 46% males and 54% females. The median of pretest score, posttest score, and mean of MEQ score were six (IQR 5-7), and 10 (IQR 9.8-10), and 70.6 + 9.9 points, respectively. The students were divided into two groups, including students who had a minimum passing level and an MEQ score of greater than or equal to 60 points and had a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 + 0.32, which was higher than those who failed to pass the MPL and with a cumulative grade point average of 2.9 + 0.47. The pretest and posttest scores had a very low correlation with the final MEQ score, with an r value of 0.119 and 0.029, respectively. In conclusion, formative assessment using MCQs had a very low correlation with a final MEQ score for summative assessment. On the other hand, the students who passed the MPL score on the final MEQ had a higher cumulative grade point average than the students who failed to pass the MPL, which was also statistically significant.
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