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Performance and views of examiners in the Applied Knowledge Test for the nMRCGP licensing examination

By Aloysius Niroshan Siriwardena, Hilton Dixon, Carol Blow, Bill Irish and Paul Milne


BACKGROUND: A new computer-based Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) has been developed for the licensing examination for general practice administered by the Royal College of General Practitioners. AIM: The aim of this evaluation was to assess the acceptability, feasibility, and validity of the test as well as its transfer to a computerised format at local test centres. DESIGN OF STUDY: Computer-based test and postal questionnaire. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Panel of examiners, Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) examination, UK. METHOD: Self-administered postal questionnaires were sent to examiners not involved with the development of the test after completing it. Their performance scores were compared with those of candidates. RESULTS: The majority of participants (80.9%) were satisfied with the new computer-based test. Responses relating to content and attitudes to the test were also positive overall, but some problems with content were highlighted. Fewer examiners (61.9%) were positive about the physical comfort of the test centre, including seating, heating, and lighting. Examiners had significantly higher scores (mean 83.3%, range 69 to 93%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 81.9 to 84.7%) than 'real' candidates (mean 75.0%, range 45 to 94%, 95% CI = 74.6 to 75.5%), who subsequently took an identical test. CONCLUSION: The new computer-based licensing test (the AKT) was found to be acceptable to the majority of examiners. The pass-fail standard, determined by routine methods including an Angoff procedure, was supported by the higher success rate of examiners compared with candidates. The use of selected groups to assess high-stakes (licensing) examinations can be useful for assessing test validit

Topics: A300 Clinical Medicine, X300 Academic studies in Education
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioner
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.3399/bjgp09X395111
OAI identifier:
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