Reliability Evidence for Examination Cut Scores within a Medical School

Milton Severo, Rita Gaio, Daniel Moura, Rui Fontes, Teresa Rodrigues, Adelino Ferreira Leite Moreira, Isaura Tavares, Luis Delgado, Maria Amélia Ferreira Tavares

Abstract


Establishing credible cut scores for performance-type examinations in health professions education can be
challenging. The authors aimed to compare the pass-fail cut-score reliability with the maximum reliability
cut-score from multiple-choice tests (MCTs) designed on different undergraduate disciplines. Using the
cross-sectional evaluation of 1370 tests from six disciplines from Porto medical school, Portugal, in 2010, the
pass-fail cut-score reliability was obtained from the one-parameter logistic model of item response theory model.
The test information curve achieved maximum reliability for ability levels ranging from -1.40 to -0.01 standard
deviations below the average. The pass-fail cut score for estimated ability ranged from -1.36 to 0.25. These
results showed that all MCTs had a pass and fail threshold of competence, and that was appropriate for the
maximum information obtainable from the examination to occur at the pass and fail level; nevertheless, the
maximum information was not achieved in the pass and fail level.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/jel.v1n1p77

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Journal of Education and Learning   ISSN 1927-5250 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5269 (Online)

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