Medical student education: assessment of medical students


A student’s potential for attainment and more commonly their actual attainment is measured. Aptitude tests, IQ tests and verbal acuity tests can assess potential.

Education is more intensely involved in measuring attainment.

1) Diagnostic assessment; this can theoretically be done on entry in the  course as a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)

2) Formative assessment; this is the on-going assessments throughout the student’s ┬ácourse in order for them to improve. Coursework and assignments are forms of formative assessment

3) Ipsative assessment; this is where student’s are measured against their own previous performance

4) Summarive assessment; this measurement takes place at the end of the course to see whether the student has axhieved the course’s goals. External examiners can be involved in summaritive assessment which gives an indepedent view on the student’s standard

Assessments must be sufficient, valid and reliable.

1) Sufficiency involves the amount of evidence gathered to make a decision on the standard of learning achieved

2) Validity is whether the assessment is measuring what it is supposed to be measuring

3) Reliability is whether the assessment would have the same result irrespective on whether an external or internal examiner would be doing the assessment. Multiple choice questions (MCQs) have better reliability than open-ended questions.

Different types of assessment instruments are available


– Observation of practice

– Presentations


– Essays

– Short answer tests

– Research project evaluations