Correlation Between Scores on Weekly Quizzes and Performance on the Annual Resident In-Service Examination

Benjamin J. Wagner, DO; John V. Ashurst, DO, MSc; Thomas Simunich, MS, MBA; and Robert Cooney, MD, MEd
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Accepted: April 22, 2016

Published: August 1, 2016

J Osteopath Med; 116(8): 530-534

Context: Medical residency education relies heavily on the use of written and oral testing as a means of assessing a learner’s knowledge acquisition. In the United States, osteopathic emergency medicine residents take an annual specialty-based resident in-service examination (RISE) for this purpose. Their performance on the RISE helps direct educators’ approach to teaching and training.

Objectives: To determine the correlative strength of residents’ cumulative performance on a series of weekly in-house quizzes with their performance on the RISE.

Methods: In this prospective study, emergency medicine residents took a series of 15 quizzes between August 2013 and January 2014. The quizzes were administered using slides integrated with an audience-response system. Quizzes comprised questions gathered from various question banks and commercial test review resources specific to the specialty of emergency medicine. Effort was made to select questions covering topics tested on the RISE. Scores from each of the quizzes were recorded, and these data were analyzed for correlation with residents’ scores on the RISE.

Results: Sixteen emergency medicine residents from all 4 postgraduate years participated in the study. For various reasons (vacation, illness, away rotations), not all 16 residents participated in each quiz. The mean participation rate over all 15 quizzes was 76.7%, with a mean quiz score of 57.8%. A correlation analysis was conducted between the achieved RISE score and the mean quiz score (excluding any quizzes not taken). Graphical analysis revealed a sufficiently linear relationship between the 2 variables, with no outliers. Both variables were normally distributed, as assessed by the Shapiro-Wilks test (P>.05). A strong positive correlation was found between RISE score and mean quiz score (r[14]=0.75; P=.001), with the mean quiz score over the quizzes taken explaining about 57% of the variance in the achieved RISE score.

Conclusions: The results of this study imply that performance on weekly didactic quizzes may be strongly predictive of RISE performance and as such tracking these data may provide insight to educators and learners as to the most effective direction of their educational efforts.

Read Full Article