Official Journal of Indian Psychiatric Society - Telangana State Branch

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TJP. 2016 Volume 2 : Issue 1

Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) as assessment tools for medical student examination

Farooq Ahmed Khan


The Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are one of the most common methods of assessment for medical students. OSCEs have been used in medical schools for the purposes of formative and summative assessment. In the United Kingdom (UK) the term ‘assessment’ is used to refer to the judgment of student’s work and ‘evaluation’ refers to judgment of courses or course delivery and the process of making such judgments. OSCEs have psychometric principles grounded in them like norm-referenced cut-off scores predictive of later examination failures, snapshot performance at one point and clear guidance and criteria for performance outcome. There has been a change in the assessment process in medical education because of advancement of biomedical science and healthcare system though in eighties and nineties biomedical knowledge was assessed by written examinations, faculty ratings were used to judge clinical competency and national examinations were used for promotion to the next level of training[11]. In determining whether OSCEs would deliver a meaningful outcome for assessments some researchers[1] have argued that OSCEs are restrictive, non-discriminative and simplistic. A study[14] found that students undergoing similar courses score higher when assessed by OSCEs compared to standard question and answer scenario. it has been suggested that studying and reporting of institution detail, student information, role of examination, number of circuits, number of sites, number of examinations, recording and scoring system, pass/fail criteria, station duration, OSCE duration, number and detail of examiners, simulated patients and observers, validity, reliability and feasibility are significant in synthesizing the data and studies.

Key words: OSCE, Examination, Medical student, Assessment

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