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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-202

Use of international foundations of medicine clinical sciences examination to evaluate students' performance in the local examination at the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
3 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nihar Ranjan Dash
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah 27272
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_339_16

Background: Several medical schools around the world are moving away from isolated, locally developed in-house assessments to the introduction of external examinations into their curriculum. Although the objective varies, it is typically done to evaluate, audit, and compare students' performance to international standards. Similarly, the International Foundations of Medicine-Clinical Sciences Examination (IFOM-CSE) was introduced in the College of Medicine at the University of Sharjah as an external assessment criterion in addition to the existing in-house assessments. The aim of this study was to compare the student performance in this newly introduced IFOM-CSE examination and the existing in-house final examination in the college. Methods: The scores of three consecutive final-year undergraduate medical student batches (2013-2015) who took both the IFOM-CSE and the existing in-house final examination were analyzed. Pearson correlation and one-way analysis of variance test were conducted using SPSS 22. Results: The students' scores in the IFOM-CSE and in the final examination prepared locally were highly correlated with Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.787 for batch 2013, 0.827 for batch 2014, and 0.830 for batch 2015 (P < 0.0005). Interestingly, while the mean scores of the IFOM-CSE among the three batches in the years 2013, 2014, and 2015 (475, 492, and 513, respectively) showed improvement with borderline significance (F[2226] = 2.73, P = 0.067), local examination scores showed a significant improvement during the study period (F[2277] = 52.87, P < 0.0005). Discussion: The findings of this study showed that students' scores in the local examination were consistently correlated with their scores in the IFOM-CSE over all the three batches. Thus, introduction of external examination can be an important evaluation tool to a comprehensive internal assessment system providing evidence of external validity.

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