Assessment is an integral part of the total evaluation process. Methods of assessment of students’ ability are various. Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ) have been widely used for summative assessment and they stimulate students to make a superficial and exam oriented study. Patient Management Problem(PMP)exams expose the students to a situation similar to real life and make them solve a clinical problem. The major aim of this study is to compare of these methods of dental students assessment and their correlation with the total grade-point average (GPA).
This descriptive, analytical, cross-sectional study consisted of 55 third-year dental students in endodontics department of Birjand dental school in 2020. The routine MCQ and the PMP tests was designed based on similar objectives, were carried out simultaneously and implemented in electronic method. The scoring of tests was calculated out of 100.Resulting data were analyzed using independent two sample t-test and Pearson’s correlation test, (P < 0.05).
The participantants were %62 females and %37 males. No significant correlation was observed between the mean PMP(P=0.66) and MCQ(P=0.53) scores of female and male students. The t-test showed statistically significant differences in the MCQ and PMP test scores of students (P<0.001).The Pearson’s correlation test showed a significant correlation between the MCQ scores and total GPA(r=0.36 , P=0.006).
In this study, there is no significant correlation was observed between the PMP scores and total GPA. It indicates that despite high GPA and good practical information, the students were weak at clinical judgment. So using assessing methods such as clinical reasoning tests for dental students can be a good way to measure higher abilities.
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