Analysis And Comment

What the educators are saying

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7547.972 (Published 20 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:972
  1. Phil Cotton, senior lecturer in general practice1,
  2. Jill Morrison, professor of general practice (jmm4y@clinmed.gl.ac.uk)2
  1. 1 Section of General Practice and Primary Care, Division of Community Based Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 9LX
  2. 2 Section of General Practice and Primary Care, Division of Community Based Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 9LX

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    How much does it matter if students sitting clinical examinations, or being interviewed for medical school, are told about the content of the assessment by fellow students? Concern about “breaches of security” leads assessors to go to extreme lengths, such as keeping groups of candidates apart or frequently changing the content of the assessment. This may not be necessary. Three studies conducted at McMaster University, Canada, looked at the effect of defined violations of test security in a multiple mini-interview process on the outcome of student admissions. The first “leak” by a student about one of the tests was posted on a website within seven minutes of completing the test. Nevertheless, the authors found no differences in performance between students who had been informed by peers and those who had not.

    Combating students' cynicism

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