Self-Testing Improves Exam Scores Regardless of Self-Testing Average

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Objectives: To determine if there is a relationship between the number of self-testing attempts and subsequent exam grade in a pharmacy course. Method: A total of 1,342 multiple choice questions were developed for pharmacy students to self-test for a pathophysiology course. Prior to each examination, students were allowed to take online quizzes which were randomly generated and related to the exam content. Quizzes were scored immediately, and students were shown the incorrect questions along with all answer choices. A matrix of intercorrelations and repeated measures ANOVA, with post hoc tests, was generated using PASW Statistics Version 19 (IBM, Armonk, NY) to evaluate all variables. Results: 77 of 79 students (97.5%) participated, resulting in a total of 7,042 attempts. Non-participants were assigned a zero. There were variations in both the average practice attempts (18 – 30) and subsequent exam grade (82 – 90) on the 4 exams. However, a significant correlation (p ≤ 0.05) existed between number of attempts and each exam grade (R = 0.478, 0.426, 0.385, and 0.218). For each exam, students were stratified into the upper and lower 50%, according to the number of self-test attempts. On all four exams the lower 50%, based solely on attempts, scored significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) on the subsequent exam based on a two group T-test. Implications: Although self-testing strategies increase recall ability, this strategy is uncommon in pharmacy education. These results suggest that the number of self-testing attempts improves subsequent exam grade, regardless of the score for the self tests. Read More:


Kissimmee, FL

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© Copyright American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. This abstract was originally published in (2012). 113th Annual Meeting of the American Associaton of Colleges of Pharmacy, Kissimmee, FL, July 14-18, 2012. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education: Volume 76, Issue 5, Article 99.

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