Role of formative assessment in predicting academic success among GP registrars: a retrospective longitudinal study

Heggarty, Paula, Teague, Peta-Ann, Alele, Faith, Adu, Mary, and Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S. (2020) Role of formative assessment in predicting academic success among GP registrars: a retrospective longitudinal study. BMJ Open, 10 (11). e040290.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (342kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Objectives The James Cook University General Practice Training (JCU GPT) programme’s internal formative exams were compared with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) pre-entry exams to determine ability to predict final performance in the RACGP fellowship exams.

Design A retrospective longitudinal study.

Setting General Practice (GP) trainees enrolled between 2016 and 2019 at a Registered Training Organisation in regional Queensland, Australia.

Participants 376 GP trainees enrolled in the training programme.

Exposure measures The pre-entry exams were Multiple-Mini Interviews (MMI), Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test. The internal formative exams comprised multiple choice questions (MCQ1 and MCQ2), short answer questions, clinical skills and clinical reasoning.

Primary outcome measure The college exams were Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), Key Feature Problems (KFP) and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Results Correlations (r), coefficients of determination (R2) and OR were used as parameters for estimating strength of relationship and precision of predictive accuracy. SJT and MMI were moderately (r=0.13 to 0.31) and MCQ1 and MCQ2 highly (r=0.37 to 0.53) correlated with all college exams (p<0.05 to p<0.01), with R2 ranging from 0.070 to 0.376. MCQ1 was predictive of failure in all college exams (AKT: OR=2.32, KFP: OR=3.99; OSCE: OR=3.46); while MCQ2 predicted failure in AKT (OR=2.83) and KFP (OR=3.15).

Conclusion We conclude that the internal MCQ formative exams predict performance in the RACGP fellowship exams. We propose that our formative assessment tools could be used as academic markers for early identification of potentially struggling trainees.

Item ID: 65154
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-6055
Keywords: formative assessment; GP registrars; academic success
Copyright Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 00:25
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420399 Health services and systems not elsewhere classified @ 70%
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390402 Education assessment and evaluation @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 70%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 30%
Downloads: Total: 933
Last 12 Months: 65
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page