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New machine-marked tests for selection into core medical training: evidence from two validation studies

Patterson, F., Carr, V., Zibarras, L. D. , Burr, B., Berkin, L., Plint, S., Irish, B. & Gregory, S. (2009). New machine-marked tests for selection into core medical training: evidence from two validation studies. Clinical Medicine, 9(5), pp. 417-420. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.9-5-417


The objective of this study was to examine whether two machine-marked tests (MMTs), a clinical problem-solving test (CPS) and a situational judgement test (SJT, focusing on professional dilemmas), previously validated for selection into general practice (GP) training in the UK, could provide a valid selection methodology for shortlisting into core medical training (CMT). An exploratory longitudinal design was used to examine the psychometric properties of the MMTs for CMT applicants, and the correlation between MMT scores (time 1) and subsequent CMT interview outcomes (time 2). Independent samples from two consecutive years were used: in 2008 a retrospective analysis of data was used, while in 2009, doctors applying for CMT were asked to complete the MMTs for evaluation purposes. In 2008, a total of 1,711 doctors applied to both CMT and GP training and completed the MMTs. In 2009, a total of 2,265 doctors who applied for CMT completed the MMTs for evaluation purposes. The main outcome measure was the CMT applicants’ interview score. Both the CPS and SJT had good reliability and score distributions for 2008 and 2009 CMT samples, similar to the GP comparison samples. The MMTs were good predictors of performance in the CMT interviews (r0.56, p0.001 in 2008, and r0.61, p0.001 in 2009 for both MMTs combined) and offered incremental validity over the current shortlisting process. The GP MMTs offer an appropriate measurement methodology for selection into CMT, representing a significant innovation for developing selection methodology for CMT. Longer-term studies should be undertaken to assess the validity of all selection techniques used, in terms of CMT training outcome.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: interviews, machine-marked tests, selection, shortlisting, validity
Subjects: R Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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