CaHRU’s research on differential attainment in postgraduate exams at Birmingham trainer’s conference 2019

CaHRU’s latest research on differential attainment was presented this November 2019 at Birmingham GP Trainer’s Conference at the Hilton Warwick Hotel, Stratford on Avon. Prof Niro Siriwardena of CaHRU who is also R&D lead for assessment at the RCGP presented ‘The evidence surrounding the clinical skills assessment (CSA) and applied knowledge test (AKT) and differential attainment.

The lecture explored the issue of differential attainment in postgraduate medical licensing which remains an important and controversial issue with important ethical and legal implications for exams and educators. The focus has previously been on the possibility of bias against black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) doctors, rather than sex differences or disability, but the talk examined the wider problem of differential attainment through explanatory factors such as educational experience, relationship with educators and peers, and psychological influences such as motivation, insight and expectations.

The talk went on to describe results of recent database studies exploring the issue of candidates with dyslexia and questionnaire studies exploring educational and psychological factors which showed that some aspects of educational experience and insight were significantly associated with performance.


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By Prof Niro Siriwardena

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