New Unlocking Assessment Video Series Helps Medical Students Understand Test Questions

•Review real, recently retired test questions•Gain insights from NBME physicians who authored cases and questions•Understand how other medical students review test questions when determining a response

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To help medical students and residents better understand how exam questions measure their clinical knowledge during their education and training, NBME launched a new video series, Unlocking Assessment: Keys to Understanding Test Questions. The first three episodes are now available exclusively on NBME’s website.

Featuring medical students interacting with NBME staff physicians, Miguel Paniagua, MD, and Tom Rebbecchi, MD, each video spotlights an example test question for an interactive discussion about how exam items are created. The videos also illustrate how question authors analyze a clinical scenario when creating content for NBME exams.   

Developed by NBME, the videos provide valuable information for examinees seeking to understand how to best demonstrate their clinical knowledge on NBME exams such as the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®), NBME® Subject Examinations, medical school exams created using Customized Assessment Services and International Foundations of Medicine® exams.

A variety of fourth-year students from medical schools around the United States appear in each episode. They participate in interactive, clinical decision-making discussions so others can learn directly from the resources of NBME.

Dr. Paniagua believes the video series can serve as an important resource for students as they continue their medical education in an era of social distancing.

“We felt compelled to reach out to students and provide a forum where they can learn how patient scenarios are conceived for NBME exams. Plus, students and residents can gain insights for how to approach these questions,” Paniagua said. “We hope these virtual ‘attending rounds’ contribute to interactive learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At the beginning of each episode, the student panel is presented with a multiple-choice question previously used in actual assessments. Following students’ discussion about the answer options, Drs. Paniagua and Rebbecchi analyze the clinical scenario from the point-of-view of a practicing physician. Then, the physicians share skills with the participants on determining the best possible response with clinical decision-making in mind.

“Once the correct answer is revealed, the group discusses what medical knowledge or competency the question was designed to test, and how those learnings apply to an actual clinical encounter,” Dr. Rebbecchi said.

The series’ small group structure delivers answers to questions frequently asked by medical students about exams and test question development as well as the relevance to clinical education and learning.


About NBME

NBME offers a versatile selection of high-quality assessments and educational services for students, professionals, educators and institutions dedicated to the evolving needs of medical education and health care. To serve these communities, we collaborate with a comprehensive array of professionals including test developers, academic researchers, scoring experts, practicing physicians, medical educators, state medical board members and public representatives.

Together with the Federation of State Medical Boards, NBME develops and manages the United States Medical Licensing Examination®. In addition, we are committed to meeting the needs of educators and learners globally with assessment products and expert services such as Subject Examinations, Customized Assessment Services, Self-Assessments, the International Foundations of Medicine® and Item-Writing Workshops.

We also provide medical education funding and mentorship through the Latin America Grants Program, Stemmler Fund and Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund, which serve to advance assessment at educators’ and health professionals’ own institutions.

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