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MDCAT 2020 result: PMC says entry exam ‘extremely reliable’

PMC says the analysis included a discrimination index and item wise analysis of all 200 questions on the basis of answers given.

ISLAMABAD: As the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) announced the results of the MDCAT on Wednesday  it also shared details of its post-exam analysis to clear the confusion surrounding the test.

The MDCAT exam was held on November 29 across Pakistan, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan and a second special exam was held on December 13 for students who could not take the exam earlier as they had tested positive for COVID-19.

The exam had 200 MCQs and the passing marks for the MDCAT Exam were 60%.

The PMC said that a “Post Exam Analysis including a Reliability Item Analysis” was carried out in line with international standards and best practices.

“The analysis included a discrimination index and item wise analysis of all 200 questions on the basis of answers given and the topic syllabus as approved by the Academic Board,” read the PMC statement.

It added that questions that were found “ambiguous on analysis of the answers by students and the formation of the question itself or which were below the cut off benchmark of the discrimination index were assessed and equal benefit granted to all students ensuring no student is adversely affected”.

The PMC said that students, who appeared on the November 29 exam, have received maximum marks for 14 questions due to the post-analysis. It added that out of the 14 questions seven were in biology, five in physics and one in chemistry.

“From the MDCAT Exam held on 13th December 2020 a total of seven questions were similarly taken out of the scoring and all students have received maximum marks for these questions,” said the PMC.

The regulatory body clarified that the exam questions were not “removed” because they were out of the syllabus but were done so due to the “examination standards of ambiguity and discrimination”.

“The ambiguity is caused in part due to different textbooks being employed in different parts of Pakistan which may not be fully compliant with the relevant Board Curriculum or otherwise by the formation of the question itself, said the PMC.

The commission said that its post analysis of the exam “achieved a 0.96 on the Cronbach’s alpha (on a range from 0 to 1 with 1 being maximum) which is a standard to determine the measure of internal consistency and scale reliability of an exam”.

The PMC said due to the result of the Cronbach’s alpha it can be considered that the exam is “extremely reliable and consistent with its structure and objectives”.

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