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Educación Médica

Print version ISSN 1575-1813


TORRUBIA, Rafael  and  PEREZ, Jorge. The hard objectivity of the essay exams in academic achievement assessment. Educ. méd. [online]. 2005, vol.8, n.1, pp.17-21. ISSN 1575-1813.

Introduction: We explain two empirical experiences about the low objectivity of the essay exams and the possibilities of increasing this objectivity. Method: Participants in the study (92 university lecturers and 460 medical students) graded an essay exam on student assessment in three different situations: without criteria, with common criteria and with precise common criteria. Results: The more precise the criteria, the more concordance there was among evaluators. In the two first situations, without precise criteria, lecturers assigned higher scores than students. In spite of precise common criteria, in the third situation there also appeared some discrepancies between evaluators. Conclusions: The results show the necessity to use precise criteria to grade essay exams and to use objective testing methods to assess the students’ academic achievement.

Keywords : Student assessment; Essay exams; Objectivity.

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