Assessment Strategy for 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum

Published: 12/01/2023

Standard setting: Primary and Final MCQ examinations

The cut score for the Primary and Final MCQ examinations is established by the Angoff referencing method. In following best practice, a dedicated Angoff referencing group of examiners use the Angoff process to determine a cut score and make an adjustment of 1 Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) to arrive at the pass mark. Training is given to all members of the Final and Primary MCQ Angoff reference groups in the process, and to develop a collective understanding of the ‘minimally competent’ candidate, as defined below:

For the purposes of the (Primary or Final) MCQ examination, a ‘minimally competent’ candidate is one who has only just enough depth and breadth of knowledge stipulated within the (stages 1 and 2) curriculum to underpin their current clinical practice and equip them for the next phase of their anaesthetic training. If they pass the written examination but do not undertake further preparation and gain more understanding, they are likely to fail any subsequent SOE or OSCE on the same curriculum areas.”

In determining the ‘minimally competent’ candidate, members of the Angoff referencing groups are encouraged to use personal experience of anaesthetists in training sitting the examination at the particular stage of training.

After each examination, the examiner groups carry out an in-depth item analysis on items with unexpected performance statistics. Item deemed problematic, are removed from the paper before scores are finalised.