Objective structured practical examination as a formative assessment tool compared to traditional method for third year M.B.B.S. community medicine students

Archana Carolin, Prathyusha Tirupati Venkata Devi


Background: Assessment of students in medical colleges was done by traditional practical examination for evaluation of practical or clinical skills, which is subjective in nature and suffer from lack of objectivity. So a uniform system of clinical and practical evaluation of medical students is always desirable. An objective structured practical examination (OSPE) is one such method believed to meet the deficiencies of the conventional system of practical/clinical examination. This study is an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of OSPE as a formative assessment tool compared to traditional methods for M.B.B.S. students.

Methods: A cross sectional comparative study was carried out on 56 MBBS students in KAMSRC, Hyderabad, Telangana. Students of 3rd year M.B.B.S were subjected to traditional practical evaluation followed by OSPE. A eight station OSPE was conducted one week after the TPE. The scores obtained in both were compared. All the data collected was entered and analyzed with MS excel software 2007.

Results: Average marks scored by the students in OSPE (17.78±2.69) were higher as compared to traditional practical examination (15.00±3.49) which was statistically significant. 74.4% of the students strongly agreed that OSPE is fairer in comparison to traditional practical examination. 90.5% students strongly agreed that variability of examiner and patient can be removed to a large extent by OSPE.

Conclusions: Based on the observation, OSPE was found to be a more effective assessment tool than traditional method.


Assessment tool, Effectiveness, Objective structured practical examination, Traditional practical examination

Full Text:



Medical Council of India. Regulation of graduate medical education, 2012. Available at: Accessed on 9 April 2017.

Wadde SK, Deshpande RH, Madole MB, Pathan FJ. Assessment of III MBBS students using OSPE/OSCE in community medicine: Teachers and students perceptions. Sch J App Med Sci S. 2013;1:348-53.

Ananthakrishnan N. Objective structured clinical/practical examination (OSCE/OSPE). J Postgrad Med 1993;39(2):82-4.

Kundu D. Objective structured practical examination in biochemistry: An experience in Medical College, Kolkata. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013;4(1):103-7.

Radhika G, Dara AK, Varalaxmi KP, Bhavani C. Perceptions of the introduction of objective structured practical examination (OSPE)/objective structured clinical examination (OSCE): a pilot study carried out in Government Medical College, Ananthapuramu, Andhra Pradesh, India. J NTR Univ Health Sci. 2015;4:145-9.

Trivedi RS, Diwan JS, Shah CJ, Jani RD, Anand AK. The influence of objectively structured practical examination (OSPE) on scoring pattern. Int J Biomed Adv Res. 2014;5:87-9.

Nigam R, Mahawar P. Critical analysis of performance of M.B.B.S. students using OSPE &TDPE- a comparative study. National J Community Med. 2011;2(3):322-4.

Relwani NR, Wadke RA, Anjenaya S, Sawardekar PN. Effectiveness of objective structured practical examination as a formative assessment tool as compared to traditional method for M.B.B.S. students. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2016;3:3526-32.

Jaswal S, Jugesh C, Kaur J, Gupta S, Singh T. Assessment for learning with Objectively Structured Practical Examination in Biochemistry. Int J Bas App Med Res. 2015;5(4):784-90.

Shaifali I, Ahsan M, Mallick A. A study on objective structured practical examination (OSPE) as a tool for assessment of medical students. Indian J Bas App Med Res. 2016;5(2):784-90.

Rao RD, Babu PU, Chakravarthy KCV, Ramya N. Objective structured practical examination (OSPE) as a tool in formative assessment of II MBBS students, in pathology. Int J Res Med Sci 2018;6:221-4.