Post exam analysis

Delving deeper than grades, post-exam analysis unlocks gold in student assessment. Analyze question performance to identify areas for improvement in your teaching and pinpoint common student struggles. Use this data to tailor future lectures, refine your question bank, and provide targeted feedback, boosting learning and exam performance for all. Remember, it's not just about the score, it's about the journey to mastery!


As a medical teacher, conducting a thorough post-exam analysis of objective tests is essential to gauge student performance accurately. Begin by reviewing overall test statistics, including mean scores, standard deviations, and item analysis. Identify problematic items through analysis of discrimination and difficulty indices, pinpointing areas where students struggled or excelled.

Utilize statistical methods like the point-biserial correlation coefficient to determine item effectiveness in discriminating between high and low performers. Flag items with low discrimination as potential candidates for review or revision in future assessments.

Furthermore, assess the reliability of the exam using measures like Cronbach's alpha coefficient, ensuring consistency in evaluating student knowledge and skills. Evaluate test validity by comparing outcomes with predefined learning objectives and considering the congruence between exam content and course curriculum.

Engage in item analysis discussions with colleagues or subject matter experts to gain diverse perspectives on test performance and validity. Collaboratively identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to enhance assessment validity and reliability.

Finally, communicate findings transparently with students, providing feedback on their performance relative to established standards. Use post-exam analysis as a tool for continuous improvement, refining assessment practices to foster student learning and success in the medical field.

References and related material

  • Tavakol, M., & Dennick, R. (2012). Post-examination interpretation of objective test data: Monitoring and improving the quality of high-stakes examinations: AMEE Guide No. 66. Medical Teacher, 34(3), e161-e175.
  • Mohsen Tavakol & Reg Dennick (2011) Post-examination analysis of objective tests, Medical Teacher, 33:6, 447-458, DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.564682
  • James Ware & Torstein Vik (2009) Quality assurance of item writing: During the introduction of multiple choice questions in medicine for high stakes examinations, Medical Teacher, 31:3, 238-243, DOI: 10.1080/01421590802155597