Students’ perceptions of OSCE in dentistry

Muslim Khan, Sahibzada Mahmood Noor, Minhaj us Siraj


Background: The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) requires that examinees rotate through a series of stations and perform a variety of clinical tasks. OSCE was introduced at Khyber Medical University and Khyber College of Dentistry in 2010.

Aim: This study was conducted to explore the perceptions of the students regarding OSCE at Khyber College of Dentistry.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a validated and pretested questionnaire, developed by Russell et al. was distributed to 74 final year students immediately after the completion their OSCE. Questions were asked about any pre-exam orientation regarding OSCE, exam content, the incorporation of knowledge, skills, attitude in exam and its comparison with current exam systems. 

Results: In this study, 67.6% of students considered the exam as fair and comprehensive and 64.9% students rated exam as very stressful. About the quality of test, 29.7% were fully aware of the nature of exam, 52.7% thought that tasks reflected those taught, while 58.1% were satisfied about the length of stations. Moreover, 58.1% students expressed that OSCE provided true measure of skills in oral and maxillofacial surgery. OSCE system was rated to be the fairest by 73% of students.

Conclusion: Students view OSCE as a fair and standardized way to assess clinical competencies. Students thought that OSCE tests skills of students fairly. Thus the element of chance and bias was less in OSCE compared to other practical exams.

Key words: OSCE, Students’ perceptions, Pakistan, Dental

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