The In-Training Examination: An Analysis of Its Predictive Value on Performance on the General Pediatrics Certification Examination

J Pediatr. 2008 Sep;153(3):425-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.03.012. Epub 2008 May 19.


Objective: This study investigates the predictive validity of the In-Training Examination (ITE). Although studies have confirmed the predictive validity of ITEs in other medical specialties, no study has been done for general pediatrics.

Study design: Each year, residents in accredited pediatric training programs take the ITE as a self-assessment instrument. The ITE is similar to the American Board of Pediatrics General Pediatrics Certifying Examination. First-time takers of the certifying examination over a 5-year period who took at least 1 ITE examination were included in the sample. Regression models analyzed the predictive value of the ITE.

Results: The predictive power of the ITE in the first training year is minimal. However, the predictive power of the ITE increases each year, providing the greatest power in the third year of training.

Conclusions: Even though ITE scores provide information regarding the likelihood of passing the certification examination, the data should be used with caution, particularly in the first training year. Other factors also must be considered when predicting performance on the certification examination. This study continues to support the ITE as an assessment tool for program directors, as well as a means of providing residents with feedback regarding their acquisition of pediatric knowledge.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Certification / standards*
  • Child
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards*
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Specialty Boards*
  • United States