Guidance for high-stakes testing within pharmacy educational assessment

Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2020 Jan;12(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2019.10.001. Epub 2019 Nov 22.


Background: The term "high-stakes testing" is widely used among pharmacy educators, but the term often seems misused or used incompletely. This Teachable Moments Matter (TMM) focuses on the importance of scientific-rigor when assessing learners' abilities. This article discusses high-stakes testing - what it is and what it is not. This TMM is not meant as an extensive review of the topic.

Impact: As imperative for ethically-fair high-stakes testing, we will focus on defining and explaining high-stake testing, to include: evidence for validation, development of cut-scores, magnitudes of reliability coefficients, and other reliability measurement tools such as Generalizability Theory and Item-Response Theory.

Teachable moment: From our perspectives as educational psychometricians, we hope that this discussion will help foster scientifically-rigorous use and reporting of high-stakes testing in pharmacy education and research.

Keywords: High-stakes testing; Psychometric; Reliability; Testing standards.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum / trends
  • Education, Pharmacy / methods*
  • Education, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / standards
  • Educational Measurement / statistics & numerical data
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans