The model student: GPT-4 performance on graduate biomedical science exams

Sci Rep. 2024 Mar 7;14(1):5670. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-55568-7.


The GPT-4 large language model (LLM) and ChatGPT chatbot have emerged as accessible and capable tools for generating English-language text in a variety of formats. GPT-4 has previously performed well when applied to questions from multiple standardized examinations. However, further evaluation of trustworthiness and accuracy of GPT-4 responses across various knowledge domains is essential before its use as a reference resource. Here, we assess GPT-4 performance on nine graduate-level examinations in the biomedical sciences (seven blinded), finding that GPT-4 scores exceed the student average in seven of nine cases and exceed all student scores for four exams. GPT-4 performed very well on fill-in-the-blank, short-answer, and essay questions, and correctly answered several questions on figures sourced from published manuscripts. Conversely, GPT-4 performed poorly on questions with figures containing simulated data and those requiring a hand-drawn answer. Two GPT-4 answer-sets were flagged as plagiarism based on answer similarity and some model responses included detailed hallucinations. In addition to assessing GPT-4 performance, we discuss patterns and limitations in GPT-4 capabilities with the goal of informing design of future academic examinations in the chatbot era.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Graduate*
  • Hallucinations*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Language
  • Students