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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 157-161

Do mock medical licensure exams improve performance of graduates? Experience from a Saudi medical college


1 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mona Hmoud Al-Sheikh
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, King Fahd University Hospital, P. O. Box 2208, Al Khobar 31952
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_173_21

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Background: All medical graduates in Saudi Arabia are required to pass a Saudi Medical Licensure Exam (SMLE) to be able to practice and/or enroll in postgraduate training. Mock exams are a useful preparatory tool, but no study from Saudi Arabia has assessed its impact on performance in the actual licensure examinations. Objectives: To evaluate the impact of a series of mock SMLEs with immediate personalized feedback on graduate scores and their performance in the actual SMLE. Methods: This retrospective study included medical students who graduated in the 2019-20 academic year from Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and undertook mock SMLE exams offered in August 2020. Three mock exams were constructed using the SMLE blueprint and were offered to graduates 1 week apart. Immediately after each exam, a personalized learning outcomes achievement report was sent to each graduate. Exam reliability was measured by the Kuder–Richardson formula, and were 87%, 94%, and 96% for the first, second, and third exam, respectively. Results: A total of 71, 70, and 61 students completed the first, second, and third exams, respectively. Across the three mock exams, the mean (±SD) score showed an increasing trend, from 87.6 (±33.4; range: 28–191) in the first test to 93.5 (±45.6, range 15–204) in the second and 96 (±42.6; range: 25–203) in the third. Forty graduates completed all three mock exams; of these, the scores of 25 (62.5%) students significantly improved in both the second and third exams compared to the prior test (P = 0.002). A nonsignificant positive correlation was found between the average mock and the actual SMLE scores for whom data were available (r = 0.29; P = 0.27). Conclusion: The performance of graduates improved in subsequent mock exams, and there was a nonsignificant positive correlation between the mock and actual SMLE exam results. This study presents the usefulness of using mock exams as a preparatory tool for licensure examinations in Saudi Arabia.


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