Received: January 18, 2011
Accepted: March 03, 2011
Munjal K, Bandi PK, Varma A, Nandedkar S. Assessment of medical students by OSPE method in pathology. Internet J Med Update. 2012 Jan;7(1):2-7.


Kavita Munjal* MD, Prasana K Bandi** MD, Amit Varma* MD and Shirish Nandedkar** MD

*Associate Professor, **Professor, Department of Pathology, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences, Indore 452001 (MP), India

(Corresponding Author: Dr. Kavita Munjal, Department of Pathology, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences, Indore 452001 (MP), India; Phone: 00 91 731 2491848; Email:


Objective structured practical examination (OSPE) is a practical exam system wherein there is a series of stations at which students work through tasks designed to test various skills and are tested using agreed check lists with observers sitting at some of the stations. It has been found to be objective, valid and reliable. It also eliminates examiner bias. The purpose of this study is to introduce OSPE both as an evaluation and a teaching tool and to draw attention to its advantages and disadvantages. We designed an OSPE that tested all the above objectives satisfactorily. The OSPE exam was conducted in the department of pathology during the second internal assessment of the students. This method was the compared with the conventional method of practical exam conducted during the first internal assessment of the same batch of students. The results showed that OSPE tests different desired components of competence better. It is an objective, valid and reliable method and gets rid of variation due to examiner bias. It has a better discrimination index on merit. Interpretative exercises are the most relevant part and deserve the lion’s share of total marks. Students feel more comfortable and less stressed to perform the exam.

KEY WORDS: Objective structured practical examination; Medical education; Teaching methodology; Pathology

Images from this publication

Figures Tables
Conduct of OSPE OSPE feedback from students

Item analysis of exercises of OSPE

Item analysis of exercises of conventional practical examination

  Conclusion drawn from the questionnaire given to students