Composite score validity in clerkship grading

Julia Corcoran*, Steven M. Downing, Ara Tekian, Debra A. Darosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Composite score validity depends on its reliability, content, and comparison with other outcomes measures. This study examined all three aspects of a composite score used in a third-year surgery clerkship. METHOD: Composite score reliability was calculated using stratified alpha; several other reasonable composite combinations were tested. Correlation coefficients between clerkship composite scores and grades were calculated with other achievement measures. Two consecutive years were studied (N = 162, N = 159). RESULTS: The clerkship composite score reliability was .76 (Year 1) and .81 (Year 2). Positive correlations (P ≤ .05) were found between composite scores and other clerkships' test scores and the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 2 Clinical Knowledge examination. Positive correlations (P ≤ .05) were found between surgery clerkship grades and other clerkship grades. CONCLUSIONS: This study documents the reliability of a composite score and provides evidence for its validity in a surgery clerkship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S120-S123
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 10
StatePublished - Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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