Modified Angoff vs Hofstee: a Comparison of Two Standard Setting Methods

Ditchfield, C. and Sneddon, S. (2019) Modified Angoff vs Hofstee: a Comparison of Two Standard Setting Methods. AMEE 2019, Vienna, Austria, 24-28 Aug 2019.

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Background: A number of different methods can be used to determine passing standards in written examinations. At the University of Glasgow Medical School, our standard setting policy for the undergraduate MBChB course is to use a Modified Angoff method with the Hofstee method used when passing rates deviate from expected. This study set out to compare the effect of these two methods on student pass rates in year 1 and 2 of the course using historical data. Summary of Work: This study looked at data from 5 first sittings of summative written exams (each exam was sat by approximately 240 students). Angoff panels (6-10 judges) met in advance of each exam and the average Angoff score was determined following a discussion. The Hofstee analysis was calculated using the Angoff score +/- 2 SD for the maximum and minimum pass mark boundaries. The minimum student fail rate was 0% and the maximum was 20% of the cohort. The percentage of the cohort who would fail the exam using these parallel methods was compared. Summary of Results: For both years 1 and 2, the Modified Angoff pass mark was higher than the Hofstee pass mark resulting in a marginally higher fail rate across the 5 years analysed. The largest discrepancy between the two methods was seen in the academic years with the highest fail rates. Discussion and Conclusions: On average, using the Modified Angoff method results in a higher pass mark compared to using the Hofstee method. This is consistent with other studies which have shown that there can be differences in pass rates depending on the method chosen although, the direction of the differences seen in these other studies are not always the same and may reflect the type of exam or individual variations in method. The results from our analysis will inform our own future assessment policy development. Take-home Messages: There is a small difference in the pass mark when Modified Angoff and Hofstee methods are compared but the difference is more pronounced in terms of a higher fail rate using Modified Angoff when the overall failure rate is high.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ditchfield, Dr Carol and Sneddon, Dr Sharon
Authors: Ditchfield, C., and Sneddon, S.
Subjects:R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
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