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Test blueprints for psychiatry residency in-training written examinations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Eisha M Gaffas,1 Reginald P Sequeira,2 Riyadh A Al Namla,1 Khalid S Al-Harbi31Al-Amal Complex for Mental Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain; 3King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaBackground: The postgraduate training program in psychiatry in Saudi Arabia, which was established in 1997, is a 4-year residency program. Written exams comprising of multiple choice questions (MCQs) are used as a summative assessment of residents in order to determine their eligibility for promotion from one year to the next. Test blueprints are not used in preparing examinations.Objective: To develop test blueprints for the written examinations used in the psychiatry residency program.Methods: Based on the guidelines of four professional bodies, documentary analysis was used to develop global and detailed test blueprints for each year of the residency program. An expert panel participated during piloting and final modification of the test blueprints. Their opinion about the content, weightage for each content domain, and proportion of test items to be sampled in each cognitive category as defined by modified Bloom's taxonomy were elicited.Results: Eight global and detailed test blueprints, two for each year of the psychiatry residency program, were developed. The global test blueprints were reviewed by experts and piloted. Six experts participated in the final modification of test blueprints. Based on expert consensus, the content, total weightage for each content domain, and proportion of test items to be included in each cognitive category were determined for each global test blueprint. Experts also suggested progressively decreasing the weightage for recall test items and increasing problem solving test items in examinations, from year 1 to year 4 of the psychiatry residence program.Conclusion: A systematic approach using a documentary and content analysis technique was used to develop test blueprints with additional input from an expert panel as appropriate. Test blueprinting is an important step to ensure the test validity in all residency programs.Keywords: test blueprinting, psychiatry, residency program, summative assessment, documentary and content analysis, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


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