Aim. To conduct an item analysis of a dental foundation course (biostatistics) taught in the first semester of the foundation year at King Saud University (KSU), Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: A total of 32 students completed the final examination for a dental foundation course (biostatistics) that is taught in the first semester of the foundation year at KSU. This exam consisted of 30 test items. The test items were evaluated for their level of difficulty, the measure of difficulty index (p-value), power of discrimination as measured by the discrimination index (DI), and distractor analysis. In the data analysis, the test reliability of inter-item consistency, or how strongly the test items are connected was determined using the Kuder–Richardson formula.
Results: The average test score was 18; the standard deviation was 6.9, and the standard error of the mean was 2.2. The skewness for the scores was 0.31, which indicates that the distribution was positively skewed. The kurtosis was 1.82, which indicates that the distribution was almost normal. No correlation was found between item DI and the item difficulty level.
Conclusion: The item DI and item difficulty level had no relationship, indicating that the test items lacked practical and excellent discriminating power.
Clinical significance: Item analysis is a valuable test for determining the accuracy and quality of multiple choice items, and it should be utilized when creating exams and assessments for dentistry students.
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