Several cross-cutting criteria guide the development of PAEA’s End of Curriculum exam. The goal of these ideals is to assist the exam development team in ensuring that the exam, to the extent a multiple-choice exam can, evaluates a wide breadth of dimensions critical to a PA student’s preparation. The purpose of this exam is to assess a PA student’s general medical knowledge as one component of their readiness for graduation. It is designed to complement other tools that assess core medical knowledge as well as interpersonal skills, patient care skills, and professionalism, as required by accreditation standards.
- The exam blueprint is two-dimensional, meaning that it is organized both by task and by content area. Unique to this exam, the task areas are organized under four of PAEA’s proposed Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)—demonstrating which EPAs can be assessed with this exam.
- This exam employs the principles of Bloom’s Taxonomy to ensure that examinees who pass the exam have demonstrated a thorough mastery of the content. This exam is developed with targets for a consolidated taxonomy breakdown:
- Understand and apply
- Analyze and evaluate
- Questions developed for this exam reflect the needs of the broad diversity of patients that PAs will be called upon to treat. The exam is written to dimensions that include, but are not restricted to: age (with specific targets for questions referencing Pediatric, Adult, and Geriatric patients), race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, cultural identity, religion, and functional diversity.
- Questions developed for this exam reflect a variety of settings in which PAs practice. The exam is developed with specific targets for Inpatient, Emergency Department, Perioperative, and Outpatient settings.
These resources are used by exam development board members to guide the creation of exam content, and by the exam development staff when constructing exam forms. These resources will be useful to students when studying for the exam, and for faculty when determining which other summative evaluation components and program objectives may require additional assessment tools.