Introduction to Scale Score Reports

Year after year, more programs administer PAEA End of Rotation exams to their students as one set of objective, validated evaluations of the medical knowledge gained in seven core clinical areas (family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, women’s health, pediatrics, and psychiatry/behavioral medicine).

End of Rotation exams have at least two forms, and national comparative data are available for both. Each form is designed to measure the same content, but contains a different set of questions. While they are also built to be equivalent in difficulty, one form may be slightly more or less difficult than another. Despite our efforts to build equivalent forms, we recognized that it may be hard to use the raw “number correct” score for fair comparisons of students’ performance on different forms of the same exam version. 

Ideally, to make consistent and fair decisions based on End of Rotation exam results, the scores reported from different forms need to be equated. Due to the popularity of the exams and an extremely healthy adoption rate, we are now positioned to use a statistical process called “equating” to compensate for small variations in difficulty between exam forms. 

Starting in 2018, we will equate all forms by placing them on a single scale. The new scale will be called a “scale score” and students’ scores will range from 300 to 500. It will mean that instead of seeing a raw score or number correct on your score report, you and your students will see a scale score. 

There are numerous benefits to scale scores, all of which make exam score analysis and interpretation easier and more accurate. Scale scores allow you to compare student scores between different forms of the same exam version. Additionally, scale scores will allow you to compare cohort-level data year-over-year. 


If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to the Assessment Team.