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Acta Med Acad. 2018 May;47(1):76-81. doi: 10.5644/ama2006-124.216.

Continuous Assessment as a Good Motivational Tool in Medical Education.

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College of Medicine, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.



Continuous assessment tests influence the learning needs of medical students at particular times but are also beneficial in scheduled learning, and act as motivating tool. These tests drive them to study by developing competition and optimism regarding the forthcoming result. This study has been designed to evaluate the role of these tests for medical students by learning about their motivation.


This study was conducted on 150 medical students. The students selected a continuous testing system or a classical system. Those who selected the continuous system had six assessment tests each, after completion of a curriculum block, usually 45 days apart. The motivation of the students in both the groups was assessed by asking them for their expected results just before the final examination. Statistical analysis was performed using Superior Performance Statistical Software (SPSS) version 20.


The students' final results showed that almost half of the students who adopted the continuous assessment test system were successful and one third of those who did not adopt this system. The comparison of the successful students showed that the expectation of the students from the continuous assessment test system was high compared to the students who were not in the continuous assessment test system (P<0.05), even though the students in these groups had more or less similar actual marks (P>0.05). The comparison of the expected and actual marks of the successful students, of students who failed only one unit and of students who failed both units, showed that all these students had the same expectation (P<0.05) from the examination, although they had different actual marks (P>0.05).


It was concluded that continuous assessment is good for student motivation. A support system matched with the individual needs of the students is suggested to improve their efficiency to gain the full benefits from this system.


Continuous assessment tests; Learning in medical students; Medical education; Support system

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