The effectiveness and success of any USMLE review is heightened by a valid and discriminating appraisal of all its aspects. Evaluation is a part and parcel of any teaching-learning activity. It is an integral element in the proper organization of learning. It is in no sense functionally separated from it.
Testing, measuring, marking and making reports, which are the most familiar instruments of evaluation should be considered and treated as factors in the business of bringing about better retention and mastery in a USMLE board preparation.
According to the Dictionary of Education, evaluation is the process of ascertaining or judging the value or amount of something by careful appraisal. It is the process of making judgments that are to be used as a basis for planning the teaching and learning environment. It involves improving the product, which speaks of the medical students, the process or plan which is signified by the USMLE review program and the goals which is set on the first day of the review session together with the students.
Evaluating the results of your USMLE question bank practice test exercises will determine many aspects in terms of your growth or development for the USMLE Steps preparation as well as the efficiency of the methods and strategies utilized in the USMLE review. The results provide useful data by:
revealing your specific points of strength and weakness in the process of teaching and learning as well as relearning
providing opportunities for devising new methods of instruction and review materials or resources
measuring the validity and reliability of the instruction and review that you received in the review program
making you familiar with your own results, thus helping you to understand your own high and low potential for learning as well as help you create more positive methods and system of addressing related roadblocks for licensing examination success
objectively and systematically identifying your needs for additional resources and aids for review as well as provide useful data for your progress
On the above mentioned value of the results of your USMLE question bank practice tests, it is noteworthy to mention that evaluation and measurement are two different things. To measure would mean to determine the extent while to evaluate is to consider all facets that will most likely contribute to the soundness of the test, results, process and subject matter being evaluated.
The most common form of evaluation that medical students go through in preparing for the USMLE Steps is answering practice test exercises with questions that were taken from a USMLE question bank. The results of these test exercises whether evaluated cumulatively or separate with each subject matter serves as the best indicator for USMLE success.