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View Full Version : SABA Official Pass Rate Being Lowered to 70%?



mr2dr
06-13-2012, 09:20 PM
To All Students:


Announcement
June 19, 2012

To guide the development of the curriculum, the University has developed competencies that graduates will be expected to demonstrate by the end of their training. These competencies define the essential qualities that a physician must possess and are used throughout the medical education continuum. The University will use these competencies to focus the educational experiences, environments, standards and assessments.
In a meeting of the Board of Trustees held on June 1, 2012, the University formally adopted the competencies (a copy of which are attached hereto). Commencing with the September 2012 semester, the University will begin utilizing these competencies in its formalized assessment of students.
In conjunction with the development of the competencies, the University also conducted a comprehensive review of standards and assessment, both for the competencies as well as the current curriculum. In this review, it was determined that a score of 70% meets the guidelines for achievement in the University?s program of medicine. As such, beginning in the semester ending in August 2012, final grades of 70% or better will satisfy the University?s requirements for continued academic progress in good standing. Final grades received prior to the current semester and decisions regarding satisfactory academic progress made at such times will not be affected by this change.

SABA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

This was the official email sent to us about an hour ago.

sgMD
06-13-2012, 09:48 PM
this post is so vague!

if they are bellcurving then how is the pass rate is 'being lowered' in any sense?
and a caribbean MD school pass rate corresponds to step1 pass rate not Histology block 1 !!!

ps: there has always been curves and such at Saba... they usually throw out questions if too many people fail a block exams etc.

mr2dr
06-13-2012, 10:02 PM
..........

panthestgod
06-13-2012, 10:14 PM
delete please

seattle
06-14-2012, 03:57 PM
There has been discussion on this issue in the past, specifically brought forward by Dr. S several years ago. However, the feedback I got directly from Dr. S was that Drs. W and L as well as Dr. D have been against lowering the pass threshold below 75% on block exams and cumulative average to determine pass for a course. If there is any new information anyone would like to add (if you know for sure, not second hand knowledge or rumor), then by all means post on this forum.

amr725
06-16-2012, 01:14 PM
Not a typical Saba rumor. They actually changed the passing mark to 70% on Friday June 15th. I learned this information from several students actually on the island completing basic sciences. This will hopefully save a lot of people. Many individuals in previous semesters would have passed courses if the passing mark was a 70%.

axiomofchoice
06-16-2012, 02:33 PM
Here is my prediction for the near future:

1) Test averages will decrease.
2) Crappy questions will no longer be thrown out.

Careful what you wish for

MDhopeful6
06-16-2012, 04:40 PM
Not a typical Saba rumor. They actually changed the passing mark to 70% on Friday June 15th. I learned this information from several students actually on the island completing basic sciences. This will hopefully save a lot of people. Many individuals in previous semesters would have passed courses if the passing mark was a 70%.

I am not sure whether anyone on the island knows for sure if this has (or will) happen. One prof from 4th semester told students it was being lowered and that an email would be sent out on Friday, however no email has been issued. Other profs in 2nd and 4th have directly told students this would not be happening. The general consensus, at least in my class, is that this is just a rumor and that it is not happening.

sgMD
06-16-2012, 04:59 PM
even if they lower the passing grade to 70%, they will make the tests harder so it's as hard to get a 70% as it is now to get a 75%... it's actually a good idea to make the test harder and lower the passing grade, that way students get to see some challenging questions that prepare better for the step...

seattle
06-17-2012, 10:12 PM
They actually changed the passing mark to 70% on Friday June 15th. This will hopefully save a lot of people. Many individuals in previous semesters would have passed courses if the passing mark was a 70%.

Not necessarily...be careful. I totally agree with sgMD. With a decrease to 70% passing threshold, the exams will increase in level of difficulty to maintain an equivalent level of "quality" candidates that are promoted to sit for Step 1 and beyond. Keep in mind, Saba specifically has grown into a school that is really ideally suited only for those individuals who had the MCAT and GPA to get into a North American Medical School but could not for various reasons. The result is that these individuals thus get thru the rigor of the curriculum and hence the Step 1 scores are yielding remarkable results. Additionally, we also find that the residency match list is impressive for the most part. Saba has spent years to build this model - I doubt they will sacrifice the results that have taken years to develop to let more people thru the system by making it easier and sugar coating the process. By doing so, they will see a higher failure rate or lower results on the Step 1 for those who do pass and that only results in less than impressive match results at the other end of the tunnel.

In other words, I suspect what appears to be an easier level for passing exams will not see an increase in the number of students getting thru the program as is projected by some. Time will tell.

mr2dr
06-19-2012, 04:53 PM
Not necessarily...be careful. I totally agree with sgMD. With a decrease to 70% passing threshold, the exams will increase in level of difficulty to maintain an equivalent level of "quality" candidates that are promoted to sit for Step 1 and beyond. Keep in mind, Saba specifically has grown into a school that is really ideally suited only for those individuals who had the MCAT and GPA to get into a North American Medical School but could not for various reasons. The result is that these individuals thus get thru the rigor of the curriculum and hence the Step 1 scores are yielding remarkable results. Additionally, we also find that the residency match list is impressive for the most part. Saba has spent years to build this model - I doubt they will sacrifice the results that have taken years to develop to let more people thru the system by making it easier and sugar coating the process. By doing so, they will see a higher failure rate or lower results on the Step 1 for those who do pass and that only results in less than impressive match results at the other end of the tunnel.

In other words, I suspect what appears to be an easier level for passing exams will not see an increase in the number of students getting thru the program as is projected by some. Time will tell.

The passing grade has been lowered to 70%. I posted the official letter they sent us in the first post. Yes I agree they will most likely increase the difficulty level of the exams. After all, it is all about how the school prepares us for step 1, and I don't think they will all of a sudden drop their standards.

sgMD
06-19-2012, 08:14 PM
The pass rate has been lowered to 70%. I posted the official letter they sent us in the first post. Yes I agree they will most likely increase the difficulty level of the exams. After all, it is all about how the school prepares us for step 1, and I don't think they will all of a sudden drop their standards.

'passing grade' is a better phrase to use than 'pass rate'... pass rate refers to step1 pass rate...it's a rate!! not a grade... passing grade is a more suitable phrase... :cool:

seattle
06-19-2012, 08:38 PM
The passing grade has been lowered to 70%. I posted the official letter they sent us in the first post. Yes I agree they will most likely increase the difficulty level of the exams. After all, it is all about how the school prepares us for step 1, and I don't think they will all of a sudden drop their standards.

Very interesting post! Thanks for posting on the forum. I am curious what is the rationale behind this decision? Possibly to be more consistent with some of the other Caribbean programs?

mr2dr
06-19-2012, 08:48 PM
Very interesting post! Thanks for posting on the forum. I am curious what is the rationale behind this decision? Possibly to be more consistent with some of the other Caribbean programs?

Yea i don't know how they are going to approach this, I guess we will find out after our next block exams

g35
06-20-2012, 12:10 AM
Could the point be to make it a little easier to make it to 5th (thereby making more tuition $). The comp shelf should still filter out the weak students who will have trouble with step 1, because the grade for that remains same as previous?

sgMD
06-20-2012, 09:35 AM
Could the point be to make it a little easier to make it to 5th (thereby making more tuition $). The comp shelf should still filter out the weak students who will have trouble with step 1, because the grade for that remains same as previous?

Dr. L gave us a speech about how he believes the tests should be harder (include 2-3 more challenging questions that represent Step1-type questions) and the passing grade be lowered so students don't suffer when I was in 4th semester. There is always those silly questions on the test that 99% of the class get right, now instead of getting 10 of those questions, you will get 8 + 2 challenging questions. This way students get exposed to these type of questions more frequently. This is most likely the rational behind this change.

axiomofchoice
06-20-2012, 09:42 AM
Expect a blood bath on exams from Dr. L and Dr. W.

seattle
06-20-2012, 01:37 PM
Dr. L gave us a speech about how he believes the tests should be harder (include 2-3 more challenging questions that represent Step1-type questions) and the passing grade be lowered so students don't suffer when I was in 4th semester. There is always those silly questions on the test that 99% of the class get right, now instead of getting 10 of those questions, you will get 8 + 2 challenging questions. This way students get exposed to these type of questions more frequently. This is most likely the rational behind this change.

I am guessing at this point in the history of the school (from 1993), they have come to a point where they have determined what works in terms of the criteria used as "filters" to narrow the student population down to most desirable to move onto Step 1 and clinicals. This recent addition now seems to me to be more of a "fine tuning" process further.

I do know that Dr. L keeps statistics compiled over the years on number missed and answered correctly on the block exams, very similar process used by the examiners who put together Steps 1 and 2 (although this is not public knowledge). In such a way they can assess with higher granularity those that stand out of the pack of already good students who make it to the upper semesters. The bottom line is keeping consistent with a credible off shore medical school that will continue to be approved by the California State Medical Board. I do not necessarily see anything wrong with this process.

sgMD
06-20-2012, 04:28 PM
yes, it is an improvement, if anything...

benevolo
06-20-2012, 06:18 PM
I can see Dr. L scheming away in his office like the dude in Moneyballl, trying to play with statistics to figure out which questions/numbers predict the best players.

Dr Coconut
06-20-2012, 06:50 PM
Moneyball is a pretty good analogy for Carib schools...people other schools passed on using a second chance to prove they can play in the big leagues.

axiomofchoice
06-20-2012, 06:57 PM
The Law of conservation: Pass rate goes down.... tuition goes up.

seattle
06-20-2012, 11:41 PM
I can see Dr. L scheming away in his office like the dude in Moneyballl, trying to play with statistics to figure out which questions/numbers predict the best players.

LOL...that is exactly how Dr. L is to a tee. If only we had a photo...a picture speaks a thousand words. :D

mr2dr
06-27-2012, 08:19 PM
The Law of conservation: Pass rate goes down.... tuition goes up.

Tuition was raised by about $1000...just got the invoice lol

axiomofchoice
06-27-2012, 08:22 PM
Like clockwork....







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