JAN 14, 2013
The Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examination, especially in the third year of residency, can be useful for predicting the likelihood of success on the American Board of Ophthalmology Written Qualifying Examination (WQE), according to the results of this study. For the OKAP exam taken during the third year of residency, the probability of passing the WQE was at least 80 percent for a score of 35 or higher and at least 95 percent for a score of 72 or higher.
The study included 15 residency programs with a combined total of 339 residents. The data were extracted from the five-year American Board of Ophthalmology report to each participating program in 2009 and included residency graduating classes from 2003 through 2007. Residents were included if data were available for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), OKAP examination in ophthalmology resident years one through three, and the WQE.
The authors examined associations of the various tests as predictors for passing or failing the WQE on the first try.
Using receiver operating characteristic analysis, the OKAP examination taken during the third year of ophthalmology residency best predicted performance on the WQE.
The authors conclude that ophthalmic residency programs may wish to concentrate their teaching and improvement efforts on residents who are at the highest risk for failing the WQE (e.g., score less than 35 on the OKAP examination). Furthermore, an OKAP score of 72 may be a useful aspirational target for residents who take the OKAP examination to prepare for the WQE.