Statistics used in Practique

Practique uses a range of standard statistics for reporting and standard setting. Below are some descriptions and some useful links. 

Candidate feedback report

Internal ID: candidate_feedback


ItemDescriptionUseful links
Overall scoreOverall score in percentage for the whole exam / candidate
Cohort averageStudent performance against cohort group (average of students)
Pass/FailStudent passed of failed
Result analysis per station
ItemDescriptionUseful links
Your scoreScore calculated from summary of marks in observation criteria
Pass mark

The Pass mark is the score which candidates must achieve in order to pass based on score. The pass mark is calculated by combining the station cut score (based on the type of standard setting method chosen) and the Standard Error of measurement (SEm multiplier + cut score)

NOTE: The Pass mark can be entered manually per station which will override the Practique calculated passmark. 

Class averageCohort group average
Results by stationPassing or failing question
Results analysis graphVisual representation of candidate score, cut score, and average score
Feedback from examinerAny text feedback given by the Examiner for that candidate for that station. 
Items breakdownBreak down per station

Station cut score

Internal ID: item_cut_score



ItemDescriptionUseful links
Mean scoreAverage score
Cut scoreCalculated by (max score of station times standard method value) per 100
Max scoreMax score of the question/station (OSCE: summary of observation criteria scores)
Standard deviationscored.standard_deviation() --> numpy.std()
Alpha (if station deleted)

Cronbach’s alpha is a measure used to assess the reliability, or internal consistency, of a set of scale or test items. In other words, the reliability of any given measurement refers to the extent to which it is a consistent measure of a concept, and Cronbach’s alpha is one way of measuring the strength of that consistency.

Cronbach’s alpha is computed by correlating the score for each scale item with the total score for each observation (usually individual survey respondents or test takers), and then comparing that to the variance for all individual item scores:

The resulting α coefficient of reliability ranges from 0 to 1 in providing this overall assessment of a measure’s reliability. If all of the scale items are entirely independent from one another (i.e., are not correlated or share no covariance), then α = 0; and, if all of the items have high covariances, then α will approach 1 as the number of items in the scale approaches infinity. In other words, the higher the α coefficient, the more the items have shared covariance and probably measure the same underlying concept.
Passesnumber of passes per criteria
Failsnumber of fails per criteria

Station statistic analysis

Internal ID: item_stat_analysis

Supported for Written items except SAQ, VSAQ and EMQ



ItemDescriptionUseful links
33% Discrimination

Item discrimination is the degree to which students with high overall exam scores also got a particular item correct.

The Station Statistic analysis uses 33% cohort to calculate the discrimination by:

  • getting all correct answer and sorting it in order,
  • selecting the top third correct answers and the bottom third correct answers,
  • subtracting bottom from the top

Discrimination (point-biserial)The item discrimination index is a point biserial correlation coefficient. Its possible range is -1.00 to 1.00. A positive result indicates that there is a high correlation between higher performing candidates giving a correct response to the item.
Facility (difficulty) of correct answerFacility is a measure of how easy or difficult is a question for candidates. It is calculated as:
FI = (Xaverage) / Xmax
where Xaverage is the mean score obtained by all users attempting the item,
and Xmax is the maximum score achievable for that item.

FrequencyFrequency of answers
Quintile Graph

For SBA type items it works like this: all candidates sorted by score (from the highest to the lowest) are split to 5 groups and then the graph shows % of candidates who got the question correctly in each group. The graph should usually shows "steps down" because most of top scored candidates should get the question right.

For CPQ item type it shows ... something different

Item response model

Internal ID: item_responses



Item Response Theory

In addition to the Scipy links, here is the wiki page that describes the 3 parameters above for IRT.

Classical Test Theory
ItemDescriptionUseful links
Facilityfacility = mean_score of the station / max_score of the station
Discrimination (point-biserial)The item discrimination index is a point biserial correlation coefficient. Its possible range is -1.00 to 1.00. A positive result indicates that there is a high correlation between higher performing candidates giving a correct response to the item.

FrequencyIn SBA item type frequency of answers is calculated. If candidate have not responded it is included in calculation. Facility and Frequency of most chosen answer should be the same. From Practique 5.4.0 > , beside answer letters columns for Frequency there is No Response column as well to show the whole picture.
Item characteristic curve (Passing probability over Ability):
  • item characteristic curve
  • passing percentage

Examiner report

Internal ID: examiner_control


ItemDescriptionUseful links
Z-scoreHow many standard deviations the examiner is from the mean
Mean scoreAverage score given by all examiners for one station
Standard deviationscored.standard_deviation() --> numpy.std()

Exam analysis report

Internal ID: diet_score



It is possible to select one category which will be used when computing data for the report.

Cumulative Percentage curve

Represents score frequency distribution from the minimal exam score to the maximal exam score.

Item analysis

ItemDescriptionUseful links
Number of candidates

Number of candidates that sat the exam.

Candidates that are excluded from exam are not included in the calculations.

Number of items

Number of items in the exam. 

Items that are excluded are not included in the calculations.

Minimum scoreSmallest score achieved on exam.
Maximum scoreLargest score achieved on exam.
MedianThe median value is the score value in the middle of the sorted score array.

mode = scored.mode() --> scipy.mode():

Mode or Modal value is returning the most common score value in the list of scores. If there are more then oen value the smallest is returned. If there a no most common values it returns the smallest score in the exam.
MeanThe sum of all scores over the number of scores.
Standard error of mean

Standard deviationFirst calculating the mean score of the exam. Then we calculate (x - mean)^2 for each score. Then summary of each squared differences is divided by number of scores - 1. -1 is used as standard statistical practice for better estimation. Squared root is take from last result.
SkewChecking if data is noramlly distributed. If > 0 it is more squeezed to left if < 0 it is more squeezed to right.
KurtosisIt defines sharpness of the distributed data at the peak of the curve. We are using Pearson definition.
Classical Test Theory
ItemDescriptionUseful links
Cut Scorescored.exam_cut_score() --> sum(self.get_cut_scores().values() --> get_scored_cases() --> returns instances of Scored cases (set by standard method) : Sum of cut score of all stations divided by number of stations/questions.
CronbachCronbach’s Alpha
For each of the standard setting methods the Cronbach’s Alpha reliability metric is also calculated for the exam. This is given for the whole exam as well as what it would be if each item in turn were omitted from the analysis. This allows items that are lowering the reliability of the exam to be excluded from the results. 
Standard Setting Terminology
SE of measurement

The Standard Error of Measurement (not to be confused with the Standard Error of the Mean) gives an indication of the spread of the measurement errors, when estimating candidates' true scores from the observed scores. It is calculated from the reliability coefficient (Practique uses Chronbach's alpha). It is assumed that the sampling errors are normally distributed.

The SEM is calculated as

SEM = S(1 – rxx)0.5

where is the standard deviation of the exam, and rxx is the reliability coefficient (Chronbach's alpha).

The key application of SEM in Practique is to apply a confidence interval to the cut score. For example, if you would like to be 68% sure of the pass/fail decision, the SEM indicates that the candidates within 1 SEM of the cut score may fluctuate to the other side of the cut score should they take the exam again. For example, if you wanted to be 95% sure of your decision on outcomes, an SEM multiplier of 1.96 can be applied. These figures are based on the Normal Distribution. Practique applies this on the positive side for most Standard Setting methods, as we are dealing with competency exams. In practice, what this means is that you are 95% certain that the passing candidates scores represent their true scores.

Standard Setting Terminology
SEm mulitplierSee aboveStandard Setting Terminology
Error (SEm * multiplier)

Pass Score rounded

Pass Rate