How can the inclusion of alternative items improve the assessment of the ability of entry-level dentists?

Alternative item types are added to the DSE in order to further enhance the traditional multiple choice format. The alternative format helps ADEX more accurately and efficiently assess important areas of entry-level knowledge that are difficult to assess in a traditional multiple-choice format. Alternative item formats will allow examinees to effectively demonstrate important knowledge area competencies in a way different from the standard multiple-choice item format. Often, alternative item formats are more reflective of actual practice. For instance, the ability to make accurate diagnoses from a radiograph is a very important entry level skill. The examinee is not able to recognize or guess the correct answer from a set of provided response options when more than one condition is present and each is scored.

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