Since publication of Version 2 of the End of Rotation exams, PAEA has provided members with projected national comparative data (means and standard deviations) on the first day of administration. These comparative data were based on the projected performance of a reference population of PA students and the historical performance of individual items included on the new forms. When the exam forms were retired in July, we then were able to report the final statistics for that version of the exam on endofrotation.org. The projected mean and standard deviations were generally extremely close to the final numbers that were reported.
For Version 6 scale scores, the method we used to make national comparative data available on the first day of administration is different. Scale scores are developed based on actual performance of a reference population of students taking Version 5 End of Rotation exam forms. The final data from Version 5 of each of the specialty exams were statistically equated to scale scores using a linear transformation. Utilizing empirical versus projected data in statistical analysis yields slightly different results, but ensures that data are stable across years. To best represent our student test-takers, we felt it was important to transform raw scores into scale scores using empirical data.
We have reported the mean scale scores and standard deviations for program comparison. Additionally, we have provided you with Version 6 projected raw scores and standard deviations for those programs in transition with their grading process. When you look at this data, it must again be emphasized that the comparative scale scores were developed using actual performance data, rather than a statistical projection.