Please see the COVID-19 End of Curriculum Updates
The PAEA End of Curriculum exam is an objective, standardized assessment of a student's medical knowledge as one component of their readiness for graduation. The exam consists of 300 questions, 250 of which are scored, in five, 60-question blocks. We offer two forms at a time, which are developed by PA educators and exam experts in accordance with an extensive topic list and a clearly defined blueprint. More information is available at EndofCurriculum.org.
The blueprint for the End of Curriculum exam includes the standard of content and task areas. Mapped to the task areas are four of PAEA's proposed entrustable professional activities, which when combined with the learning objectives designed by PAEA, can be used to aid in objective mapping. The blueprint also includes three cross-cutting areas to ensure a comprehensive exam: life course, setting, and Bloom's Taxonomy levels.
All exam items go through a rigorous, multi-level, peer-review process to ensure that questions are up to date and of high quality. The questions are vignette-style, with detailed history, lab values, and some images.The End of Curriculum exam is designed in accordance with DSM–5 criteria and the high standards of assessment according to the Association of Test Publishers. Medical standards are current as of publication (January each year). The questions are pilot tested and then validated. In its first year, the exam will go through a second pilot test that will collect data in the setting of national performance standards.
This standardized exam will feature three performance levels of medical knowledge: limited, satisfactory, and advanced. A work group of experts in PA education and assessment will set these national performance standards based on the performance of students in the last four months of their program plus their own expertise. The standard setting process will be conducted approximately every five years.
The exam must be administered on campus in a proctored setting. Remote proctoring will not be permitted. Students must also take the exam in PAEA's designated lockdown browser. Instructions will be sent to students when their exam is scheduled. Students are allowed five hours to take the End of Curriculum exam, plus time for breaks as designated by the program. Students may apply to their programs for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to receive time and a half (7 hours and 30 minutes) or double time (10 hours). The exam window for these students will be extended into a second day, with the break occurring between sections.
The End of Curriculum exam is intended to be used as one component of the summative evaluation of a student's knowledge per ARC-PA accreditation guidelines (C3.04). It is a general medical knowledge exam designed to complement other assessments that meet program objectives and accreditation requirements.