Objective Structured Practical Examination: our experience in Pharmacology at Goa Medical College, Bambolim-Goa, India

Ulhas Kalgo Chandelkar, Rataboli PV, Samuel LJ, Kamat AS, Bandodkar LV


Background: Practical examination is an important component of evaluation in the medical curriculum. OSPE (objective structured practical examination) pattern has structured questions with marks for each point and all the objectives of teaching-learning can be tested and assigned the desired weightage.

Methods: The evaluation was done for 146 II MBBS students in Pharmacology. Every student had to spend two minutes each for dosage form (DF) and drug advice (DA) at their respective stations. All the students had to attempt same questions to avoid bias of evaluation. Checklist was provided to the faculty who functioned as observers.

Results: All the students believed that OSPE tests practical skills. Most of the students rated OSPE as better than traditional viva or table work. Almost half the students were satisfied with the present setup. Since it tests practical skills better, all the faculty were in favour of conducting the entire practicals in OSPE setup. 50% of faculty proposed need of incorporating injection technique on dummies which will help the students to learn injection techniques well.

Conclusions: It is often difficult to measure practical knowledge and applications by written practical examinations.  In such situation OSPE can be structured and standardized to evaluate the clinical applications.


Objective structured practical examination, Objective structured clinical examination, Dosage form, Drug advice, Drug delivery system

Full Text:



Roy V, Tekur U, Prabhu S. A comparative study of two evaluation techniques in pharmacology practicals: conventional practical examination versus objective structured practical examination. Indian J Pharmacol. 2004;36(6):385-9.

Shivananda Kalludi, Ravindra Maradi, Murali Dhar, Raghavendra Babu, Manjunath Sathyanarayanachar. Introducing physiology practical demonstration in course curriculum for the first year nursing students. J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Sep;7(9):1989-91.

Hasan S, Malik S, Hamad A, Khan H, Bilal M. Conventional/traditional practical examination (CPE/TDPE) versus objective structured clinical evaluation (OSPE)/semi objective structured clinical evaluation (SOSPE). Pak J Physiol. 2009;5(1):58-64.

Harden RM, Gleeson FA. Assessment of clinical competencies using an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) In: ASME Medical Education Booklet no. 8. Dundee: ASME; 1979;64:123-125.

Harden RM, Stevenson M, Wilson DW, Wilson GM. Assessment of clinical competencies using objective structured clinical examination. Br Med J. 1975;5955(1):447-51.

Ravi P. Shankar, Arun K. Dubey, Pranaya Mishra, Vibhavri Y. Deshpande, T. S. Chandrasekhar, P. G. Shivanda. Student attitudes towards communication skills training in a medical college in Western Nepal. Educ Health Change Learn Pract. 2006;19(1):71-84.

Nayar U, Malik SL, Bijlani RL. Objective structured practical examination: a new concept in assessment of laboratory exercises in preclinical sciences. Med Educ. 1986 May;20(3):204-9.

Huseyin Cahit Taskiran. A new competency level system for practical and procedural skills in an undergraduate curriculum. Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) Institute, 2003. Available at: /fellows/abstracts/03taskiran.pdf. Accessed 30 June 2009.

Ananthakrishnan N. Objective structured clinical/practical examination (OSCE/OSPE). JPGM. 1993;39(2):82-4.

Gitanjali B. The other side of OSPE. Indian J Pharmacol. 2004;36:388-9.

Yaqinuddin A, Zafar M, Ikram MF, Ganguly P. What is an objective structured practical examination in anatomy? Anat Sci Educ. 2013 Mar-Apr;6(2):125-33.

Newble DI, Swanson DB. Psychometric characteristics of the objective structured clinical examination. Med Educ. 1988;22:325-34.

Verhoeven BH, Hamers JGHC, Scherpbier AJJA, Hoogenboom RJI, Van der Vleuten CPM. The effect on reliability of adding a separate written assessment component to an objective structured clinical examination. Med Educ. 2000;34:525-9.

Joshi A, Trivedi M. Innovations in pharmacology teaching. Int J Pharmaceut Biomed Res. 2010;1(2):62-4.

Menezes Ritesh G, Nayak Vinod C, Binu VS, Kanchan Tanuj, Jagadish Rao P, Baral Prakash, et al. Objective structured practical examination in forensic medicine: students’ point of view. J Forensic Legal Med. 2011;18:347-9.

Natu MV, Singh Tejinder. Objective structured practical examination (OSPE) in pharmacology- students’ point of view. Indian J Pharmacol. 1994;26:188-9.