Performance of candidates disclosing dyslexia with other candidates in a UK medical licensing examination: cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Purpose of the study

The aim of this study was to compare performance of candidates who declared an expert-confirmed diagnosis of dyslexia with all other candidates in the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) of the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners licensing examination.

Study design

We used routinely collected data from candidates who took the AKT on one or more occasions between 2010 and 2015. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyse performance of candidates who declared dyslexia with all other candidates, adjusting for candidate characteristics known to be associated with examination success including age, sex, ethnicity, country of primary medical qualification, stage of training, number of attempts and time spent completing the test.

Results

The analysis included data from 14 examinations involving 14 801 candidates of which 2.6% (379/14 801) declared dyslexia. The pass rate for candidates who declared dyslexia was 83.6% compared with 95.0% for other candidates. After adjusting for covariates linked to examination success including age, sex, ethnicity, country of primary medical qualification, stage of training, number of attempts and time spent completing the test dyslexia was not significantly associated with pass rates in the AKT. Candidates declaring dyslexia after initially failing the AKT were more likely to have a primary medical qualification outside the UK.

Conclusions

Performance was similar in AKT candidates disclosing dyslexia with other candidates once covariates associated with examination success were adjusted for. Candidates declaring dyslexia after initially failing the AKT were more likely to have a primary medical qualification outside the UK.

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