Lee Coombes, Cardiff University School of Medicinek, Wales

Workshop description

This workshop will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about different approaches to standard setting, their relative advantages and disadvantages, and when and how to apply them to provide a defensible cut score.   The aim of any standard is to provide a defensible cut score on an assessment, but the choice of method, administration, and application can vary considerably.

The workshop will feature two types of Angoff, Ebel, borderline and contrasting groups, borderline regression, Hofstee, Cohen, and a heated debate about which of these methods is the best.

Participants will be provided with the tools and guidance they need to carry these methods out in their own institutions in order to provide defensible outcomes for their assessments.


The course objective is for attendees to be able to confidently apply a range of standard setting methods in such a way that they can create defensible and robust standards for their own assessments.  Participants will learn the concepts and underlying theories behind a range of common standard setting methods.  They will learn when to use each method and work through examples so they acquire the skills they require to implement them.


Angoff W. 1971. Scales, norms and equivalent scores. In: Thorndike R, editor. Educational Measurement. Washington, DC: American Council on Education. pp 508–600

Cizek, G. J., & Bunch, M. B. (2007). Standard setting: A guide to establishing and evaluating performance standards on tests. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cohen-Schotanus J, Van der Vleuten C. 2010. A standard setting method with the best performing students as point of reference: Practical and affordable. Med Teach 32:154–160