What is Progress Testing?

Progress testing is a longitudinal assessment strategy that promotes deep, meaningful learning. It is aligned to the EBMA philosophy of ‘promoting best practices in assessment for learning in medical education’. Under the umbrella of EBMA, the International Progress Testing Programme, conceived and implemented by several progress testing specialists worldwide, will be able to incorporate better testing materials and more robust benchmarking. The blueprint of EBMA IPT is compatible with the blueprint of EBMA EKT so that the EBMA IPT can be also seen as a preparation for that exam. EBMA offers the possibility to customize the implementation of EBMA IPT according to your local conditions, purposes and needs.

Test design and construction

The blueprint of EBMA IPT is compatible with the blueprint of EBMA European Knowledge Test (EKT), which is focused on final year medical students and first year postgraduate doctors. Active collaboration from all partners is expected in order to avoid bias due to the authorship of the items. An international review committee has been established to ensure the quality of the questions used in EBMA IPT.

Local customization of the test is possible by inclusion of locally relevant questions and the adjustment of test content according to local epidemiology.

Standard setting

Standard setting for the EBMA IPT is based on relative norms calculated using the means and standard deviations of every measurement moment, which are later corrected by a quadratic curve.  Since similar progress tests have been administered in different international test administrations, we have performance benchmark information that we may use to inform further standard setting.

NEW ! EBMA Computerized Adaptive Progress Testing

EBMA also provides the International Progress Testing in an Online Computerized Adaptive way.

A Computerized Adaptive Progress Test is a test administered by computer that dynamically adjusts the difficulty of the test questions to the knowledge level demonstrated by each examinee as the test is being administered. So each examinee will get a personalized test. This means that the test administration does not need to be on a single moment. It can be done in a time window that suits the school best. The time window will also depend on the available computer stations.

Benefits of Computerized Adaptive Progress Testing

  • This type of testing is more efficient than conventional tests: it can reduce test length by 50% or more while keeping the same level of reliability or even increasing it;
  • A properly designed CAT can measure or classify all examinees with the same high degree of reliability/precision (> 0,90), leading to more accurate scores, a benefit that makes a positive difference for students in early academic years, when the reliability of traditional, paper-based progress tests tend to be lower, this means we can very reliably rank-order your learners in terms of knowledge proficiency;
  • Test safety is enhanced because each test taker receives an individually customized set of items;
  • It increases examinee motivation, because top students do not waste time on easy questions and low students are not discouraged by tough questions;
  • It allows immediate score reporting, reducing the time students need to wait to get their results;
  • It allows multimedia-rich items (pictures, audio, video), enhancing the professional authenticity of the test and
  • It allows easier test management with virtually no paper-work.


EBMA currently supports several schools with online Adaptive Progress Testing, which are:

University of Helsinki (Finland)
David Tvildiani Medical University (Georgia)
Monterrey Tec University (Mexico)
Maastricht University (the Netherlands)
University of Algarve (Portugal)
University of Freiburg (Zwitserland)