Spaced Education With ABSITE Quest Resulting in Improved American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination Performance.
OBJECTIVE: The American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) is an annual exam taken by general surgery residents as a cognitive assessment of the knowledge gained throughout each year of training. Several question banks are available for ABSITE preparation. However, ABSITE Quest (AQ) utilizes a method called spaced education which has been demonstrated to help with retaining information longer and improve exam performance. This study hypothesizes that using this method will help residents improve their ABSITE performance.
DESIGN: Retrospective survey data was collected from residents who participated in AQ, including postgraduate year (PGY) level, as well as 2019 and 2020 ABSITE percentiles. AQ user data was used to match respondent's total number of questions completed and daily engagement level to the survey data. Paired, single-tailed student's t test was used to evaluate the significance of ABSITE percentile change between 2019 and 2020 among AQ users.
SETTING: ChristianaCare, Newark, DE, United States. Nonclinical.
PARTICIPANTS: All ABSITE Quest users were surveyed (n = 390), of which 104 responded. 21 responses were from PGY1 residents and were excluded, resulting in a total of 83 responses.
RESULTS: The mean percentile difference of AQ users from 2019 to 2020 was +15.8 (p < 0.00001). When categorizing by the total number of questions completed, high users demonstrated a mean percentile difference of +15.3 (p = 0.00002), average users had a difference of +19.1 (p = 0.00029), and low users showed a percentile difference of +1.2 (p = 0.45244). When categorizing by daily engagement level, high users demonstrated a mean percentile difference of +17.9 (p < 0.00001), low users had a mean percentile difference of +15.3 (p = 0.00124), and minimal users showed a mean percentile change of -5.7.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of the spaced education method with ABSITE Quest, especially in users with a greater number of questions completed and high levels of daily engagement, correlated with a significant improvement on ABSITE performance.
Published In/Presented At
Gough, B. L., Gerges, M., & Weinberger, J. (2021). Spaced Education With ABSITE Quest Resulting in Improved American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination Performance. Journal of surgical education, 78(2), 597–603. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.07.039
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery