Students' reactions to three typical examinations in health sciences Academic Article uri icon


  • A search for universal and particular changes in emotional, behavioral and cognitive assessments in relation to three types of examinations: an oral presentation, an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and a pencil and paper examination. One hundred and two students of health professions completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire before (t1) and after (t2) each type of examination. Data regarding stress-related symptoms, attitudes, and preparation behavior were collected at (t2). POMS six subscales scores at (t1) did not differ by examination type and five of them were statistically significant higher at (t1) than (t2) regardless of examination type. "Preparing behavior" also emerged as a universal feature. As for the particular aspects of each examination, OSCE students felt more depression-dejection and fatigue at (t2) than at (t1). Oral presentation was perceived as the most difficult by students, who also reported more symptoms. For this type of examination, the students regained their confidence towards the end of the presentation and perceived classmates as most supportive and least disturbing. The pencil and paper examination was evaluated as the easiest by students, produced fewest symptoms and no excitement during the examination. Three types of examinations, frequently used in health sciences, appeared to initiate different physical, emotional, and social reactions.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005