Correlation of the NBME advanced clinical examination in EM and the national EM M4 exams

Katherine Hiller, Emily S. Miller, Luan Lawson, David Wald, Michael Beeson, Corey Heitz, Thomas Morrissey, Joseph House, Stacey Poznanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Since 2011 two online, validated exams for fourth-year emergency medicine (EM) students have been available (National EM M4 Exams). In 2013 the National Board of Medical Examiners offered the Advanced Clinical Examination in Emergency Medicine (EM-ACE). All of these exams are now in widespread use; however, there are no data on how they correlate. This study evaluated the correlation between the EM-ACE exam and the National EM M4 Exams. Methods: From May 2013 to April 2014 the EM-ACE and one version of the EM M4 exam were administered sequentially to fourth-year EM students at five U.S. medical schools. Data collected included institution, gross and scaled scores and version of the EM M4 exam. We performed Pearson's correlation and random effects linear regression. Results: 303 students took the EM-ACE and versions 1 (V1) or 2 (V2) of the EM M4 exams (279 and 24, respectively). The mean percent correct for the exams were as follows: EM-ACE 74.8 (SD-8.83), V1 83.0 (SD-6.41), V2 78.5 (SD-7.70). Pearson's correlation coefficient for the V1/ EM-ACE was 0.51 (0.42 scaled) and for the V2/EM-ACE was 0.59 (0.41 scaled). The coefficient of determination for V1/EM-ACE was 0.72 and for V2/EM-ACE = 0.71 (0.86 and 0.49 for scaled scores). The R-squared values were 0.25 and 0.30 (0.18 and 0.13, scaled), respectively. There was significant cluster effect by institution. Conclusion: There was moderate positive correlation of student scores on the EM-ACE exam and the National EM M4 Exams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalWestern Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Clerkship
  • Emergency medicine
  • Medical student
  • NBME
  • Shelf exam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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