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Assessment is closely connected to learning since assessment allows a learner’s current competencies to be measured. The results of such a measurement can then be used to produce learning. There are three goals for assessment in medical education: assessment of learning, assessment for learning, and assessment as learning. These three goals serve different purposes and therefore differ in how they are carried out. They also require different approaches for the assessors. It is crucial that all three goals be balanced and attained lest the testing culture wax and the learning culture wane, resulting in a situation in which learners place too much emphasis on passing the tests and not enough emphasis on learning and growing. No single method of assessment can sufficiently achieve all three goals. One comprehensive approach to achieve as well as balance all three goals is to utilize programmatic assessment, in which various methods of assessment are employed based on their strengths and how they can cover each other’s limitations.
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