Last updateThu, 23 Jun 2022 9am

Conceptualizing workplace based assessment in Singapore: Undergraduate Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise experiences of students and teachers

Sabrina Lau Yantinga, Annushkha Sinnathambya, DaoBo Wanga, Moses Tan Mong Henga, Justin Leong Wen Haoa, Shuh Shing Leeb, Su Ping Yeob, Dujeepa D. Samarasekerab,

a Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
b Centre for Medical Education, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Full-Text HTML  |  Download PDF

Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation



The Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (mini-CEX) is one of the most commonly used clinical assessment tools to provide learner feedback to drive learning. High quality constructive feedback promotes development and improves clinical competency. However, the effectiveness of feedback has not been objectively evaluated from the learners' and assessors' points of view, especially in Asia, where the nature of the student–tutor relationship is relatively hierarchical. This study seeks to compare the strengths, limitations, and feedback of the mini-CEX between assessors and students.

Materials and Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 275 senior medical undergraduates at the National University of Singapore and 121 clinical tutors from seven restructured hospitals in Singapore. Data was collected via a self-administered questionnaire. Univariate analysis was used to determine the prevalence of responses, as well as differences between tutors and students.


The mini-CEX provided immediate feedback and timely correction of mistakes. However, effective administration was limited by inter-tutor variability and lack of time. Students reported being receptive to feedback, but tutors disagreed and felt that students were resistant to negative feedback. Additionally, students felt that their performance was compared unfairly against more senior students, although the tutors felt otherwise.


The mini-CEX is an effective assessment tool, but is limited by barriers to administration and evaluation. Differing opinions and expectations between tutors and students could provide an interesting focal point for future studies.


Mini-CEX; Perspectives on clinical assessment; Workplace-based assessment


On the Cover

Search all Issue