Residency programs’ perceptions of the different grading scales used to evaluate advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) performance and reasons for the preferences were assessed.
The residency application process is becoming increasingly competitive as more students seek postgraduate training. Surveying current postgraduate year one (PGY1) residency program directors (RPDs) may provide insight into whether the type of APPE grading scale presented on a transcript is a consideration factor when selecting candidates to interview. A survey instrument was developed to gather information on residency programs’ opinions and preferences for the different APPE grading scales (letter, pass/fail, and pass/fail with honors/distinction). Surveys (n=1,203) were electronically distributed to PGY1 program RPDs. Of the 1,172 surveys successfully delivered, 225 were completed (response rate, 19.2%). Programs in 45 states were represented in the results. Most (80%) respondents preferred the letter APPE grading scale, with pass/fail with distinction/honors selected as the second most preferred scale. RPDs emphasized the ability to distinguish among candidates’ performance to be valuable. In general, many RPDs were unfamiliar with the pass/fail evaluation criteria and expressed that the lack of standardization made it difficult to compare candidates from different institutions.
The majority of RPDs surveyed preferred the letter APPE grading scale because they believed the grading scale was better able to differentiate among candidates and understood how grades were awarded. Colleges of pharmacy who use honors grading should consider providing details about how honors are assigned on the transcript.Published in