The aim of this study was to compare the daily clinical grades of third-year dental students during routine clinical activities involving direct and indirect operative procedures to clinical and laboratory assessments. The authors compared students’ daily clinical grades to graded clinical assessments and compared daily clinical grades to laboratory assessments at one U.S. dental school. A total of 50 third-year students (participation rate: 98%) participated in this study during the school year of 2014–15. The study analyzed the students’ daily clinical grades and graded assessments during regular clinical activities and two laboratory examinations. The results found no statistically significant differences between daily grades and the clinical assessments (p=0.2845). There were statistically significant differences between daily clinical grades and laboratory assessments (p=0.0024). This study found higher grades were given for procedures completed and graded in the clinical setting. Further studies are needed to explore the possibility of clinical grades being positively skewed.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of Dental Education, v. 82, no. 4, p. 417-423.

Reprinted by permission of Journal of Dental Education, Volume 82, 4 (April 2018). Copyright 2018 by the American Dental Education Association. http://www.jdentaled.org

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)