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Our market-leading eSystem exam software is designed to make the creation of exams as intuitive and streamlined as possible. In this blog post we’re taking a closer look at borderline regression and how it can be used to help calculate pass marks.

OSCE papers and eSystem

Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and Short Written Answer papers can be time consuming to prepare as well as complex to interpret. Our eSystem software makes this workflow and process easier and more efficient by automating as much of the process as possible.

What is borderline regression?

It is a method of setting a pass mark for OSCE stations. As a process, it focuses on the subjective grades given by examiners, rather than the overall scores.

How does the borderline regression method work?

The borderline regression method works by applying a simple, linear regression calculation on the candidate’s scores. This number is then split by the subjective grades supplied by the examiner, such as “Fail”, “Borderline”, “Pass”. The pass mark is then derived from the point at which the best fit regression line crosses the borderline mark.


eSystem allows the borderline mark to be set at any bespoke value. It’s then possible to generate a grade report which displays the regression line in addition to the calculated pass mark.

Setting the pass mark universally

Quickly and easily set the pass mark for all OSCE stations to the revised borderline regression mark by simply clicking on the “Calculate Pass Mark” option in the “exams setting” section. This not only calculates the pass mark for each station, but it also generates the overall pass mark for the whole exam. Additionally, it’s possible to make further refinements and modifications for each station manually by using the drop down menus.

Watch our video on how to use Borderline regression for standard setting in eSystem.

Why use the borderline regression method?

Borderline regression is a very popular and proven method of calculating pass marks. Being very easy and quick to calculate, it’s an objective way of standard setting; based observations made by the examiner.

For more information on using eSystem and Borderline regression, please contact our team at Speedwell via this website, email at or by telephone on +44 (0)1223 851703.