Article Details

2017 | July-September | Issue3
Observed Shortcomings in framing Multiple Choice Questions for assessing Medical Undergraduates: A Study
Shagufta Wahab, Syed MD Qaseem, Rizwan A Khan


Introduction: Multiple choice questions (MCQs) are the most common format of exams for various medical entrance competitive exams in India at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. But this modality of evaluating a student’s knowledge may have many shortcomings, which may adversely affect the selection criteria. The aim of this study is to retrospectively analyze the MCQs of Radiodiagnosis in our medical college and suggest modification/changes for better and more standardized MCQs for our medical graduates.

Materials and methods: A total of 20 MCQs set up by teachers of the Department of Radiodiagnosis of our medical college were selected and given to a group of 24 final year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students preparing for postgraduate entrance exams, to answer in 15 minutes. These MCQs were then subjected to detailed item analysis using ease index (EI) and discrimination index (DI).

Results: A detailed analysis of 20 MCQS set up by teachers showed that only 50% of them were phrased correctly. Rest all of them had some shortcomings which required some modification or change.

Conclusion: Multiple choice questions remain the most common format for medical entrance examinations because of its obvious advantages—cheap for evaluating a large group, examiner bias removed, a large part of the course material covered, etc. But setting a perfect MCQ requires considerable practice and sticking to certain rules of setting MCQs, which is a must for proper assessment of our students.

Clinical significance: Setting a perfect MCQ paper is necessary for proper assessment of students and for the benefit of medical education.

Keywords: Discrimination index, Ease index, Medical education, Multiple choice questions.

How to cite this article: Wahab S, Qaseem SMD, Khan RA. Observed Shortcomings in framing Multiple Choice Questions for assessing Medical Undergraduates: A Study. MGM J Med Sci 2017;4(3):125-129.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None

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