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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 195-197

Tips for Developing a Valid and Reliable Bank of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1 Department of Surgery and Educational Development, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
2 Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
3 Department for Educational Development, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Shazia Sadaf
Senior Instructor - Education Coordinator, Department of Surgery and Educational Development, Faculty Offices, Link Building, Aga Khan University, P.O. Box 3500, Stadium Road, Karachi - 74800
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.109786

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Introduction: Multiple choice questions (MCQs) are one of the most frequently used written assessments particularly when there is a large body of material to be tested and a large number of students to be assessed. MCQ examinations have manageable logistics, are easy to administer, can be scored rapidly and difficulty indices and the discriminatory value of each item can be easily calculated, facilitating standard application. Methods of ensuring quality assurance are essential when assessment is used for the purposes of certification. Methods: Developing MCQs requires a concerted effort from curriculum planners, content experts, course coordinators and medical educators. This article aims at outlining a stepwise approach towards ensuring quality assurance in written assessments in an integrated curriculum from aligning assessment with the learning to ensuring banking of good quality MCQs. Discussion: Coordinated efforts and a stepwise approach towards item development, coupled with focused faculty development exercises, is a cost-effective means of developing a huge 'Question Data Bank' of valid and reliable test items which can serve as a National Resource for the Professional Regulatory Councils in the country for their Licensure Examination.

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