Evaluation of Multiple Choice Questions in the School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, the First Semester of 2007
Strides in Development of Medical Education: July 31, 2009, 5 (2); e58729
January 20, 2009
Article Type: Research Article
July 25, 2017
November 27, 2008
M , Vahidshahi
M , Shahbaznejad
L , Parvinnejad
N , et al. Evaluation of Multiple Choice Questions in the School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, the First Semester of 2007,
Strides Dev Med Educ.
Background & Objective: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) are the commonest form of exams
in medical education which are highly reliable; however their structural and content validity,
taxonomy and structural principles have always been considered by researchers. This study was
designed to evaluate quality of MCQs in the school medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical
Sciences, regarding taxonomy and structural principles.
Methods: In this descriptive study, all MCQs of written exams held during a whole semester in the
school of medical in Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences were evaluated. All questions
were assessed according to taxonomy (in three levels of recall, comprehension, and application) and
structure using a checklist which was based on Millman’s principles for designing stem and choices
Results: Among 1478 questions related to 25 exams, questions related to lessons of basic sciences,
physiopathology, and clerkship were 28.7%, 18.7%, 52.6% respectively. 77.4 percent of questions
were in Taxonomy I and the rest were designed in Taxonomy II and III. 46 percent of all questions
had no structural problems while the rest had one or more structural problems. Taxonomy and
structural problems in exams related to clerkship and physiopathology were significantly less than
basic science lessons (p=0.023 and p=0.001 respectively). Questions of higher taxonomy had less
Conclusion: Our present study showed that the quality of MCQs regarding structural principles and
taxonomy were different in exams of different levels which necessitate further revisions.
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