Tips for developing a valid and reliable bank of multiple choice questions (MCQs)

Shazia Sadaf, Sadaf Khan, Syeda Kauser Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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 difficultry 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-197
Number of pages3
JournalEducation for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • Faculty development
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Post hoc analysis
  • Question bank


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