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

Document Type



Educational Development; Centre for Innovation in Medical Education


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.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Education for Health