Ian Bickle gives some tips
- By: Ian C Bickle
Multiple choice questions (MCQs) are an effective method of knowledge assessment widely used in medical education. This type of question features frequently throughout undergraduate and postgraduate assessment.
Approaching MCQs can be harder than it seems with potential pitfalls for the unwary and bonus marks for those with a sound understanding of what to watch out for.
Point 1: Beware of the specific wording of question stems, especially the words commonly, typically, and rarely. A statement may be correct in essence but not when these words are taken into account.
In the above example (D) demonstrates this point well. Amylase can be raised in obstructive jaundice; however, it is not a typical feature--typical meaning that you expect it to be present.
Point 2: Watch out for questions in which the statement includes two pieces of information. Often one piece (the initial part) is correct, but the part that follows is incorrect.