Tricky exam questions
Daniel K Sokol considers examination ethics for medical students
It's your lucky day. A sympathetic doctor on your firm divulges the contents of a station in the objective structured clinical examination. What do you do? Do you guard the valuable information to your advantage? Do you share it with others out of fairness or loyalty? Do you tell the head of examinations about the leak? This dilemma really occurred, I heard from a friend, and the students kept the secret.
Medical students, more than any other students, are experts in examinations. They sit them every few weeks. So it is not surprising that they have developed strategies to make them less stressful. Some are straightforward, such as developing a detailed revision schedule. Others are more underhand. One strategy is to analyse past papers to spot questions or topics that may appear in future exams. Another is to listen carefully to lecturers who, deliberately or unintentionally, may leak details of