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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 178

Perceptions of Students towards the Examination Questions at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak


UNIMAS, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UNIMAS, Kuching, Malawi

Date of Submission14-Feb-2008
Date of Web Publication09-Apr-2008

Correspondence Address:
P Thomas
Faculty of Medicine, UNIMAS, 93150 Kuching
Malawi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19034839


How to cite this article:
Thomas P, Hoon OP. Perceptions of Students towards the Examination Questions at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Educ Health 2008;21:178

How to cite this URL:
Thomas P, Hoon OP. Perceptions of Students towards the Examination Questions at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Educ Health [serial online] 2008 [cited 2021 Jun 21];21:178. Available from: https://www.educationforhealth.net/text.asp?2008/21/1/178/101584

Dear Editor,



The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak employ assessment methods that include: multiple choice questions (MCQ), modified essay questions (MEQ), objective structured practical examinations (OSPE), objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), short and long clinical cases and other cases to evaluate its medical students’ progress and performance. A study was conducted to ascertain students’ perceptions on fairness, clarity and the difficulty of True/False MCQs used in their examinations. A total of 218 examinees were briefed regarding the study and what is meant by fairness, clarity and difficulty (Kaufman, 2001; Duffield & Spencer, 2002; McCoubrie, 2004). They were given a checklist to indicate their perceptions of fairness, clarity and difficulty for each item immediately after they completed the examination paper. A total of 725 MCQs in 32 examinations used in years 1 – 5 and two professional examinations were surveyed.



The gross average of students’ perceptions on fairness, clarity and difficulty across all five years of medical education speaks of the favourable standard of MCQs used in the formative and summative assessments in this institution (see figure 1).







Figure 1: Perception of students towards MCQ's (True/False)



The high averages (above 80%) for perception on fairness of questions indicate that questions used in the examinations are within the intended and specified curriculum. Questions were generally perceived as clear (≈ 80%). Perception on the difficulty of questions was mixed, ranging from too easy to too difficult. More than one third (≈ 40%) perceived the questions as moderately difficult.



Conclusion



In order to maintain high standards in assessment, special attention should be given to the aspects of fairness, clarity and difficulty while writing and vetting examination questions.



Acknowledgement



The authors are grateful for the Seed Grant No. UNIMAS/21/09-01.2.3 (63) from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and would like to thank the Dean, Head of the Department of Medicine, the staff and students of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UNIMAS for their participation, help and encouragement.



P.T. Thomas and Ong Puay Hoon

Department of Medicine

Medical Education Unit

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Malaysia





References



DUFFIELD, K.E. & SPENCER, J.A. (2002). A survey of medical students’ views about the purposes and fairness of assessment. Medical Education, 36, 879-886.



KAUFMAN, D.M. (2001). Assessing medical students: Hit or miss. Student BMJ, 9, 87-88.



McCOUBRIE, P. (2004). Improving the fairness of multiple-choice questions: A literature review. Medical Teacher, 26, 709-712.




 

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