Evaluation of the Quality of Multiple-Choice Questions Used in Cardiology Certification and Recertification Exams

Amanda Galli, Héctor Roiter, Daniela P. De Mollein, Sandra Swieskowski, Nicolás Atamañuk, Andrés Ahuad Guerrero, Hugo Grancelli, Carlos Barrero

Abstract


The Argentine Society of Cardiology uses multiple-choice questions for Cardiology Certification and Recertification exams. Two independent observers revised 200 questions used in two examination tests (A and B) during 2009. We used the Galofré Quality Index, which considers 10 criteria for writing multiple-choice questions and establishes a scale ranging from 1 to 5 points according to the number of construction defects the question has. The maximum value of quality is 5. Mean value of the quality of questions represents the Quality Index of the whole test. We found that 30% of the questions had a very good technical quality (quality value 4 and 5); about 40% were acceptable questions (quality value 3) that should be improved, and 30% were unacceptable (quality value 1 and 2). The Quality Index of test A was 2.15 and of test B was 3.21. The most frequent writing defects in both exams were the lack of bullet points (case report or problem) and exploring knowledge only in terms of memory or recalling isolated information. In  conclusion, it would be convenient to constitute a permanent work group in the Argentine Society of Cardiology to revise and improve the questions and create a bank of items.


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Revista argentina de cardiología. ISSN en línea 1850-3748. Argentine journal of cardiology (English ed. Online ISSN 2314-2286) Sociedad Argentina de Cardiología. Azcuénaga 980 (C1115AAD),Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, República Argentina. Tel. (54 11) 4961-6027/8/9 Fax: 4961-6020 www.sac.org.ar revista@sac.org.ar