Multiple Choice Questions in Medical Education: Indispensable or Expendable?

  • Sabyasachi Sircar Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan ‑ 342 005, India.
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In an interview, a medical teacher who was asked about his views on multiple choice questions (MCQs) could only mumble the words: “guessing” and “cheating.” Unfortunately, the majority of academics in India seem to hold the view that an MCQ is nothing but a guessing‑and‑cheating game. Such a misconception has adverse effects on medical education. MCQs, it should be borne in mind, are much more than just a type of question: it is an educational tool with four facets: it tests the student, teaches the student, tests the teacher, and teaches the teacher. The first role is preeminent and widely known. What is rarely appreciated is that the MCQ also “teaches the student:” every time a student guesses the answer, logically or randomly, rightly or wrongly, he or she stands to gain from it when told the correct answer. More importantly, the concepts gained from good MCQs tend to lodge themselves in the intermediate‑term memory, the reason for which is to be found in the way the brain functions: only those events that are associated with emotions are stored in the intermediate‑term memory. Read more....

How to Cite
Sircar, S. (2018). Multiple Choice Questions in Medical Education: Indispensable or Expendable?. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Physiology, 5(2), 108-110. Retrieved from