Comparison between three option, four option and five option multiple choice question tests for quality parameters: A randomized study

Indian Journal of Pharmacology
Bhavisha VegadaChetna Desai


Most of the academic teachers use four or five options per item of multiple choice question (MCQ) test as formative and summative assessment. Optimal number of options in MCQ item is a matter of considerable debate among academic teachers of various educational fields. There is a scarcity of the published literature regarding the optimum number of option in each item of MCQ in the field of medical education. To compare three options, four options, and five options MCQs test for the quality parameters - reliability, validity, item analysis, distracter analysis, and time analysis. Participants were 3(rd) semester M.B.B.S. students. Students were divided randomly into three groups. Each group was given one set of MCQ test out of three options, four options, and five option randomly. Following the marking of the multiple choice tests, the participants' option selections were analyzed and comparisons were conducted of the mean marks, mean time, validity, reliability and facility value, discrimination index, point biserial value, distracter analysis of three different option formats. Students score more (P = 0.000) and took less time (P = 0.009) for the completion of three options as compared to four options and five options groups. ...Continue Reading


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