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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 183-186

Item analysis of multiple choice questions of undergraduate pharmacology examinations in an International Medical School in India

Department of Pharmacology, Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC), Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Yeshwanth Rao Karkal
Department of Pharmacology, Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC), Manipal University, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2277-8632.191842

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Background: Item analysis is widely used to improve test quality by observing the characteristics of a particular item and this can hence be used to ensure that questions are of an appropriate standard for inclusion in a test. Hence, this study to evaluate the multiple choice questions of an undergraduate pharmacology program. Materials and Methods: A total of 488 items were randomly selected and subjected to item analysis. Facility value (FV) and discrimination index (DI) were calculated by applying the appropriate formulae with the help of MS Excel. Results: The overall mean FV (difficulty index) and DI was 56.64% (±2.36) (mean range: 23.89-71.25%) and 0.22 (±0.84) (mean range: 0.16-0.44), respectively. 71.09% of the items analyzed were found to be “good/optimal” items based on the FV (14.13% — optimal, 56.96% — good) and 36.26% of the items analyzed were found be “very/reasonably” good items based on the DI (20.49% — very good, 15.77% — reasonably good). The number of “poor” items was 22.95% based on the FV and 18.23% based on the DI. When both the parameters were considered together, only 23% of the items were found to be “good” and 17.11% were found to be “poor.” Pearson correlation between the two indices showed a negative correlation (but statistically insignificant) between these two indices (r = −0.001379, P= 0.9774). Conclusion: Item analysis when regularly incorporated can help to develop a very useful, valid and a reliable question bank.

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