Preparing Test Items

PEARLS

  1. Test items should map to specific course objectives and should focus on important concepts.
  2. Items should assess application of knowledge, not recall of isolated facts.
  3. Item stem/lead-ins must pose clear and focused questions.
  4. Avoid trivial or overly tricky/complex questions.
  5. Avoid technical flaws that cue students to the correct answer, or introduce irrelevant difficulty.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

» Multiple Choice Question Test Item Construction (PDF)
» NBME - Item Writing (link)
» NBME U - Online Lessons on Assessment Principles (link)