Get access

How to write good multiple-choice questions


  • Dianne E Campbell

    Corresponding author
    1. Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney
    2. Department of Immunology and Allergy, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Associate Professor Dianne E Campbell, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, Children's Hospital Westmead, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Fax: 0298453389; email:


Medical practitioners are frequently called upon to write multiple-choice questions for high stakes examinations, such as final year medical student assessments and specialist college accreditation examinations. The fairness and validity of these examinations depends principally on the generation of high-quality questions, which adequately sample the curriculum. The most common format for multiple-choice examinations are single best answer and extended matching type questions. This paper provides a simple guideline that will assist with the production of high-quality multiple-choice papers in these formats.