Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Extended-Matching Items

Extended matching items 

What are the extended matching questions and how many can you expect in the MRCPsych Exam?

An extended-matching items/question (EMI or EMQ) is a written examination format similar to multiple-choice questions but with one key difference, that they test knowledge in a far more applied, in-depth, sense. We often use it in medical education and other healthcare subject areas to test diagnostic reasoning.

Structure

The structure has three key elements:

Answer option list

Sources suggest using a minimum of eight answer options for a ratio of five scenarios or vignettes to ensure that the probability of getting the correct answer by chance remains reasonably low.[1] The logical number of realistic options should dictate the exact number of answer options. The logical number of realistic options should dictate the exact number of answer options. This ensures that the test item has authenticity and validity.

Lead-in question:

This should be as specific as possible and upon reading the lead-in question it should understand exactly what the student needs to do - without needing to look at the answer options. If you need to look at the answers to understand the question, the item has not been well-written.


Two or more scenarios or vignettes:

There should be at least two vignettes, otherwise, this becomes an MCQ. Because the item allows for an in-depth test of knowledge, we should relate each of the scenarios to one another by a theme that summarises the question overall. Each scenario should be roughly similar in structure and content, and each has one 'best' answer from amongst the series of answer options given.


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