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FEM: Revista de la Fundación Educación Médica

On-line version ISSN 2014-9840Print version ISSN 2014-9832


GIRVENT, Meritxell; BAILLES, Eva; MOYANO, Elisabeth  and  PEREZ, Jorge. Relationship between multiple choice and essay questions in the degrees of Human Biology and Medicine of the Pompeu Fabra University. FEM (Ed. impresa) [online]. 2019, vol.22, n.3, pp.109-113.  Epub Oct 14, 2019. ISSN 2014-9840.


In health sciences studies, multiple choice and essay questions are habitual and each of them suitable for evaluating different levels of educational objectives and with certain advantages and disadvantages.


To determine the relationship between scores in both tests in students of Human Biology and Medicine degrees of the Pompeu Fabra University, to investigate possible differences depending on the number of the questions, and to know possible differences in academic achievement in both tests.

Materials and methods:

Scores in the multiple choice questions and the essay questions tests of 12 subjects of the two grades were selected and the Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between both scores. Also, in each subject, scores in both types of tests were compared.


In all cases positive and significant correlations were given regardless of the number of questions of the essay tests. Likewise, in seven subjects there were significant differences between the scores of both tests being in five cases favourable to the essay tests.


Despite the high relationship between the scores in the two tests, it is recommended to continue using multiple choice questions and essay questions for allowing assessing different cognitive levels. The need for proper and fair preparation of the tests is recommended.

Keywords : Academic achievement; Assessment; Essay questions; Health science students; Multiple choice questions; Written assessment methods.

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