Medical Students’ Perceptions of E-assessment: Multiple Choice Questions used as a Tool of Assessment for Preclinical Years


avatar Rajani Ranganath ORCID 1 , * , avatar Chitra Rajalaksmi 2 , avatar Miriam A Simon 3

1 Department of Pathology, Oman Medical College, Sohar, Sultanate of Oman

2 Department of Microbiology, Oman Medical College, Sohar, Sultanate of Oman

3 Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Oman Medical College, Sohar, Sultanate of Oman

How to Cite: Ranganath R , Rajalaksmi C, Simon M A. Medical Students’ Perceptions of E-assessment: Multiple Choice Questions used as a Tool of Assessment for Preclinical Years. J Med Edu. 2017;16(1):e105563. doi: 10.22037/jme.v16i1.14842.


Journal of Medical Education: 16 (1); e105563
Published Online: August 02, 2017
Article Type: Research Article
Received: November 10, 2016
Accepted: March 14, 2017


Background: Assessments and examinations judge the learning capabilities and test the knowledge and skills that students have acquired during their academic courses. The general paper-pen exams are now slowly being replaced by online testing system. This online assessment is now widely used in medical colleges in western countries and is slowly being introduced in Middle East countries as well. The objectives of the present study were to assess medical student’s perceptions on multiplechoice questions (MCQs) based E-assessment and to analyze the strength and weakness of the online assessment method.Methods: The study was done on 280 year 2, 3, and 5 students of Oman Medical College (OMC). A 23-item questionnaire that addressed different variables associated with attitudes, perceptions, user comfort factors and type of questions used for assessment about using online examinations was employed.Data were analyzed using the SPSS software. Results: We included 125 (44.6%) students from 2nd year, 110 (39.3%) from 3rd year, and 45(16.1%) students from 5th year. The survey looked upon the four main domains about the use of online exams using multiple choice questions (MCQs): 1. Affective factors, 2. Validity factors, 3. Practicality, and 4.Reliability and Security. Most medical students were comfortable with the online assessment mode.They perceived that the use of MCQs was sufficient to test knowledge during their course. A major theme of concern was technical problems and security issues.Conclusion: Our survey indicated that most students preferred MCQs based E-assessment. However it is evident that the exam system needs to be improved in areas of preparation of well-constructed MCQs, its reliability and validity, practical and technical problems and also regarding the security of the exam system to prepare medical students global competent.


The body of the article can be found in the PDF file.


  • 1.

    References are available in the PDF file

  • © 2017, Journal of Medical Education. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.