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    Hey,

    I'm not sure if there is an article for this (it would be very useful) but while I was reading 'How to become one of Tomorrow's Doctors' the author explained that different unis asses people in different ways. Some choosing an essay style answer and others using multiple choice questions (MCQs). I was wondering how I would go about finding the way different universities examine their students, because I'd prefer are more MCQ way. Thanks.
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    not sure how you could find out for different schools short of searching websites or asking people who study there. but for what its worth cambridge is a mix of MCQs (33% of degree but 66% of professional qualification) short answer questions (17% of degree but 33% of professional qualification) and essays (50% of degree but 0% of professional qualification). You have to pass the professional qualification (called the second MB) each year with a pass mark around 60% and pass the degree (min mark 40%=3rd but more you get better the class of your degree 50%=2.2 60%=2.1 70%=1st)
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    Aren't most uni's using MCQ's instead of essays now?

    Deen (at least, first year of Deen - I can't speak for the other years) is 50% MCQ (75% pass mark), 40% problem solving (so a series of short questions that lead on from the previous q), 10% elaborations on some of your MCQ answers. That's for the written papers, cos I can't remember where on earth the OSPE marks fit in.
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    (Original post by Becca-Sarah)
    Aren't most uni's using MCQ's instead of essays now?
    I think so.

    Here the first part is both MCQ and essays, where you need to pass both and 'merits' are only obtainable in the essays. third year is weird, including lab work and extended essays etc, and i don't know about clinical years.
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    Manchester written exams are 100% MCQs. (The resoning behind is most likely that they save a lot of time and money by putting answers of 300 odd students in each year through a computer rather than marking the scripts by hand)
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    (Original post by belis)
    Manchester written exams are 100% MCQs. (The resoning behind is most likely that they save a lot of time and money by putting answers of 300 odd students in each year through a computer rather than marking the scripts by hand)

    A very unfair way IMO - don't forget that the grade boundaries are standardised, so they change from year to year and exam to exam.

    All extremely silly and lazy on part of the University
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    Edinburgh exams are 60% MCQ/EMQ (although EMQs are up to A-Z options) and 40% short answer questions (max 10 marks each) in first year

    60% pass mark (although the MCQs and short answer questions are weighted to give the 60:40 and then it is 60% of the total so you can fail SAQs and still pass)
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    A very unfair way IMO- don't forget that the grade boundaries are standardised, so they change from year to year and exam to exam.
    Why is that unfair? Grade boundaries change to reflect on the difficulty of the paper so they are supposed to make the exams more fair.
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    Glasgow:

    First year is half MEQs (modified essay questions), half short notes (12 marks each I think.) The second paper has some weird exercise where you have to read an article and condense it - it's more like something you'd find on an English exam.

    Second year is all MEQs. The longest for a written question is around 8 marks, although there can be more marks for a question when it's something like "name X and give one function" for a series of different parts.

    Third year is different, it includes some MCQs. Not sure exactly but I'll find out soon enough.
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    Thanks for the responses guys. Looks like this is turning out to be the place to find out. Does anyone know about St. Andrews and Bristol?
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    Preclinical Medicine here is a combination of MEQ, OSPE + spotter (which from now on seems to be MCQ) and two MCQ papers, weighted 3: 3: 2: 2

    From this year, the MCQ papers are no longer True/False questions. Instead they're SBA (single best answer) and EMQs.
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    (Original post by Woody.)
    Hey,

    I'm not sure if there is an article for this (it would be very useful) but while I was reading 'How to become one of Tomorrow's Doctors' the author explained that different unis asses people in different ways. Some choosing an essay style answer and others using multiple choice questions (MCQs). I was wondering how I would go about finding the way different universities examine their students, because I'd prefer are more MCQ way. Thanks.
    st andies

    MCQs and SWAs (short written answers)

    fine and fair if you learn dat ****
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    At George's for Cycle One (Pre-clinical) we have Single Best Answer (SBA) questions and short answer questions (SAQs). We used to have negatively marked T/F MCQ but these were taken out! We also have an OSPE (practical anatomy spotter exam) and an OSCE at the end of every semester. The OSPE is SBA style and the OSCE doesn't involve any writing at all!

    Cycle Two (Clinical) consists of OSCEs at year 3, written finals (SAQ and essay style) at year 4 and OSCE finals at year 5.
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    BL: 1st and 2nd year EMQ and short answer question papers. Anatomy/Micro spotters. OSCEs
    Clinical years: EMQs and OSCEs.
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    purely out of interest- can i ask what an anatomy spotter exam consists of? i'm guessing its just a more standard name for what we call the steeplechase
    also what do you do in OSCEs?
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    (Original post by munro90)
    purely out of interest- can i ask what an anatomy spotter exam consists of? i'm guessing its just a more standard name for what we call the steeplechase
    also what do you do in OSCEs?
    It consists of a stream of prosections and dissections with pins stuck in specific structures, and questions about where the pin is placed, e.g. to identify a structure, or identify it's innervation, perfusion or function, etc.

    OSCEs run a bit like The Crystal Maze; there are a series of stations with simulated clinical scenarios or applied anatomy, with a task or series of tasks that you must complete within the time limit. This is purely a practical exam and an examiner is in the station with you, asking you questions and marking you as you go. They can be quite scary but some people enjoy them!
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    (Original post by munro90)
    purely out of interest- can i ask what an anatomy spotter exam consists of? i'm guessing its just a more standard name for what we call the steeplechase
    also what do you do in OSCEs?
    Ours are all based online with dodgily scanned pictures of prosections and slides and given I think 4 or 5 options for an arrow pointing at an object or structure.

    OSCEs- Something like 19 stations of which two are rest stations, 5 minutes long, 6 observed (i.e. clinical ones) and the rest are unobserved (i.e. anatomy).
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    (Original post by pianofingers)
    It consists of a stream of prosections and dissections with pins stuck in specific structures, and questions about where the pin is placed, e.g. to identify a structure, or identify it's innervation, perfusion or function, etc.

    OSCEs run a bit like The Crystal Maze; there are a series of stations with simulated clinical scenarios or applied anatomy, with a task or series of tasks that you must complete within the time limit. This is purely a practical exam and an examiner is in the station with you, asking you questions and marking you as you go. They can be quite scary but some people enjoy them!
    yer the anatomy exam sounds pretty much the same as our steeplechase. OSCEs seem quite different though- there's some clinical anatomy questions within our anatomy steeplechase however we don't get tasks but i suppose that will come in our clinical years
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    (Original post by munro90)
    yer the anatomy exam sounds pretty much the same as our steeplechase. OSCEs seem quite different though- there's some clinical anatomy questions within our anatomy steeplechase however we don't get tasks but i suppose that will come in our clinical years
    By tasks I mean things like

    "Take this patient's medication history" or

    "Perform a cardiovascular system examination on the patient omitting examination of the hands and face and report your findings to the examiner" or

    "The examiner will ask you a series of questions on anatomy. Answer all questions as asked"

    What's your OSCE like?
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    (Original post by pianofingers)
    By tasks I mean things like

    "Take this patient's medication history" or

    "Perform a cardiovascular system examination on the patient omitting examination of the hands and face and report your findings to the examiner" or

    "The examiner will ask you a series of questions on anatomy. Answer all questions as asked"

    What's your OSCE like?
    At Cambridge, we leave all the non-core-sciencey bits to years 4-6, so Munro hasn't had the wonderful experience of doing an OSCE yet.

    As for pre-clinical exams, in first year we have MCQs + essays in physiology, MCQs+EMQs+steeplechase/spotter+essays in anatomy, and MCQs+EMQs+calculations+essays in biochemistry. In addition to that, we have (or used to back in my day!) MCQs for medical stats and essays for sociology.

    In second year, we had T/F + calculations + essays in pharmacology, T/F + a case based practical + essays in pathology, and SAQs + spotters + essays in neuro. The T/F papers have 225-275 T/F questions in an hour which are negatively marked and have a passmark of around 60% or something ridiculous. In addition to that, we had 2 more essay based papers on 'special option' modules.

    Third year is our 'intercalated' year, and it's mostly essay based with a project or dissertation thrown in for good measure.

    In 4th year (1st year clinical) we have an OSCE with 6 examination stations (neuro, cardio, resp, abdo, peripheral vascular and GALS), 5 communication skills stations and around a dozen or so clinical skills station (from things like venepuncture to obs to urine dipstick, ECGs, opthalmascopy etc.) and a formative MCQ/EMQ paper.

    In 5th year, it's the first of our 'finals', where we have OSCEs in O+G and paeds (Simulated Clinical Encounter Examinations, data interpretation, clinical skills, clinical scenarios) and written exams in pathology which consists of a practical paper, an essay paper, MCQs/EMQs and +/- a viva voce.

    Finally, in 6th year, we have a Short Essay Question paper on ethics/law/possibly public health, EMQs, SCEEs, MCQs and clinical examminations.
 
 
 
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