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Single best answer question-writing tips for clinicians
  1. J L Walsh1,2,
  2. B H L Harris2,3,
  3. P E Smith2
  1. 1Vascular Medicine Programme, American University of Beirut Medical Centre, Beirut, Lebanon
  2. 2Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK
  3. 3St Anne's College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Phil Smith, The Alan Richens Epilepsy Unit, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; SmithPE{at}cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

Assessment is essential for progression in medical careers. Thus, an important aspect of developing as a clinical teacher is the ability to produce high-quality assessments for junior colleagues. The single best answer (SBA) question format is becoming ubiquitous in the assessment of the application of knowledge in clinical medicine; writing this style of examination question can be a challenge. This concise guide highlights key SBA question-writing tips, aiming to help aspiring clinical teachers set high-quality knowledge assessments.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors JLW and BHLH are joint first authors.

  • Competing interests JLW recently completed his academic foundation training in Wales. He is currently a research fellow in cardiology at the American University of Beirut Medical Centre, Lebanon. He is active in educational research, undergraduate and postgraduate medical teaching, writing and reviewing questions for medical school examinations and sits on the Programmes in Medical Education board at the American University of Beirut. He is co-founder of an online SBA question database for medical student revision. BHLH has recently completed his academic foundation training in Oxford. He teaches preclinical and clinical students in his roles as a lecturer at St Anne's College, Oxford and clinical teaching associate of Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is co-founder of an online SBA question database for medical student revision. PES is a consultant neurologist and sub-dean for Assessments at Cardiff University School of Medicine and is associate medical director for Quality for the Federation of Royal College of Physicians (UK).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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