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May 12, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(2):201. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670020123016

In recent years, examinations to determine intelligence, aptitudes and accomplishments have been used more and more widely. For practical reasons, such examinations are usually of the objectively scored type. The adoption of objective techniques by certain specialty boards has demonstrated their usefulness and reliability. It is not surprising, therefore, to learn that the National Board of Medical Examiners is studying the advisability of changing to the multiple-choice type of examination and will try out such an examination in pharmacology and in internal medicine this spring.1

An important advantage of objectively scored examinations is the number of items that can be included and the resultant better sampling of the candidate's field of knowledge. Furthermore, the uniformity of grading standards, which is automatic with objective scoring, eliminates such irrelevant factors as the weight subconsciously or consciously given to penmanship, spelling, degree of conciseness and organization and incidental references to theories or

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