What is the use of online exam software in Medical Education?

These days online exam software is being used in various educational as well as corporate domains to automate all types of assessments. But when we talk about the medical education we must consider the point that creating tests for our future doctors is not that easy. You need to be extra cautious with your choice of online exam software when implementing for medical education.

The stakes of creating assessments for medical aspirants is particularly high as they need to showcase their knowledge along with practical competence and clinical reasoning. To get the complete in-sight to their knowledge it is important to create tests that are highly robust and scientifically reliable.

Here we will discuss in detail about the types of exams that can be created for medical education using online examination system, and what are their merits-

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

MCQ type tests are the most common exam pattern used in the medical assessments. Paper-based MCQ tests lack accuracy and the result takes time to be declared. With online exam software you can automatically create, conduct and evaluate MCQ tests with ease. The reports are instantly available along with a detailed feedback that can be shared with the students.

MCQ tests are no doubt quite popular but still there are few criticism related to it. Candidates can depend on guesses. They can use logic and reasoning to interpret answer through the distractors.

Extended Matching Items (EMI)

Extended matching items are type of MCQs but they are more descriptive in nature and can better assess the diagnostic knowledge of the candidates. In EMI the questions consist of multiple scenarios or variables as answers from which the students can select one option. The guessing work is less likely to happen in this type of exam.

Single Best Answer (SBA)

Single best answers are also commonly used in preparing assessments for medical students. In this type of test the questions are accompanied with multiple answers out of which the student needs to select a single best answer.

The drawback with this type of test is that it can have more than one similar type of options which can confuse the test taker. Through this the clinical knowledge of the medical students are tested. They must put their logical reasoning into selecting a single best answer.

Open Ended Questions- Very short & short

With online exam software you can also create open ended questions (subjective type) that can be both short as well as very short. Rather than selecting from the given options, here the candidates can write their very own answers. The test depends on the instructions if it is asking for short answers or very short answers. It can also be a combination of both and consist of marks accordingly.

Essay Type Questions

In this type of questions the answers are comparatively longer than short open ended questions. Online examination system comes with inbuilt features to create and evaluate such tests effectively. Essay type questions give a lot of space and flexibility to the candidates to demonstrate their knowledge.

Essay type tests are evaluated manually but the benefit of doing it through online platform is that the model answer is visible on the same screen from which the examiner can tally the answers.

Practical Exams and Mini Interviews

For medical related practical exams the best choice of test is objective structured clinical exams (OSCE). They are considered to be the best choice to judge the practical knowledge of candidates. Using online exam software the examiners can create digital OSCE which is easy to conduct and evaluate as compared to manual one.

Mini Interviews are used by medical schools in which they ask the candidate to take part in practical assessments. With Mini Interviews the candidates are assessed on their logical and critical thinking as well as reasoning and empathy.


Online exam software has overall got multiple benefits but they are actually being a boon to the medical education all because of their diverse features. Medical domain requires a variety of tests and question types and the use of online examination system is the best way to automate this requirement.


What do you think?

Written by Janetta Ainslee

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