How can we help ensure thoughtful consideration of patient characteristics within test items?

The NBME® Item-Writing Guide provides considerations and suggestions for incorporating patient characteristics in test items.

The NBME Item-Writing Guide is a complementary resource that helps faculty members across health professions improve the quality of the multiple-choice items they write for their examinations. This guide is based on lessons that NBME staff have learned from decades of developing exam items and leading workshops in the field.

Within the guide, you can find suggestions for appropriately including patient characteristics within case vignettes in test items. Use this one-pager as an on-hand reference for some of these considerations when creating items.

Click image to view downloadable PDF

Patient characteristics in item creation infographic

For more best practices on item writing, download the full NBME Item-Writing Guide or sign up for an Item-Writing Workshop.

Medical education needs to support the advancement of skills and behaviors alongside knowledge, so students can develop as complete physicians, ready to take on patient care. We’re rethinking measurement to facilitate this evolution, but we can’t do it without new perspectives and ideas.