Introduction: The present study aims to find the effect of instruction of negative marking in a self-coded MCQ examination on the performance of students in the subject of Pharmacology with respect to the raw score, correct score and negative score.
Material and methods: This longitudinal study was conducted in the Department of Pharmacology, Rural Medical College, Loni. The Second MBBS students were exposed to a self-coded MCQ test twice by surprise. The first test (T1) was given without instructions of negative marking, while during the second test (T2) instructions for negative marking were given. The parameters of the raw score, negative score, corrected score and number of students who did not attempt respective MCQs were calculated. The number of students passing with modified Minimum Passing Level was calculated was compared with conventional Minimum Passing Level.
Results: Sixty-seven students participated in the study. There was a statistically significant decrease in the raw score in the T2, while the increase in the negative score when compared with T1. The number of non-attempted questions was increased in T2. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of students passed with respect to raw score in T1 and T2, while no such difference was seen with respect to Negative score and Corrected score.
Conclusion: The Corrected score and Negative score are not affected by the minimum passing level, indicating a better parameter of scoring than the raw score. Hence, the use of Negative score or Corrected score should be encouraged than the use of conventional Raw score.
Keywords: Minimum Passing Level, Negative Marking, MCQ, Corrected score, Pharmacology, Formative assessment, surprise test, self-coded test.