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Guidelines for Writing Examination Questions

Anyone who is ABB (BCLD, HCLD, ELD, TS) or ABOR (MT/MLT) certified may submit items (questions) for ABB and/or ABOR examinations.    

Each new question that you create must be accompanied with a reference [book title, edition or date published, and page number(s)] containing the correct answer. New items should be multiple choice (not essay or fill-in-the-blank) with four (4) possible answers.  

Questions with “double negatives,” or “not” questions (e.g., “Which of the following is NOT true?”), are less desirable and should be avoided, if possible.     

Questions with “all of the above,” “none of the above,” or “a and b” as a possible answer are NOT acceptable and will not be awarded CEU credit.  

Graphics usually enhance an item. You are encouraged to write new items with accompanying pictures, charts, or photomicrographs wherever possible (visuals should be forwarded in an electronic version, preferably “jpeg” format).   Graphics and images should be original. You will be asked to release the image’s copyright to ABB and ABOR.   If you are unwilling to grant copyright release, CEU credit cannot be awarded.  

The most challenging and desired examination questions are those requiring examinees to “apply” their knowledge or to “make judgments” based on acquired knowledge through scenario type questions (as opposed to simple “recall” type questions). These scenario or situational items are more difficult to write and require extra effort to research the source of the answer to the examination question. Typically, these questions require references for why the correct response is correct AS WELL AS references for why the wrong answers are wrong.  

Please remember to specify the correct answer and provide references for all items submitted. The following format is provided as an example of the proper format: 

Question #5. Correct Answer: a  

Reference: Codons for Dummies, 2nd edition, page 125; paragraph 3.  

                       Wrong answer (b)

Reference:   Codons for Dummies, 2nd edition, page 124; paragraph 2 

                                                Which of the following is the eukaryotic translation start codon?  

                                                                        a.   AGU
                                                                        b.   CAU
                                                                        c.   GUG
                                                                        d.   AUG 

To maintain security and confidentiality, please complete and sign the attached “Pledge of Personal Ethics and Confidentiality” form and forward it along with your examination items (questions) to Remember that the items you create may be on future forms of the examination and are not to be shared with others in your laboratory.

Earn CEUs for Writing ABB and AAB-BOR Examination Questions 

You may receive up to four (4) hours or 0.4 CEU in each two-year CEU recording period for writing examination items (questions) for the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB) or the AAB Board of Registry (ABOR) examinations.  One contact hour, or 0.1 CEU, credit is awarded for every six (6) examination questions. The questions must be in the correct format, original questions and be accepted by the Item Writers' Committee to receive CEU credit.