CHESTLearning & EventsEducator HubItem Writing: Part 1 – The Basics

Item Writing: Part 1 – The Basics

Presented by the CHEST Educator Development Subcommittee, Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP, and Bhavin Dalal, MD, FCCP, discuss the basic principles of successful item writing for testing in this first session of a two-part series. Learn about building each element of an item, various types of items, and common mistakes to avoid when constructing items. 

Learning objectives

  • Learn about the “anatomy” of an item
  • Understand the principles to write an item
  • Diagnose structural flaws in item construction

Watch part 2 of the webinar »


Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP, has extensive experience in test writing and test development for both in-service and high-stakes examinations, skills honed through his years of experience as a member of several examination groups within the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), the organization responsible for the development of certification tests for respiratory therapists. He practices pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in Western Pennsylvania.

Bhavin Dalal, MD, FCCP, is a respiratory course co-director for M1 students and the Associate Program Director for the Pulmonary-Critical Care Fellowship at Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine in Michigan. He is regularly immersed in question writing for final exams, midterm exams, and weekly quizzes and serves on OUWB’s Question Review Committee. He has repeatedly received awards for his teaching and clinical education.


Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP


Bhavin Dalal, MD, FCCP