Friday, March 6, 2015

Top Tips: Writing Multiple Choice Questions

If you missed the chance to attend the “writing effective multiple choice questions” workshops, here are some of the top tips that were shared.

For more information, check out the resources from the RED Group here:!resources/c1nv8

Prepare Students for the Final

  • Use the final exam's testing rules all year.
  • Mimic the format of the final exam on tests throughout year.
  • If your final exam uses a bubble sheet, use bubble sheets all year.

Make a Test Plan First

  • Determine the objectives you will be assessing on your exam
  • Outline the number of exam questions you will create per objective
  • Decide which questions will be easy, medium, and difficult.
  • Having a test plan makes it much easier to make alternate versions of assessments!

Goals of Multiple Choice Questions

  • Questions should be quick to read (for students in your class).
  • On your exam, equally distribute the correct answer choices.
    (Every correct answer should not be choice "a".)
  • Each question should be aligned to a learning outcome. 

Fast Question Writing Tips

  • Vertically stacked answer choices (a, b, c, d) are easier to read than horizontally stacked choices.
  • Answers should not contain parts (or a restatement) of the question. 
  • "A" and "an" go before the answers, not at the end of questions.
    (My type of pet is... a. a cat   b. an alpaca)
  • In questions, try to avoid: negatives (which of these is NOT), absolutes (which of these is ALWAYS), and qualifiers (which of these is ONLY).