"Although true-false tests are the easiest to construct, they provide that old 50 percent guessing opportunity, thus not truly testing against the objectives," writes Toni DeTuncq, president of THD & Company, in the November Infoline, "Demystifying Measurement and Evaluation."
Yet multiple-choice tests are more difficult and time consuming to construct. Here are seven tips to help you develop effective multiple-choice questions.
- When possible, state the stem as a direct question rather than as an incomplete statement.
- Make sure alternatives are mutually exclusive.
- Present choices in some logical order, for example chronological, most to least, or alphabetical.
- Create one correct or best response for each item.
- Strive for at least four alternatives for each item to lower the chance of the test-taker guessing the correct answer.
- Avoid answers to one item that may help test-takers figure out the correct answer to another item.
- Avoid the use of "All of the above."
These tips were adapted from the November 2012 Infoline, "Demystifying Measurement and Evaluation," available at www.astd.org/infoline.