Advantages and Disadvantages of various kinds of Test Questions

Advantages and Disadvantages of various kinds of Test Questions

It’s good to regularly review the benefits and disadvantages of the very most widely used test questions as well as the test banks that now frequently provide them.

Multiple-choice questions

  • Quick and easy to score, by hand or electronically
  • Could be written so that they test a range that is wide of thinking skills
  • Can cover lots of content areas on a single exam and still be answered in a course period
  • Often test literacy skills: “if the student reads the question carefully, the clear answer is not hard to recognize even in the event the student knows little in regards to the subject” (p. 194)
  • Provide students that are unprepared opportunity to guess, in accordance with guesses which are right, they get credit for things they don’t know
  • Expose students to misinformation that may influence thinking that is subsequent the content
  • Devote some time and skill to create questions that are(especially good

True-false questions

  • Easy and quick to score
  • Regarded as being “one of the very most unreliable forms of assessment” (p. 195)
  • Often written in order for all of the statement holds true save one small, often trivial little bit of information that then makes the statement that is whole
  • Encourage guessing, and reward for correct guesses

Short-answer questions

  • Quick and easy to grade
  • Easy and quick to write
  • Encourage students to memorize terms and details, making sure that their knowledge of this content remains superficial
  • Offer students a chance to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities in lots of ways
  • Could be used to develop student writing skills, especially the ability to formulate arguments supported with evidence and reasoning

  • Require extensive time for you to grade
  • Encourage usage of subjective criteria when answers that are assessing
  • If utilized in class, necessitate quick composition without time for planning or revision, that may end in poor-quality writing

Questions given by test banks

  • Save instructors the time and energy taking part in writing test questions
  • Utilize the terms and methods which can be found in the book
  • Rarely involve analysis, synthesis, application, or evaluation (cross-discipline research documents that approximately 85 percent of the relevant questions in test banks test recall)
  • Limit the scope of this exam to text content; if used extensively, may lead students to write me essay conclude that the material covered in class is irrelevant and unimportant

We have a tendency to think that they are the test that is only options, but there are numerous interesting variations. The content that promoted this review proposes one: begin with a concern, and revise it until it may be answered with one word or a phrase that is short. Try not to list any answer choices for that question that is single but put on the exam an alphabetized list of answers. Students select answers from that list. A number of the answers provided may be used more often than once, some may possibly not be used, and there are many answers listed than questions. It’s a ratcheted-up version of matching. The approach helps make the test more difficult and decreases the opportunity of having an answer correct by guessing.

Remember, students do have to be introduced to your new or altered question format on an exam before they encounter it.

Editor’s note: The list of pros and cons comes in part through the article referenced here. It cites research evidence relevant to a few of these benefits and drawbacks.

Reference: McAllister, D., and Guidice, R.M. (2012). That is only a test: A machine-graded improvement into the multiple-choice and examination that is true-false. Teaching in Higher Education, 17 (2), 193-207.

Reprinted from The Teaching Professor, 28.3 (2014): 8. © Magna Publications. All rights reserved.


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