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Pros and cons of various Types of Test Questions

Pros and cons of various Types 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

  • Easy and quick to score, by hand or electronically
  • Can be written in order that they test a range that is wide of thinking skills
  • Can cover a lot of content areas on a exam that is single nevertheless be answered in a class period
  • Often test skills that are literacy “if the student reads the question carefully, the answer is not difficult to recognize even when the student knows little in regards to the subject” (p. 194)
  • Provide unprepared students the chance to guess, sufficient reason for guesses that are right, they get credit for things they don’t know
  • Expose students to misinformation that will influence thinking that is subsequent the content
  • Take some time and skill to create (especially good questions)

True-false questions

  • Quick and easy to score
  • Regarded as “one of the most unreliable types of assessment” (p. 195)
  • Often written in order that a lot of the statement is true save one small, often trivial little bit of information that then makes the whole statement untrue
  • Encourage guessing, and reward for correct guesses

Short-answer questions

  • Easy and quick to grade
  • Easy and quick to write
  • Encourage students to memorize terms and details, to make certain that their comprehension of this content remains superficial
  • Offer students a way to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities in a variety of ways
  • Can be used to develop student writing skills, especially the ability to formulate arguments supported with evidence and reasoning
  • Require time that is extensive grade
  • Encourage use of subjective criteria when assessing answers
  • If utilized in class, necessitate composition that is quick time for planning or revision, which can lead to poor-quality writing

Questions supplied by test banks

  • Save instructors the right time and effort involved in writing test questions
  • Make use of the terms and methods that are utilized in the book
  • Rarely involve analysis, synthesis, application, or evaluation (cross-discipline research documents that approximately 85 percent associated with the questions in test banks test recall)
  • Limit the scope regarding the exam to text content; if college essay service used extensively, may lead students to summarize that the materials 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 many interesting variations. This article that promoted this review proposes one: begin with a question, and revise it until it may be answered with one word or a short phrase. Try not to list any answer choices for that question that is single but affix to the exam an alphabetized a number 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 more answers listed than questions. It’s a ratcheted-up version of matching. The approach makes the test more challenging and decreases the opportunity of having an answer correct by guessing.

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

Editor’s note: The list of advantages and disadvantages comes in part through the article referenced here. It also cites research evidence strongly related a few of these benefits and drawbacks.

Reference: McAllister, D., and Guidice, R.M. (2012). That is only a test: A machine-graded improvement to the multiple-choice and true-false examination. 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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