Rules on How to Write Multiple Choice Questions

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Do you want to know the rules for writing multiple choice questions? Use this guide to get all the information and rules to follow when designing this type of academic assignment


Effective Guideline for Constructing Multiple Choice Question


Multiple choice test questions are used to assess learning outcomes as it forces a student to recall specific content in a subject. These types of tests tend to have a stem which is the problem and a list of suggested solutions from which only one is the correct answer. Most effective multiple choice questions and answers tend to have incorrect alternatives which function as distractors.
Apart from having plausible distractors, these types of questions tend to be numbered and motivate a student to have a higher level of thinking. For a specific subject, the questions which can be administered as a test in class tend to require the student to recall specific important principles, context, rules or facts. Therefore, any student writing test questions must have recalling skills and the ability to apply a concept taught in class to a specific situation. The purpose of this exam is also to test a student’s problem-solving ability.

Rules for Writing Multiple Choice Questions


Multiple choice tests can cover a broad range of topics at once and assess a higher level of analysis, critical thinking and students’ knowledge of a subject which includes factual recall. To evaluate all these factors, the questions have to be written correctly. Rules ensure that the questions are interpreted as intended and answers are clear. Here are some of the important rules on how to write multiple choice questions.
Use plausible distractors
The best distractors have to be sufficiently plausible to pose a challenge to the student. The distractors should also be of the same length and be realistic.
Use a question format instead of an incomplete statement
Write test questions using simple structure and precise wording that is easy to understand.
Avoid double negatives as they may confuse the test maker.
Avoid giving hints or clues to the correct answer. To do this remove any unreasonable statements or extreme words like always and never.
Avoid answering a previously asked question somewhere else in a test.
List questions that emphasize a higher level of thinking.
The option answers should be of similar lengths.
Avoid making the correct answer longer or shorter. This is because some expert test-takers tend to use length to pinpoint the right answer.
Have only one correct answer and give clear instructions for answering the questions. To ensure your questions are not poorly written you can have them reviewed by a professional before you administer the test to the students.
If you find it challenging to come up with multiple-choice questions that will require a student to practice a higher level of thinking then get help from an expert writer. Additionally, the questions should be grammatically correct with simple and precise wording.