Constructing Objective Multiple-Choice Test Items
. The problem presented in a multiple-choice item should be clear after reading which of the following?
a. item stem
b. the correct answer
c. the distracters
d. item stem and all the alternatives
2. A distracter in a multiple-choice item refers to which of the following?
a. an alternative that is plausible yet clearly incorrect
b. alternatives that may be correct under certain circumstances
c. negatively stated alternatives
d. any alternative that diverts the reader’s attention away from the item stem
3. An incorrect alternative can be made more plausible by
a. avoiding textbook language.
b. making it grammatically inconsistent with the stem.
c. making it shorter than the others.
d. using common errors made by students.
4. One advantage of multiple-choice items over true-false items is that they reduce the
a. chance for cheating.
b. difficulty of machine scoring.
c. influence of guessing on the score.
d. time needed in test preparation.
5. Which of the following describes one advantage of multiple-choice items over matching items?
a. for multiple choice items, clearly stated objectives are not needed
b. multiple choice items are more adaptable to different types of outcomes
c. multiple choice items require less testing time
d. there is less need to correct for guessing on multiple choice items
6. One advantage of multiple-choice items over short-answer items is that multiple choice items
a. encourage students to study harder.
b. measure computation skill more effectively than short-answer items.
c. provide more freedom of response.
d. provide a more objective measure of achievement.
7. A 50-item multiple-choice test would provide more reliable test scores than a 50-item true-
false test because
a. a bigger spread of scores is obtained
b. greater care is needed during item writing
c. the items can be written to include correct answers
d. the scoring is more objective
8. Which of the following learning outcomes is most likely to require the best-answer type of multiple-choice item?
a. Can justify methods and procedures
b. Can identify proper grammar usage
c. Can distinguish between fact and opinion
d. Can understand specific facts
9. Which of the following learning outcomes is most likely to require the best-answer type of multiple-choice item?
a. Distinguishes between fact and opinion.
b. Identifies the dates of historical events
c. Understands specific historical facts
d. Selects the reason a historical event occurred
10. Inexperienced item writers will produce more effective multiple-choice items if they start with which of the following?
a. best-answer items
b. a list of possible alternatives
c. the stem in question form
d. the entire test blueprint
11. A multiple-choice item that measures at the understanding level must include which of the following?
a. a table of specifications
b. a situation that is new to the students
c. at least two plausible distracters
d. introductory material that requires a high level of reading ability
12. A major drawback in using multiple-choice items in which more than one alternative may be marked as correct creates a difficulty in
a. administering the test
b. constructing the test items
c. developing directions for the test
d. scoring the test
13. The reliability of a multiple-choice item test will tend to increase, with an increase in which of the following?
a. difficulty of items
b. number of learning outcomes measured
c. number of alternatives in each item
d. diversity in the group being tested
14. Which of the following provides the best stem for a multiple-choice item?
a. Penicillin is
b. Penicillin was discovered by
c. Penicillin, which has many uses in medicine, was discovered by
d. Which of the following scientists discovered penicillin?
15. Which of the following provides the best stem for a multiple-choice item?
a. Which of the following did not contribute to the depression?
b. One major factor that contributed to the depression is
c. The depression was
d. The depression was caused by
16. What is wrong with the stem of the following multiple-choice question? “Which of the following states is the largest state in the United States?”
a. Largest can be measured either geographically or by population.
b. It measures opinion rather than fact.
c. It measures only a lower order skill.
d. It should be posed as a statement instead of a question.
17. Which of the following sets of alternatives would be best for a multiple-choice item about a battle in the Civil War?
a. Davis, Grant, Lincoln, none of the above.
b. Lincoln, Mason-Dixon Line, Sherman, Vicksburg.
c. Grant, Jackson, Lee, Sherman.
d. Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington.
18. Which of the following sets of alternatives is best for the following multiple-choice item: “The perimeter of a rectangle 4 inches long and 2 inches wide is
a. 6 inches, 8 inches, 12 inches, 16 inches
b. 2 inches, 12 inches, 24 inches, 36 inches
c. 11 inches, 12 inches, 13 inches, 22 inches
d. 2 inches, 3 inches, 17 inches, 18 inches
19. In order to measure application with multiple-choice items, the problem situations should be
a. Describe in complex terms
b. New to the students
c. The same as those solved in class
d. Able to measure factual knowledge
20. When using the “best-answer” type of multiple-choice item, which of the following should be included?
a. a stem that consists of at least three sentences
b. the alternative “none of the above”
c. more than seven alternatives
d. alternatives of equal length
21. Ambiguity can best be reduced in multiple-choice items by
a. avoiding the use of “best-answer” items.
b. having another teacher review the items.
c. keeping the length of the alternatives equal.
d. using no more than four alternatives.
22. Multiple-choice tests are particularly well suited for measuring analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
23. List three advantages that multiple-choice items have over true false items?
24. If one test had 50 multiple-choice items and an equivalent test had 50 true-false items, which test would probably have higher reliability? Why? What is
probably the only way that a true-false test might possess higher reliability than a multiple-choice test?
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