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Benefits and drawbacks of various Types of Test Questions

Benefits and drawbacks of various Types of Test Questions

It’s good to regularly review the benefits and disadvantages of the most commonly used test questions additionally the test banks that now frequently provide them.

Multiple-choice questions

  • Easy and quick to score, by hand or electronically
  • Could be written so that they test a wide number of higher-order thinking skills
  • Can cover plenty of content areas on a single exam and nevertheless be answered in a class period
  • Often test skills that are literacy “if the student reads the question carefully, the answer is easy to identify no matter if the student knows little about the subject” (p. 194)
  • Provide unprepared students the chance to guess, sufficient reason for guesses which can be right, they get credit for things they don’t know
  • Expose students to misinformation that can influence subsequent thinking about the information
  • Take some time and skill to create (especially good questions)

True-false questions

  • Easy and quick to score
  • Regarded as being “one of the most unreliable kinds of assessment” (p. 195)
  • Often written making sure that the majority of the statement holds true save one small, often trivial bit of information that then helps make the statement that is whole
  • Encourage guessing, and reward for correct guesses

Short-answer questions

  • Quick and easy to grade
  • Fast and simple to write
  • Encourage students to memorize terms and details, to ensure their knowledge of the information remains superficial
  • Offer students a chance to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities in lots of ways
  • May be used to develop student writing skills, specially the capacity to formulate arguments supported with evidence and reasoning
  • Require extensive time 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 could lead to poor-quality writing

Questions provided by test banks

  • Save instructors the right time and energy involved with writing test http://www.ultius.ws questions
  • Make use of the terms and methods which are utilized in the book
  • Rarely involve analysis, synthesis, application, or evaluation (cross-discipline research documents that approximately 85 percent of this relevant questions in test banks test recall)
  • Limit the scope for the exam to text content; if used extensively, may lead students to conclude that the material covered in class is unimportant and irrelevant

We have a tendency to genuinely believe that they are the only test question options, but there are some interesting variations. The content that promoted this review proposes one: Start with a question, and revise it until it can be answered with one word or a phrase that is short. Usually do not list any answer choices for that question that is single but put on the exam an alphabetized a number of answers. Students select answers from that list. Some of the answers provided works extremely well over and over again, some may possibly not be used, and there are many more answers listed than questions. It’s a ratcheted-up version of matching. The approach makes the test more difficult and decreases the opportunity to getting an answer correct by guessing.

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

Editor’s note: the menu of pros and cons is available in part through the article referenced here. Moreover it cites research evidence relevant to some of these advantages and disadvantages.

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 advanced schooling, 17 (2), 193-207.

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

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