Lesson 2: The Advantages And Disadvantages of Different Types of Test Questions
Multiple Choice Questions
- Can answer and score quickly.
- Can cover a wide range of content.
- Can objectively measure student achievement.
- May only test recognition, versus recall and comprehension of information.
- May not meet the needs of the learner versus grade-oriented student.
- May be time consuming to prepare, particularly when developing questions that assess higher levels of thinking.
Short Answer and Essay Questions
- Can assess more complex levels of learning.
- They require students to use and develop their writing skills.
- Guessing is minimized.
- They take less time to prepare.
- They may better meet the needs of the learning-oriented versus grade-oriented student.
- More time consuming and difficult to grade.
- We tend to be influenced by our knowledge of the student and how we expect that individual to perform. In other words, grading may be more subjective versus objective.
- Content validity may be low because not as many concepts can necessarily be tested.
- Guessing is minimized as compared to true and false or multiple choice items.
- Can test many concepts.
- Difficult to construct so that student can derive correct responses.
- May be more difficult and time consuming to score.
- The instructor may have to consider more than one correct answer.
- They do not assess higher levels of learning well.
- Good method for testing dates, events, locations and persons.
- Can test recognition of relationships.
- Quick to answer, therefore can assess more content.
- Easy and fast to score.
- Difficult to assess student learning beyond the recall level.
True and False
- Good for assessing a large number of facts.
- Easy to score.
- A high guessing factor. (In other words, the student has a 50-50 chance of guessing right without any knowledge of the content.)
- May not discriminate between students' varying abilities as well as other types of test questions. (You can add an explanation column so that students can support their answers.)
- Writing clear true-false items, without exceptions, can be difficult.
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