How to Answer Multiple-Choice Questions
The given questions are the multiple-choice ones. When answering them, you are supposed to pick only one correct answer from the offered variants.
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Helpful Advice on Answering These Questions
Be sure that the answer is among the offered choices. If you think that there is no proper answer among the suggested ones, then you may be mistaken and should take the following steps:
- Read the question once again. Thus, you will make sure that you have understood it correctly.
- Carefully check the made calculations. May be you have entered the wrong numbers on the calculator.
- Look through your answer. Perhaps you have applied the wrong technique for finding an appropriate solution.
Pay close attention to the proposed answers. When responding to the multiple-choice questions, you may be asked to select the choice pointing out a particular feature. You should try to analyze each offered variant separately. However, you may also need to establish the connection between the suggested options. It will help you choose the correct answer. When answering some questions, you may need to replace each offered item with another one until you find the required solution. Note that this method may take much more time than any other technique.
Some of the multiple-choice questions may require approximate answers (especially when it goes about numbers). In this case, you should examine each offered choice. It is rather a good method of solving different types of multi-choice questions. If any calculations are required, you should make them either roughly or approximately to determine the level of accuracy of the final answer. Certainly, there are questions that do not require complex calculations. You may just need to explore a particular aspect of the problem and select the right response.
Realize How Professors Create Them and Easily Answer Them!
It is easy to understand why multiple choice questions have become so popular among teachers. They are fast and convenient. Your tutor will need minutes to score your answers and grade your responses. Besides, one test is enough to cover the whole material learned during the semester.
At the same time, you should not underestimate the amount of time spent to create multiple choice questions and organize them into test forms. Therefore, if you want to create an effective test on your own, it is better to divide the whole process into several stages. For example, you review each chapter of your textbook every other day and develop a few questions pertaining to that chapter. In a week, you have your multiple choice questions ready to be distributed for testing and evaluation. Besides, you can write down each question on a separate sheet of paper or a card, which will allow you to mix them before administering them among students. This will make the whole process of testing more difficult yet more challenging and, certainly, objective.
One more thing to keep in mind is that the purpose of multiple choice questions is not to measure students' ability to manage test items but to let them focus on the knowledge they have accumulated in the process of learning.
- Multiple choice questions have proved to provide valid and relevant information about the way students learn.
- Teachers who use multiple choice questions in their practice also reduce the scope of subjectivity that is typical in other types of testing such as essay writing.
Most multiple choice forms display higher levels of reliability and validity than other types of testing and evaluation. Reliability means that multiple choice questions are consistent and properly organized. Validity implies that these testing forms are designed appropriately to accomplish their evaluative and training missions.
Therefore, while creating and recreating a multiple choice test, remember that each item and answer option matters. Even a single mistake or inaccuracy in how you design the test will have lasting effects on its validity and the credibility of its test results.
- It can be particularly difficult to design multiple choice questions that fit in both the levels of literacy and course expectations
- It can be challenging to use appropriate wording so that students can easily understand the question and answer it correctly
- Multiple choice questions are created to help students recognize what they have learned in class rather than recall some familiar information. According to different learning theories, the process of memorizing and learning new information takes time, and multiple choice questions may not always show real learning that takes place in class
- Multiple choice questions are often associated with guessing. In fact, students are eager to guess between 20 and 25 percent of correct answers even if they do not know anything. Therefore, the results will not always be convincing. A good result is not always a sign of progressive learning during the course or program.
How to Create Great Multiple Choice Questions
Follow these recommendations to create great multiple choice questions that will also provide you with a better picture of students' learning.
- Begin with writing a stem, followed by an answer that is correct, and only then include other incorrect answers to create mixed feelings among your students
- Choose a question and an item that directly relates to your course outcomes
- It is better to ask someone to review your questions and answers
- Take your time to revise and edit your items
- Don't use any derogatory language and take into consideration the needs and expectations of your students
- Use familiar vocabulary and don't include the words or concepts your students have never seen
- Do not create answer options that are similar or manipulate the knowledge and information your students have learned during the course. Be honest with yourself and your learners
- Don’t provide any information or hints that will help your students find a correct answer
How to Write Great Stems
- Every stem must be concise and clear, with a single question asked in the terms and wording used during the course
- Every stem must look as a complete statement
- The stem must include as much information as possible so that each option is short enough
- If you have no other option but to create an incomplete statement, then you will have to be sure that it is grammatically correct
Thinking and Learning Through Questions
You should design your multiple choice questions in ways that incorporate higher-order thinking skills and abilities of your students. Besides, you must be ready to review the facts and numbers your students have learned during the course. Focus on the most important information. Ask for facts and concrete events you might have been discussing during your lessons.
Quite often, you may find the process of creating items to be problematic, particularly when students need to resolve a clinical scenario or read a story and answer questions. So, make sure that you:
- incorporate course principles;
- motivate students to think critically and analytically;
- allow students to use more than one idea or concept when choosing questions;
- and provide options that are different from each other and do not confuse your learners.