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Multiple-Choice Tests: Revisiting the Pros and Cons

For Those Who Teach

Multiple-Choice Tests: Revisiting the Pros and Cons

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Given class sizes, teaching loads, and a host of other academic responsibilities, many teachers feel as though multiple-choice tests are the only viable option. Their widespread use justifies a regular review of those features that make these tests an effective way to assess learning and ongoing consideration of those features that compromise how much learning they promote.

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Teaching Professor Blog Given class sizes, teaching loads, and a host of other academic responsibilities, many teachers feel as though multiple-choice tests are the only viable option. Their widespread use justifies a regular review of those features that make these tests an effective way to assess learning and ongoing consideration of those features that compromise how much learning they promote. What multiple-choice testing has going for it. Potential benefits of multiple-choice test questions when done right. What’s problematic about multiple-choice testing. If you regularly use multiple-choice tests, you ought to have a good working knowledge of the research associated with them. That can be acquired with one well-organized and easily understood “Teacher-Ready Research Review.” Xu, X., Kauer, S., and Tupy, S. (2016). Multiple-choice questions: Tips for optimizing assessment in-seat and online. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2 (2), 147-158. An article highlighting the research covered in the Xu, et al. appeared in the November 2016 issue of The Teaching Professor. For more on multiple-choice tests, read: