Benefits and drawbacks of Different Types of Test Questions

30 augusti 2019   Okategoriserade

Benefits and drawbacks of Different Types of Test Questions

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

Multiple-choice questions

  • Easy and quick to score, by hand or electronically
  • Could be written so they test a wide number of higher-order thinking skills
  • Can cover a lot of content areas on a single exam and nevertheless be answered in a class period
  • Often test literacy skills: “if the student reads the essaywriter question carefully, the answer is easy to identify regardless if the student knows little concerning the subject” (p. 194)
  • Provide students that are unprepared chance to guess, and with guesses which can be right, they get credit for things they don’t know
  • Expose students to misinformation that may influence thinking that is subsequent the information
  • Devote some time and skill to create (especially good questions)

True-false questions

  • Quick and easy to score
  • Regarded as being “one of the very most unreliable kinds of assessment” (p. 195)
  • Often written to ensure the majority of the statement is true save one small, often trivial little bit of information that then makes the whole statement untrue
  • Encourage guessing, and reward for correct guesses

Short-answer questions

  • Quick and easy to grade
  • Easy and quick to write
  • Encourage students to memorize terms and details, so that their understanding of this content remains superficial
  • Offer students a chance to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities in a variety of ways
  • Enables you to develop student writing skills, particularly the capacity to formulate arguments supported with evidence and reasoning
  • Require extensive time for you to grade
  • Encourage usage of subjective criteria when assessing answers
  • If found in class, necessitate composition that is quick time for planning or revision, which could end up in poor-quality writing

Questions given by test banks

  • Save instructors the right hard work involved with writing test questions
  • Make use of the terms and methods which can be found in the book
  • Rarely involve analysis, synthesis, application, or evaluation (cross-discipline research documents that approximately 85 percent of the relevant questions in test banks test recall)
  • Limit the scope of the exam to text content; if used extensively, may lead students to conclude that the material covered in class is irrelevant and unimportant

We tend to believe that they are the test that is only options, but there are lots of interesting variations. The content that promoted this review proposes one: focus on a question, and revise it until it can be answered with one word or a short phrase. Try not to list any answer alternatives for that single question, but affix to the exam an alphabetized list of answers. Students select answers from that list. Some of the answers provided may be used over and over again, some may possibly not be used, and there are many answers listed than questions. It’s a version that is ratcheted-up of. The test is made by the approach more difficult and decreases the possibility of having an answer correct by guessing.

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

Editor’s note: The list of advantages and disadvantages is available in part from the article referenced here. In addition it cites research evidence relevant to a few of these benefits and drawbacks.

Reference: McAllister, D., and Guidice, R.M. (2012). This really is only a test: A machine-graded improvement towards the multiple-choice and true-false examination. Teaching in Higher Education, 17 (2), 193-207.

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

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