There are 12 rules that you have to obey in construction a multiple-choice question set test. The rules are promoting your MCQs construct validity and give more guarantee to the measurement result.
1. Use Plausible Distractors
Plausible distractors simply means wrong-response options. Only list plausible distractors, even if the number of options per question changes. Write the options so they are homogeneous in content. Use answers given in previous open-ended exams to provide realistic distractors.
2. Question Format
Generating the STEM in a Question Format. Experts encourage multiple-choice items to be prepared as questions (rather than incomplete statements). The Incomplete Statement Format:
The capital of California is in ______________
Direct Question Format:
In which of the following cities is the capital of California?
3. Emphasize Higher-Level Thinking
Use memory-plus application questions. These questions require students to recall principles, rules or facts in a real life context. The key to preparing memory-plus application questions is to place the
concept in a life situation or context that requires the student to first recall the facts and then apply or transfer the application of those facts into a situation. Seek support from others who have experience writing higher-level thinking multiple-choice questions.
a. Memory Only Example (less effective)
Which description best characterizes whole foods?
a. orange juice
c. bran cereal
b. Memory-Plus Application Example
Which one of the following best illustrates the law of diminishing returns?
a. The demand for a farm product increased faster than the supply of the product.
b. The population of a country increased faster than the means of subsistence.
c. A machine decreased in utility as its parts became worn.
d. A factory doubled its labor force and increased production by 50 percent.
c. Ability to Interpret Cause-and-Effect Relationships Example
Why does investing money in common stock protect against loss of assets
a. It pays higher rates of interest during inflation.
b. It provides a steady but dependable income despite economic conditions.
c. It is protected by the Federal Reserve System.
d. It increases in value as the value of a business increases.
d. Ability to Justify Methods and Procedures Example
Why is adequate lighting necessary in a balanced aquarium?
a. Fish need light to see their food.
b. Fish take in oxygen in the dark.
c. Plants expel carbon dioxide in the dark.
d. Plants grow too rapidly in the dark.
4. Keep Option Lengths Similar
Avoid making your correct answer the long or short answer. Maintains the option in shortest word and strike to the point for all Option.
5. Balance the Placement of the Correct Answer
Do not put any tendency to place the correct answer in a choice. Maintains the distribute of correction option similar such as 25% of each for 4 option choices or 20% of each for 5 option choice. Except you develop in CAT which redistribute the option it self.
6. Be Grammatically Correct
Use simple, precise and unambiguous wording. Students will be more likely to select the correct answer by finding the grammatically correct option.
7. Avoid Clues to the Correct Answer
Avoid answering one question in the test by giving the answer somewhere else in the test. Have the test reviewed by someone who can find mistakes, clues, grammar and punctuation problems before you administer the exam to students. Avoid extremes – never, always, only and nonsense words and unreasonable statements.
8. Avoid Negative Questions
Experts recommend avoiding negative questions. Students may be able to find an incorrect answer without knowing the correct answer.
9. Use Only One Correct Option
A multiple-choice questions must have only 1 corrects option, at least you have to be sure the best option is clearly the best option. The item should include one and only one correct or clearly best
answer With one correct answer, alternatives should be mutually exclusive and not overlapping. Using MC with questions containing more than one right answer lowers discrimination between students.
10. Give Clear Instructions
Questions 1 – 10 are multiple-choice questions designed to assess your ability to remember or recall basic and foundational pieces of knowledge related to this course. Please read each question carefully before reading the answer options. When you have a clear idea of the question, find your answer and mark your selection on the answer sheet. Please do not make any marks on this exam.
Questions 11 – 20 are multiple-choice questions designed to assess your ability to think critically about the subject. Please read each question carefully before reading the answer options. Be aware that some questions may seem to have more than one right answer, but you are to look for the one that makes the most sense and is the most correct. When you have a clear idea of the question, find your answer and mark your selection on the answer sheet. You may justify any answer you choose by writing your justification on the blank paper provided.
11. Single Problem
Use Only a Single, Clearly-Defined Problem and Include the Main Idea in the Question. Students must know what the problem is without having to read the response options.
12. Avoid the “All the Above” Option
Students merely need to recognize two correct options to get the answer correct. So not use all the above or something alike such as none of the above.