Correctness of Multiple-Choice Tests: What Is Required and How to Do It?

Posted by

Good Test

Of course, while creating multiple-choice tests for high-schoolers or college/university students, you are aimed at a qualitative outcome. This will earn a good grade for you, and will be effective if used, so will earn you a good reputation as well. However, a lot of knowledge is required in order to make a multiple choice test effective for learners. The following text will provide you with the required data on how to deliver a qualitative outcome meeting all the demands. To be exact, we will tell you the correctness demands and explain why they are important.

1.     Is It Usable?

This is the attribute that shows that the test can achieve its main aim, i.e. to measure knowledge on the required scientific discipline. Usability of the test answers the questions: what is evaluated by the test, and how proper its outcomes are. The usability of the test for high school, college or university is measured by the following features:

  • The actions of students should correlate with operations, which are checked by this test.
  • To complete the test a student is required to use the materials of the course, on which he passes the test.
  • Data received during the analysis of the test outcomes should contain the appropriate data to determine the sense and prediction of the outcomes for the future test.

2.     Can One Rely on Its Outcomes?

This shows how sustainable are the outcomes. Saying in other words, this attributes shows whether this test shows the same outcomes if being passed repetitively. In this meaning the ‘reliability’ can be replaced by ‘exactness’: how good does it show the knowledge of the tested learners? A good tip: the more questions the test has, the more reliable it is.

3.     Does It Show the Real Rate of Knowledge on the Subject?

This shows how well the test represents the material of the course. It is necessary to touch upon all the significant topics and issues reviewed by the course. Too little number of questions will not help to get a full comprehension of the students’ knowledge on the required subject. The incorrect correlation of questions and units of the subject will not give an objective result about being aware of all the required aspects.

4.     Can It Be Used by Others?

Wide usability of a test is closely connected with its representative ability. It shows how actual the test is in terms of the new realities of the modern science and society. It represents how well the test can be applied for other cultural and social circumstances. This attribute became more popular nowadays, since a lot of techniques are borrowed from the experience of other education systems.

5.     Is It Contrastive?

There is a meaningful and a formal contradiction. The meaningful contradiction deals with the contrast among the variants of the test. This contradiction is higher if there are clearly incorrect variants. Thus, if the difference between the correct answer and the distractors (incorrect answers, which look pretty much correct) is little, the contrast of the test is lower. The contradiction of the test defines its complexity, since the student should know all the aspects to skip the wrong answers and find the only correct one.

Formal contradiction is defined by the similarity of the form of answers. Such contradiction is high, if the form of answers is different. It is low, when such format differences are minor or even absent.

For the test to be the best, it should have low meaningful and formal contrast.

6.     How Clear It Is?

This is a clarity and comprehensibility of the test formulation for all students. It should not have questions which can be understood by different participants in a different way.

7.     Ability to Divide Students


How relevantly the test divides students according to the level of awareness, level of skills, evaluate them based on the minimal and maximal grades. If all the participants give the same answer for the test, this means that the test lacks this ability.

8.     How Is It Manageable?

Hard Task

This feature reflects the statistical level of possibility to solve the test. The evaluation of the test’s complexity is shown by the number of participants, who could not cope with it. For example, if only 20% of the students passed the test at a high grade, it can be considered as complex. Also, if 80% of participants could cope with the multiple-choice test, it is easy.

In our next article, we will keep on our in-depth analysis of how the perfect test should be created, so do not miss it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *