Matching questions consist of a column of key words presented on the left side of the page and a column of options placed on the right side of the page. Students are required to match the options associated with a given key word(s).
- Simple to construct.
- Short reading and response time, allowing more content to be included in a given set of matching questions.
- Highly reliable exam scores.
- Well-suited to measure associations between facts.
- Reduces the effects of guessing.
- Difficult to measure learning objectives requiring more than simple recall of information.
- Difficult to construct due to the problem of selecting a common set of key words and options.
- If options cannot be used more than once, the questions are not mutually exclusive; therefore, getting one answer incorrect automatically means a second question is incorrect.
Tips for writing matching questions
- Provide more possible options than questions.
- Use longer phrases as questions and shorter phrases as options.
- Keep questions and options short and homogeneous.
- Avoid verbal cues and specific determiners (e.g., the, a, an).
- Number each question and use alphabetical letters for the options.
- Specify in the directions the basis for matching and whether or not responses can be used more than once.
- Make all questions and all options the same type (e.g., a list of events to be matched with a list of dates).
Original question: From Column II, select the name or date that is associated with the statement in Column I. Record your choice on the line preceding the question number. Each answer may be used only one time.
|Column I||Column II|
The year in which the Declaration of Independence was signed.
The first President of the United States.
The year in which the Civil War began.
The baseball player who holds the home run record.
The inventor of bifocals.
Problems with this original question:
- Neither the questions nor the options are homogeneous. The former call for answers that are both dates and names; the latter necessarily are a mixture of both.
- There are an equal number of premises and alternatives.
- The introductory statement fails to offer an adequate frame of reference for responding.
Better question: Several inventions of historical significance are listed in Column I. For each question, select the name in Column II which is associated with that invention. Record your choice on the line preceding the question number. Remember that an answer may be used only one time.
____ 1. airplane
a. John Baird