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Writing multiple-choice questions

General guidelines for writing good multiple-choice questions:

Procedural rules:

Content-related rules:

Stem construction rules:

General option development rules:

Distractor (incorrect options) development rules:

Additional information

Carneson, J., Delpierre, G., & Masters, K. (n.d.). Designing and managing multiple-choice questions: Appendix B, designing MCQs – do’s and don’ts. Retrieved July 7, 2006 from the University of Cape Town Web site: http://www.uct.ac.za/projects/cbe/mcqman/mcqappb.html

Haladyna, T. M. (1999). Developing and validating multiple-choice test items, 2 nd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Haladyna, T. M. (1989). Taxonomy of multiple-choice item-writing rules. Applied Measurement in Education, 2 (1), 37-50.

Jacobs, L. C. (2002). How to write better tests: A handbook for improving test construction skills. Retrieved July 7, 2006 from Indiana University Bloomington Evaluation Services & Testing Web site: http://www.indiana.edu/~best/write_better_tests.shtml

Marshall, J. C., & Hales, L. W. (1971). Classroom test construction. Reading MA: Addison-Wesley.

Sevenair. J. P., & Burkett, A. R. (1997). Item writing guidelines. Retrieved July 7, 2006 from the Xaviar University of Louisiana Web site: http://webusers.xula.edu/jsevenai/objective/guidelines.html

Writing multiple-choice questions that demand critical thinking. (2002). Retrieved July 7, 2006 from the University of Oregon Teaching Effectiveness Program Web site: http://tep.uoregon.edu/resources/assessment/multiplechoicequestions/mc4critthink.html

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