True-false questions are typically used to measure the ability to identify whether statements of fact are correct. The questions are usually a declarative statement that the student must judge as true or false.
- Can cover a lot of content in a short time (about two questions per minute of testing time)
- The question is useful when there are only two possible alternatives.
- Less demand is placed on reading ability than in multiple-choice questions.
- Can measure complex outcomes when used with interpretive exercises.
- Scoring is easy and reliable.
- Difficult to write questions beyond the knowledge level that are free from ambiguity.
- False statements provide no evidence that the student knows the correct answer.
- Scores are more influenced by guessing than with any other question type.
- Cannot discriminate between students of varying ability as well as other questions.
- Requires that the answer to the question is absolutely true or false.
Tips for writing true/false questions:
- Construct statements that are definitely true or definitely false, without additional qualifications.
- Use relatively short statements.
- Eliminate extraneous material.
- Keep true and false statements approximately the same length.
- Include an equal number of true and false questions.
- Test only one idea in each question.
- Have students circle T or F for each question rather than write the letter which can lead to debate.
- Avoid verbal clues, specific determiners (e.g., the, a, an), and complex sentences.
- Avoid absolute terms such as, never or always.
- Do not arrange answers in a pattern (i.e., TTFFTTFF, TFTFTF).
- Avoid taking statements directly from text.
- Always state the question positively.