Multiple Choice Golden Rules

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Multiple Choice Golden Rules

  1. 1. This presentation was developed for the exclusive use of students enrolled in: Educational Testing & Grading, Professor Gregory E. Stone. © 2004 Gregory E. Stone. All rights reserved. This presentation may not be reproduced in any form, in part or as a whole, without the express written permission of the author.
  2. 2. 1. Simple, Direct, Concise Avoid presenting irrelevant information.
  3. 3. Of the following gentlemen, who was elected president by a majority of the citizens of the United States after the Civil War? A. Abraham Lincoln B. Andrew Jackson C. Andrew Johnson D. Ulysses S. Grant
  4. 4. Of the following gentlemen, who was elected president by a majority of the citizens of the United States after the Civil War? A. Abraham Lincoln B. Andrew Jackson C. Andrew Johnson D. Ulysses S. Grant
  5. 5.  Of the following, who was elected president of the United States after the Civil War? A. Abraham Lincoln B. Andrew Jackson C. Andrew Johnson D. Ulysses S. Grant
  6. 6. 2. Parallel response options Make certain options are grammatically correct and of parallel content.
  7. 7. Christopher Columbus travelled to America in a A. airplane. B. boat. C. car. D. forest.
  8. 8. Christopher Columbus travelled to America in a A. airplane. B. boat. C. car. D. forest.
  9. 9.  Christopher Columbus travelled to America in a/an A. airplane. B. boat. C. car. D. train.
  10. 10. 3. Plausible and real Don’t make up nonsense terms. Ensure that incorrect answers are reasonable but clearly incorrect.
  11. 11. The free-floating structures within the cell that synthesize protein are called A. chromosomes. B. free ribosomes. C. lysomenes. D. mediocrities.
  12. 12. The free-floating structures within the cell that synthesize protein are called A. chromosomes. B. free ribosomes. C. lysomenes. D. mediocrities.
  13. 13. The free-floating structures within the cell that synthesize protein are called A. chromosomes. B. free ribosomes. C. lysomenes. D. mitochondria. 
  14. 14. 4. Alphabetize options Alphabetizing options ensures a true randomization of responses (i.e. A is not always the correct answer).
  15. 15. Which of these instruments is used to measure humidity? A. hygrometer B. barometer C. anemometer D. thermometer
  16. 16. Which of these instruments is used to measure humidity? A. hygrometer B. barometer C. anemometer D. thermometer
  17. 17. Which of these instruments is used to measure humidity? A. anemometer B. barometer C. hygrometer  D. thermometer
  18. 18. 5. Option length similar Ensure that your correct answer and incorrect answers are of the same length.
  19. 19. Which of the following best illustrates the law of diminishing returns? A. Short supply B. Over population C. Decreased utility D. A factory doubled its labor force and increased production by 50 percent.
  20. 20. Which of the following best illustrates the law of diminishing returns? A. Short supply B. Over population C. Decreased utility D. A factory doubled its labor force and increased production by 50 percent.
  21. 21.  Which of the following best illustrates the law of diminishing returns? A. A factory doubled its labor force and increased production by 50 percent. B. A machine decreased in utility as its parts became worn. C. The demand for a farm product increased faster than the supply of the product. D. The population of a country increased faster than the means of subsistence.
  22. 22. 6. Avoid repeating words If all the options begin with “the”, simply move “the” up into the stem.
  23. 23. Pascal’s Law may be used to explain the operation of C. a lever B. an electric fan. C. an empty bucket. D. a syringe.
  24. 24. Pascal’s Law may be used to explain the operation of A. a lever. B. an electric fan. C. an empty bucket. D. a syringe.
  25. 25. Pascal’s Law may be used to explain the operation of a/an C. electric fan. B. hydraulic break. C. empty bucket.  D. syringe.
  26. 26. 7. Don’t be ambiguous Avoid using terms like “usually” “often” or “rarely” - these require speculation. Be specific!
  27. 27. 8. Avoid the Use of Negatives Reverse thought questions may be easy to write but are generally just confusing - and perform poorly.
  28. 28. Which of the following states is not north of the Mason-Dixon line? A. Maine B. New York C. Pennsylvania D. Virginia
  29. 29. Which of the following states is not north of the Mason-Dixon line? A. Maine B. New York C. Pennsylvania D. Virginia
  30. 30.  Which of the following states is south of the Mason- Dixon line? A. Maine B. New York C. Pennsylvania D. Virginia
  31. 31. 9. Avoid abbreviations Use abbreviations only where they are standard, should be remembered and are printed in textbooks/standards.
  32. 32. 10. Avoid regional biases Not all students come from YOUR community or background. Ensure all items are fair for a diverse culture.
  33. 33. 11. Order numbers and letters When letters or numbers are the options, ensure that they are alphabetized and/or in numerical order.
  34. 34. With which of the following vitamins is milk most often fortified? A. Vitamin D B. Vitamin C C. Vitamin B D. Vitamin A
  35. 35. With which of the following vitamins is milk most often fortified? A. Vitamin D B. Vitamin C C. Vitamin B D. Vitamin A
  36. 36. With which of the following vitamins is milk most often fortified? C. Vitamin A B. Vitamin B C. Vitamin C  D. Vitamin D
  37. 37. 12. Options should be independent and mutually exclusive. Do NOT overlap item options
  38. 38. The founding fathers included A. Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington B. Lincoln, Jefferson and Adams C. Adams, Jefferson and Washington D. Washington, Lincoln and Nixon
  39. 39. The founding fathers included A. Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington B. Lincoln, Jefferson and Adams C. Adams, Jefferson and Washington D. Washington, Lincoln and Nixon
  40. 40. Who among the following is considered to be one of America’s “founding fathers?” A. Jackson B. C. Jefferson Lincoln  D. Nixon
  41. 41. Disco was a dominant musical form between which years? A. 1960-1970 B. 1970-1980 C. 1980-1990 D. 1990-2000
  42. 42. Disco was a dominant musical form between which years? A. 1960-1970 B. 1970-1980 C. 1980-1990 D. 1990-2000
  43. 43. Disco was a dominant musical form between which years? A. 1960-1969 B. 1970-1979 C. 1980-1989  D. 1990-1999
  44. 44. 13. Don’t clue the answer Avoid using associations, phrases or similarity in option wording that my “clang” with the stem.
  45. 45. Which of the following organizations should you contact to find out about a tornado warning in your locality? A. Local radio station B. State farm bureau C. United States Post Office D. United States Weather Bureau
  46. 46. Which of the following organizations should you contact to find out about a tornado warning in your locality? A. Local radio station B. State farm bureau C. United States Post Office D. United States Weather Bureau
  47. 47. Which of the following organizations should you contact to find out about a tornado warning in your locality? A. Nearest radio station  B. State farm bureau C. United States Post Office D. United States Weather Bureau
  48. 48. 14. Don’t teach Exams are not meant as learning exercises. Leave teaching to the schools. Let the learning occur before and after the exam.
  49. 49. Most of South America was settled by colonists from Spain. How would you account for the large numbers of Spanish colonists settling there? They A. wanted lower taxes. B. were seeking religious freedom. C. were adventurous. D. were in search of wealth.
  50. 50. Most of South America was settled by colonists from Spain. How would you account for the large numbers of Spanish colonists settling there? They A. wanted lower taxes. B. were seeking religious freedom. C. were adventurous. D. were in search of wealth.
  51. 51.  Spanish colonists settled most of South America in search of A. adventure. B. lower taxes. C. religious freedom. D. wealth.
  52. 52. 15. Watch those negatives Negative questions are sneaky -- ensure that there is no reverse polarity
  53. 53. Which of the following is not a safe driving practice on icy roads? A. Accelerating slowly. B. Holding the wheel firmly. C. Not slamming on brakes. D. Not slowing down gradually.
  54. 54. Which of the following is not a safe driving practice on icy roads? A. Accelerating slowly. B. Holding the wheel firmly. C. Not slamming on brakes. D. Not slowing down gradually.
  55. 55. Which of the following is considered a safe driving practice on icy roads? A. Accelerating quickly. B. Braking gently and slowly.  C. Holding the wheel with one hand. D. Making sharp turns.
  56. 56. 16. Refer to a learning objective Ensure that all items closely match your objectives - you can’t test what you don’t talk about
  57. 57. 17. Avoid biased language Try not to be offensive to any particular racial, ethnic, gender etc group.
  58. 58. 18. Present a Problem A complete problem should be presented in the stem. Don’t make candidates read the entire item before they figure out your question.
  59. 59. The artificial satellite with the highest orbital speed A. is the most recently launched satellite. B. is the satellite in the higher orbit. C. is the satellite in the lower orbit. D. is the satellite with an orbit closest to the equator.
  60. 60. The artificial satellite with the highest orbital speed A. is the most recently launched satellite. B. is the satellite in the higher orbit. C. is the satellite in the lower orbit. D. is the satellite with an orbit closest to the equator.
  61. 61. Does the artificial satellite in higher or lower orbit have the higher orbital speed? A. Higher orbit. B. Lower orbit. C. Orbit speeds are identical. 
  62. 62. 19. Straightforward vocabulary Don’t use $100 words when a $25 word will do just fine.
  63. 63. 20. All and Nothing Avoid the use of All or None of the Above in your responses.
  64. 64. Which of the following characteristics is not a difference between a trumpet and a trombone? A. Both are made primarily of metal. B. Both can play notes an octave below middle C. C. Both can change pitch primarily with valves. D. All of the above. E. None of the above.
  65. 65. Which of the following characteristics is not a difference between a trumpet and a trombone? A. Both are made primarily of metal. B. Both can play notes an octave below middle C. C. Both can change pitch primarily with valves. D. All of the above. E. None of the above.
  66. 66.  Which of the following is true of both trumpets and trombones? They A. are made primarily of metal. B. can play notes an octave below middle C. C. can change pitch primarily with valves.
  67. 67. Questions & Comments

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