Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2018 December

Tips for Writing Great Test Questions

We learned some great test-taking and preparation strategies from Jodi Scholes in last month’s teacher webinar on How to Help Your Students Pass the MBLEx. One thing that came to mind as we were discussing the preparation process: teachers really need to know how to write good multiple-choice questions if they want to test their students properly. So, we have included some valuable articles in the Resources section of this newsletter to help you write those great questions. And here are a few points that we think are the most important:

  1. Spend time coming up with believable distractors. This is not because you want to create trick-questions, it’s because you want your students to practice picking the most correct answer. The best way to do that is to make sure each possible answer has a bit of the truth in it so your students have to use critical thinking skills to decide on the best one.
  2. Make all the options similar length. Don’t make the correct answer longer or shorter than the others.
  3. Avoid “all the above” and “none of the above” options. Students will often choose those by default, and then you never know if they really know the correct answer.
  4. Put options in alphabetical order. This will help you avoid any unconscious bias toward certain positions for the correct answer.

Also, be sure to watch the recording to get all of Jodi’s great tips. Request access here.