More Tips for Writing MCQs
In my last post about MCQs, I wrote that MCQ questions should have:
- 3 – 4 options for one correct answer
- 5 – 7 options for two, three, or four correct answers
- realistic distractors
and that you should avoid:
- ‘all of the above’ options
- ‘none of the above’ options
- two options that mean the same
- assumption that the test candidate has prior knowledge about things not covered in your course
In this post, I’d like to demonstrate that MCQs should have:
- realistic distractors that are not too similar and not too different
- options that are similar in length
- options that are similar in structure
and, MCQs should be:
and, MCQs should avoid:
- negatives in stems
- negatives in options
- options that are direct opposites
Writing good MCQs isn’t easy. Below are some examples of poorly written MCQs and explanations for why they are not good questions.
Click on the answers to read why these do not work well as MCQs.
Are you guilty of any of the above? I know I am!
Have a go: Re-write any of the above questions to make them better.
Please feel free to share your questions, thoughts and comments below.
Latest posts by Tish Kirkland (see all)
- HTML for Course Creators: Headings – 22nd September 2021
- Content formatting tips for Course Creators: What is HTML? – 22nd August 2021
- More Tips for Writing MCQs – 22nd November 2019
2 thoughts on “More Tips for Writing MCQs”
Pingback: Podcasts and Creating Better Quizzes - ElearningWorld.org
I really enjoyed this post Tish !
Great use of H5P to illustrate the points too 🙂
I guess a lot of your experience with MCQ’s comes from language teaching – where it’s perhaps even more important that subtleties of the questions, and indeed answers, can be even harder for learners to ‘decode’?