Tips in Preparing Multiple Answer Type Questions for College Students

When preparing multiple answer type questions for college students, there are different things that you will want to consider.  If you make mistakes, it can be easier than you think to accidentally give away the answers without realizing it.  The following are tips in preparing multiple answer type questions for college students.

Make sure that the answers are spread amongst the responses

While making up the test, you might get so caught up that you do not realize that three out of four answers are answer B.  Go back and look at the answers when you are done to make sure that you didn’t inadvertently favor one letter or choice.  Of course, it doesn’t need to be that they are exactly spaced among the choices, but there should be a generally equal distribution so that the students do not catch on that you favor a certain number.

Make sure that only one answer is correct (unless there is an all of the above).

Sometimes people will write tests and two of the answers will actually be correct.  Maybe one is a little bit more correct, but you will want to be careful about putting in two answers that each technically answer the question correctly.  You want one to be truly right so that someone who knows and understands the work will know that it is the right answer and not be confused by it. If you leave two right answers, someone may legitimately have an argument after the test.

Try to avoid telltale signs that one is the answer

Sometimes teachers will inadvertently do something to signal the answer that allows someone who doesn’t know the work to get the answers.  For instance, perhaps you make the correct answer longer or more complicated than the other answers.  Perhaps the other answers are just too ridiculous.  You want to make sure that they get the right answer because they know the subject, not because they are observant and skilled test-takers.

Be careful about having one question, which helps to answer another question

Sometimes you may inadvertently ask a question, which gives the answer to another question.  It could be right there in the question or it could be a similar question with only one similar right answer.  Remember that they will be answering all of the questions together and you do not want them getting the right answer because of another question and not because they actually knew it.  It can be especially easy to do this if you write the questions at different times because you might forget exactly what else you wrote. 

Proofread your work

You want your test to be error free.  If you misspell something, someone might be able to reasonably argue that they were not certain it was right because of the misspelling.