Multiple choice testing is an efficient and effective way to assess a wide range of knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities (Haladyna, 1999).When done well, it allows broad and even deep coverage of content in a relatively efficient way.Though often maligned, and though it is true that no single format should be used exclusively for assessment (American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education , 1999), multiple choice testing still remains one of the most commonly used assessment formats (Haladyna, 1999; Mc Dougall, 1997). The multiple-choice test is a very flexible assessment format that can be used to measure knowledge, skills, abilities, values, thinking skills, etc.
Multiple-choice tests assess only superficial knowledge It is perhaps because faculty test as they were tested, not following state-of-the-art rules for testing, that multiple choice has the reputation it does.
In everyday language, we'd call this the question, but since it could be a statement or even an analogy or an equation, we'll use the technical term, Stem.
Multiple-choice tests can be used to meet a variety of educational purposes, though they most often are used in the classroom to measure academic achievement, and to determine course grades.
They can be just as subjective as an essay question if they're poorly written .
(Indeed, a well-crafted essay prompt and scoring rubric can be much more objective than some multiple choice items.) Subjectivity/objectivity does not reside in the format but in the construction and scoring, thus objectivity must be planned into multiple-choice questions (Dwyer, 1993).
Other purposes to which they can be put include feedback to students, instructional feedback, diagnosis of student misconceptions, and others.(See the Suggestions for Use section.) Multiple-choice tests are objective Multiple-choice items are sometimes called "objective" items, an unfortunate label.Items can also be statements to which students must find the best completion.Multiple-choice items, therefore, are fundamentally recognition tasks, where students must identify the correct response. Especially in introductory classes, it might be wise not to assume that students know strategies for taking multiple-choice tests.Some time spent on test taking strategies may be useful.The Stem of a multiple choice item is the part to which the student is to respond.