How to write good Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions include a question and multiple possible answer options, from which the user will select their answers from. Multiple choice questions can be created with having only one answer as correct, or multiple correct answers.

Also known as: MCQ, Multiple answer questions, Multiple response questions, objective

Use Multiple Choice Questions to Assess:

  • Information recall
  • Application
  • Evaluation
  • Understanding concepts

Question Usage Ideas:

  • Incomplete statements
  • Best answer
  • Direct questions
  • Surveys

Advantages of Multiple Choice Questions:

  • Test takers can answer these quickly
  • Easy to grade on paper
  • Automatically graded online
  • Test a wide range of material
  • Questions can easily be reused
  • Reliable scoring
  • Handwriting is not judged - great for those who may not have the same writing skills as others.

Disadvantages of Multiple Choice Questions:

  • Takes time to come up with multiple answer options
  • No way to determine why specific answers were selected
  • Can be difficult to word so that all users understand
  • Users can easily just check options without actually reading the questions.


Tips for creating Multiple Choice Questions

  • Avoid using the same correct answer option for each question
  • Keep answer options to a minimum. Too many becomes confusing
  • Keep question text clear and to the point
  • Try to keep all answers the same length
  • Avoid using “all of the above” - too obvious
  • Avoid using “none of the above”
  • Keep distractors plausible
  • Randomize answer options - will prevent users from memorizing the letters
  • When using numbers, keep answer options in logical order
  • Avoid using double negatives
  • Repeating words/phrases such as “Did you know” - keep this in the question only.
ClassMarker Pro Tips

Become a ClassMarker Guru: Pro Tips

Multiple Choice Question Features in

You're a Pro if You Know:

  • How to randomize answer options
  • You can select one or more correct answer options
  • How to choose different grading styles for multiple response questions
  • You can select radio buttons or checkboxes when only one answer is correct
  • How to add custom feedback for both correct/incorrect answers
  • Multiple choice Questions automatically graded