Focus on writing an objective test. Ideally, add at least one test question to each Learning Object and ensure the question addresses the learning objective (see What is a Learning Objective?).
If you are making a bank of test questions for randomizing, ensure the questions are fairly and evenly balanced. One easy way to do this is to copy a question and then simply change the order of the choices in the duplicate. Or, you can alter the wording of the duplicate question slightly (for example, a true or false question could be duplicated and then re-worded for the opposite choice).
Following are a few more tips:
- Make sure the question stem clearly states the problem through a direct question or incomplete sentence.
- Reduce redundancy in the choices/options by including these words in the question.
- Write clearly to eliminate unnecessary and distracting material from the question.
- Ensure each option follows the same grammatical structure led by the question. Read the question stem and then each option to verify the structure.
- Avoid “all of the above” or “none of the above” options. If you do use these options, place the option in the last position and do not randomize the choice.
- In most cases, state the question in a positive rather than negative way (i.e. Don’t use “never” or “not”. In a case where the objective is to be able to identify what NOT to do, then a negative may be called for. In this case, clearly emphasize it in the question by applying bold formatting or all caps).
- Avoid giving any clues in the options.
- Use two to four distractors that are plausible.
- It is often recommended that only one option is correct. Multiple correct options in a question are typically more difficult (and you may want to apply a higher weighting to this type of question).