Multiple choice questions (MCQs) are commonly used as a way to assess student learning, especially in (but not restricted to) very large classes. Nearly all students are exposed to multiple choice testing during K‐12 education as well as in standardized tests such as the SAT and the GRE.
There are many benefits to using MCQs. First of all, they provide an objective way to grade, compared to essay questions. In addition, they are quicker to grade, particularly when class sizes are large. Within a single test, we typically can ask more multiple choice questions across more topics (i.e., better content domain sampling; Haladyna 1997) compared to other question types. Further, we can consistently score the same multiple choice questions across years to examine whether changes in curriculum are having a positive effect on student learning.
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