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Objective test items

1. The mistakes that evaluators make when phrasing true-false items


• Using absolutes like all, always, never or only in a statement.

• Using double barreled statements that take time to read and comprehend.
• Using tricky questions that will confuse students.
• Using double negative without using uppercase letters, italics,
highlighting and underlining to emphasize the negative.
• Using opinionated statements which are neither obviously true nor
obviously false without stating the referent.
• Using indefinites like, regularly, long time, large etc in a statement.
• Using ambiguous statements that are broad and general.
• Using verbal clues by taking statements directly from the text.

2. The mistakes that evaluators make when phrasing matching items


• Using equal number of options and descriptions which increases the

chances of students guessing correctly by eliminating answers.
• Using long and heterogeneous lists options and descriptions.
• Using too many correct responses.
• They do not number the descriptions and options are not identified by a
• They do not write the descriptions on the right-hand side and options on
the left- hand side.
• They do not give clear directions in specifying the basis for matching and
whether options can be used more than once.
• They use ambiguous lists which may confuse students.
• They do not sort list of options in a chronological or alphabetical order.

3. The mistakes that evaluators make when phrasing multiple-choice

items are:

• Making use of grammatical clues to the question which will enable

students to answer items correctly.
• Using multiple-defensive answers which are irrelevant to the instructional
• Making use of identical words in both the stem and the option.
• Making use of opinionated items without stating the referent or the
• They do not arrange list of options in alphabetical or chronological order.
• They do not present a problem or situation in a stem.
• They do not highlight the negative with uppercase letters, italics or
• They make use of redundancies in the options.
• They make use of ‘all of the above’ and ‘none of the above’ options.

4. The mistakes that evaluators make when phrasing completion items


• They make use of more than one blank per item.

• They use general statements.
• They make use of multiple-defensible answers.
• They use the blank near the beginning of the sentence and not at the

5. Approaches that can be followed when phrasing higher level

multiple-choice items are:

• Write at least some objectives that measure comprehension, application,

analysis, synthesis or evaluation.
• Use pictures, drawings, graphs, tables etc for students to think at the
application level of the taxonomy of educational objectives.
• Use analogies that demonstrate relationships among terms.
• Applying previously learned principles or procedures to novel situations.