University of Nebraska Medical Center

Infographic: 5 Steps for Multiple-Choice Question Writing

Writing clear, concise multiple choice questions is pivotal to long-term learner comprehension. To make sure you have effective multiple choice questions, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Focus on one concept per item based on the learning outcomes
  2. Choose a level of cognition that matches the expectations or outcomes
  3. Avoid common errors
  4. Construct the correct answer
  5. Examine responses using psychometric data

Here’s an infographic that gives more information: (Download printable version.)

Additional resource:
Dory, V., Allan, K., Birnbaum, L., Lubarsky, S., Pickering, J., & Young, M. (2019). Ensuring the Quality of Multiple-Choice Tests: An Algorithm to Facilitate Decision Making for Difficult Questions. Academic Medicine 94(5), 740.

About the Author

Sarah McBrien-Marshall, PhD, is Assistant Professor and the Director of Curricular & Learning Assessment for the College of Allied Health Professions. She is an assessment guru who has years of experience using educational technology to mine valuable metrics for the enrichment of teaching and learning.

   sarah.mcbrien@unmc.edu  |   @HSE_SMc

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