While it’s always good to be creative and innovative when it comes to writing test questions, you should know the best practices and mistakes to avoid.
- Plan the structure of a test to include the proper sampling of content which acts as a blueprint for the exam.
- Test length is critical. True/False questions on average require a minimum of 30 seconds, and multiple choice require a minute.
- Have another instructor review your test for clarity of directions and questions.
- Provide clear and concise directions at the beginning of the assessment.
- Start with a few simple questions to ease student test anxiety and build confidence.
- Tests should include homogenous content.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
- Tests that are too short. These tests may provide an inadequate sample of content.
- Tests that are not properly aligned with a course’s intended learning outcomes.
- Inclusion of extraneous ideas and skills.
- Inclusion of test content that has not been recently taught.
- Grammatical errors.
- The use of questions which only assess knowledge of facts.