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Effectively administrating an online MCQ test


Before we get into the specifics, we need to understand the basic design of MCQs. The testing statement is referred to as the stem and can be written in the form of a fill in the blank, true and false or even a question. The answer choices consist of the key and distracters, the key being the correct answer. The logic behind successful concept testing doesn’t lie in the key; rather, it’s how you use the distracters. The distracters should consist of the most obvious answers that are both reasonable and probable. This approach is often used by the College Board when designing their SAT examinations to prevent students from guessing answers.

Negative Marking

While the College Board uses numerous effective ways to test concepts, the one thing that they are often criticized for is negative marking. Though research has shown that high anxiety students are more relaxed when using online testing software, negative marking tends to increase anxiety according to another research. Anxiety tends to cloud judgment, preventing students from answering even if they know the correct one.

Time Limit

One of the greatest advantages of usingonline testing software is that they allow you to set a particular time limit for the test and even specific questions. While it may seem tempting to set a timeframe for individual questions to prevent students from spending too much time on one question, this can also have an adverse effect in terms of anxiety. A good way to set use time restraints is to show a recommended time allotment for each question instead of locking them. This way, respondents can plan out how they use their time beforehand and articulately answer questions.

Using Statistics

Another benefit of digital quiz makers is that they can automatically project statistics regarding how well students are doing on certain questions. You can use these statistics to design quizzes based on difficulty levels; the higher the number of incorrect responses, the higher the difficulty of that particular question. This way, students can get more comfortable with the easier questions before transitioning to the harder ones.

Things to Avoid

One of the biggest mistakes committed by quiz makers is overusing the ‘None of the above’ and ‘All of the above’ options. These options should only be used when there are no other probable choices as they don’t really tell whether the respondent knows the correct answer or not.

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