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Let’s Make a Quiz: Designing an Effective Quiz for STEM Education

Let’s Make a Quiz: STEM Exam Questions

Assessing the knowledge is the final phase in the academic nurturing of a student in order to prepare them for the challenges that lie ahead in their respective fields. But, it should not be just about evaluating the knowledge. The core objective of every assessment should be to evaluate the knowledge in the right way, to assess whether the student is prepared to use it for that specific field.

For every academic discipline, the assessment quiz should be structured in such a way so as to tie in with the core requirements of the field.

To align with the aforementioned context, we present to you a blog series, where we will be discussing strategies to design an effective quiz for a specific academic discipline. Starting off with STEM education, this is:

Let’s Make a Quiz: Stem Exam Questions

What is STEM Education?

For our readers who do not have a clear idea of what STEM education actually is, here is a brief introduction:

“STEM education is basically an integrated academic discipline that covers the concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Conventionally, each of these four disciplines have been taught discreetly but STEM education encourages students to integrate the principles of all the four disciplines and then to compute a solution to a real world problem.”

What Should be the Strategy to Design an Effective STEM Quiz?

Keeping in mind the objective of STEM education, the strategy while designing a STEM quiz should focus on:

·         Asking questions that urge students to identify different elements of a solution, spaced across the four disciplines, and then linking those elements to design a solution.

·         A STEM education quiz should not necessarily focus on computation of the solution. It is the design that matters (more on it in following paragraphs).

·         Asking questions that test the concept of parallel thinking in students, where they can examine the problem from different perspectives at the same time.

·         Asking questions that test analytical skills of students, where they can successfully understand the problem at hand and adopt an applied approach towards its solution.  

What Type of Questions Should Be the Part of an Effective STEM Quiz?

In essence, the solution to a STEM problem requires five basic activities: analysis, understanding, identification, link-up, and computation. This translates to a detailed answer for which essay questions should be the logical choice.  

But, you also have to keep in consideration that in order to solve a STEM problem you need hours – students don’t have that much time in hand.

What do you do in that case?

You should focus on asking the students to devise a solution and leave the computation part out of it—as the process primarily involves number crunching which is responsible for the majority of the time being consumed. And for that, you can use a combination of MCQs and short questions while designing an assessment test on a quiz creator

Here is an example:

First present the problem to be analyzed. Design three different cooling systems and analyze which system delivers the best possible solution for implementation.

Next, list different components that can be utilized to design the system. You can present components in MCQ form and then ask the candidate to select the best set.

Ask students to link the components in ordered manner to design the system. This can be presented in the form of short questions.

Ask students to write down equations (only state them) that will be used to calculate different output variables of the system.  This can once again be presented in the form of short questions.

Urge students to identify the variables in the equations for which they will solve them. You can do that by designing interactive questions through different online quiz creators that allow candidates to highlight or circle them.  

In the end the students can state parameters which will define the best possible solution for implementation. This can again be in the form of short question.   


By following these strategies and tips, you can successfully design an effective STEM quiz for your students, all the while enabling them to devise a solution for sizeable problems within an appropriate time frame. What do you think of it? If you like, please share it. If you have any suggestions feel free to drop them in the comments section below.   

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