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The Quiz Maker: True-False MCQs or One Best Answer MCQs?

Multiple choice questions based assessments have long been a part of our examination system. Whether it’s a competitive exam for assessing an individual’s admission application or an academic exam to gauge their knowledge about a subject, MCQs are often the preferred assessment tool.  With the view to overcome their inherent flaws, many variations of MCQs have developed over time. And, when the choice comes to select a variant for incorporation, examiners are often found struggling.

Today, we will be comparing the two most popular variants of this assessment tool, the True-False MCQs and One Best Answer Mcqs, to help our readers in determining the better option. This is “The Quiz Maker” blogging series (hyperlink to blog titled, “The Quiz Maker: Designing MCQs Based Quiz for Online Assessment”) and we are here to answer:

Which One Should You Choose: True False MCQs or One Best Answer MCQs?

True False MCQs

In these types of MCQS, the candidate is required to determine the cut-off-point, the threshold of the trueness of the statement being presented. Once that threshold point is determined, the candidate can then make their pick: is it true or is it false.

Examiners can incorporate True-False MCQs as part of the test by using test maker software. Almost every suite offers the feature.  

True-False MCQs are easy to produce from examiner’s point of view, much faster to grade than One Best answer MCQs and allows testing of different domains of a same topic.

But, there are few criticisms against it…

Detractors argue that a candidate can easily circumvent their way around the black hole of underdeveloped concepts, by simply guessing the answer.  With the probability of being correct rising to a value of fifty percent, you can say that the criticism is well found. Yes, the answer may prove to be eventually wrong but it could be equally right. As such, True-False MCQs become a game of guessing. They may not truly assess the knowledge of a candidate.

Another criticism associated with True-False MCQs is the way the trueness of a situation may be perceived. In most of the cases, nothing can be weighed on a scale of absolutes and therefore, the interpretation of candidates as well as of an examiner may become vague.  

One Best Answer MCQs

One Best Answer MCQs are believed to assess the cognitive levels of an individual to varying degrees, depending on the structuring of the exam. To learn more about how you can structure MCQs that induce varying levels of thinking in a candidate, click here (hyperlink to the blog titled, “The Quiz Maker: Designing MCQs-based Quiz to Induce Higher-Level Thinking”).

Many test maker software offer the feature of incorporating One Best Answer MCQs in e-exams. In the digital world, they are usually referred to as MCQs with radio buttons. 

With One Best Answer MCQs, the candidates have more than two options to evaluate; their probability of being right is only limited to 20 percent. This is one of the biggest advantages of One Best Answer MCQs over True False MCQs. Apart from that, One Best Answer MCQ do not offer the ambiguity that their counterpart does which again can be an added advantage if you want to pick them over the True-False variant.

That being said…

·         One Best Answer MCQs are harder to produce from examiner’s perspective as compared to True-False MCQs.

·         One Best Answer MCQs may negatively channel the energies of students in identifying the right answer if the alternatives are too closely linked.

One Best Answer MCQs edge True-False MCQs in aspects of assessing an individual. However, if you are looking for a convenient solution then True-False MCQs should be the preferred option when designing a quiz on a test maker software.



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