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The Effect of Question Sequence in the Use of Online Examination Software

The design of any test has a really huge impact on the validity and reliability of the exam. It is important for an accurate assessment of their knowledge and skill set. It is important that all candidates are able to navigate the exam questions so that the whole exam is fair to all. A straightforward, logical question sequence can make it easy to assess students in a valid way.

There are multiple ways that question sequences can be maintained. It is important to select the best option for the test so that they can evaluate the students properly. This can be dependent on the type of assessment taking place.

A study found that online exam software has become a really important assessment tool in all sorts of testing environments. There are a lot of features and options in test creators that result in valid and reliable testing options. However, many instructors still don’t realize the importance of question sequences in assessment.

Research and Facts

Researchers have conducted several experiments to find out the impact of question sequences on the perception of difficulty in the examination hall. One study used an easy-to-difficult order of question sequences and found out that students felt confident about their performance. They were even more optimist of their results, even though they faced no difference in results from the control study.

Other researchers have also shown that questions that were in the same order as the study material got better results than those which were not. This means that the memory retention was based on the order of the questions. This means that instructors need to bear in mind that the order of the questions can indeed have an effort in the results. While using online examination software, it is important to consider a reasonable and logical question sequence. This can help gauge reliable results that assess the true knowledge of the students.

Setting the Question Order in Online Examination Software

Test creators have various algorithms that can help to arrange a random order of questions for the individual students. This can help create different versions of the same question paper. However, this could mean that the candidates face different levels of difficulty during the paper. Online examination software has to ensure that every student has the same level of difficulty throughout the exam.

This means that the examiner can merely use test creators to design subsets for each topic. The easier sets can be placed in the beginning, even if they are all in a random order of questions in itself. A lot of examines also enable the backward option so that the students can go back and forth between question. This increases the differences in difficulty if all the questions are completely randomized without subsets.


Since the order of questions has a huge impact on the students’ perception of difficulty and the results of the examination, it is important to focus on it a little more. Examiners can use test creators to create online exams which are fair for all the candidates. 

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