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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Choice Questions on Online Exams

Given the hectic routine that most teachers have, the wide array of academic responsibilities that they have to fulfill daily, and a continuous need for learning, teachers are often compelled to create and use multiple-choice questions on exams.

Most online test creators allow the user to include multiple-choice questions. Several studies confirm that such questions make learning easier for students while also allowing educators to assess exams easily.

However, there has been a debate on the use of MCQs on exams, especially those that are conducted online, as students get limited choices for choosing the right answer. This increases their chances of succeeding on a test without putting enough effort into learning. Let us look at the benefits and cons of creating multiple-choice tests through online quiz makers.

Benefits of Multiple-Choice Tests

Multiple-choice questions are extremely easy to create and assess, especially if online exam software is involved.

With the assistance of online test creators, you can create multiple tests without much hassle. This reduces the chances of cheating on tests.

Since multiple-choice tests are easy to check, they allow examiners to better focus on the quality and effectiveness of tests created.

Such tests don’t allow grader’s bias to come into play; they can’t favor some students over the rest. This is usual in case of open-ended questions.

The tests based on multiple-choice questions are more inclusive. These questions allow you to cover a broader range of topics because of being less time being consumed in both creating and answering them.

The ‘Apparent’ Drawbacks of Multiple Choice Tests

While multiple-choice questions created through quiz software may seem to be ineffective for knowledge testing, they allow educators to quickly assess the learning of students in different areas. This is not possible with open-ended questions, as their answers are time-consuming.

Some educators refuse to make a quiz using multiple-choice questions saying they are too easy to answer. Those who haven’t learned anything too can make it through a test because of limited choices.

But that is not completely true.

One way you can ensure the multiple test questions you create are not too generic or obvious is by pretesting them. All you have to do is create a test and ask someone who isn’t a direct learner to take it. See how many answers they get correct and ask them if there was something that hinted the answer to them.

Studies reveal that students prefer MCQ-based exams than those that are open-ended because the former is easier. This is mainly because these tests don’t require rote learning but an in-depth understanding of the subject matter to choose the right answer. On the contrary, open-ended questions require memorizing everything by heart to be able to generate answers.

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