Multiple-choice test items: selected references



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The International Research Foundation

for English Language Education



MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST ITEMS: SELECTED REFERENCES

(Last updated 12 September 2016)

Ackerman, T. A., & Smith, P. L. (1988). A comparison of the information provided by essay, multiple-choice, and free-response writing tests. Applied Psychological Measurement, 12(2), 117-128.


Albanese, M. A., Kent, T. H., & Whitney, D. R. (1979). Cluing in multiple-choice test items with combinations of correct responses. Academic Medicine, 54(12), 948-50.

Al-Hamly, M., & Coombe, C. (2005). To change or not to change: Investigating the value of MCQ answer changing for Gulf Arab students. Language Testing, 22(4), 509-531. Retrieved from http://ltj.sagepub.com/content/22/4/509.full.pdf+html

Amini, M., & Ibrahim-González, N. (2012). The washback effect of cloze and multiple choice test items on vocabulary acquisition. Language in India, 12(7), 71-91.

Attali, Y., & Bar‐Hillel, M. (2003). Guess where: The position of correct answers in multiple‐choice test items as a psychometric variable. Journal of Educational Measurement, 40(2), 109-128.


Bacon, D. R. (2003). Assessing learning outcomes: A comparison of multiple-choice and short-answer questions in a marketing context. Journal of Marketing Education, 25(1), 31-36.
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Becker, W. E., & Johnston, C. (1999). The relationship between multiple choice and essay response questions in assessing economics understanding. Economic Record, 75(4), 348-357.


Bennett, R. E., Rock, D. A., & Wang, M. (1991). Equivalence of free‐response and multiple‐choice items. Journal of Educational Measurement, 28(1), 77-92.
Ben‐Shakhar, G., & Sinai, Y. (1991). Gender differences in multiple‐choice tests: the role of differential guessing tendencies. Journal of Educational Measurement, 28(1), 23-35.
Birenbaum, M., & Tatsuoka, K. K. (1987). Open-ended versus multiple-choice response formats—it does make a difference for diagnostic purposes. Applied Psychological Measurement, 11(4), 385-395.
Bormuth, J. R. (1967). Comparable cloze and multiple-choice comprehension test scores. Journal of Reading, 10(5), 291-299.
Brame, C. J. (2014). Writing good multiple choice test questions. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/writing-good-multiple-choice-test-questions/

Bridgeman, B. (1992). A comparison of quantitative questions in open‐ended and multiple‐choice formats. Journal of Educational Measurement, 29(3), 253-271.


Bridgeman, B., & Lewis, C. (1994). The relationship of essay and multiple‐choice scores with grades in college courses. Journal of Educational Measurement, 31(1), 37-50.
Briggs, D. C., Alonzo, A. C., Schwab, C., & Wilson, M. (2006). Diagnostic assessment with ordered multiple-choice items. Educational Assessment, 11(1), 33-63.
Brown, J. D. (2005). Testing in language programs: A comprehensive guide to English language assessment. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Bruno, J. E., & Dirkzwager, A. (1995). Determining the optimal number of alternatives to a multiple-choice test item: An information theoretic perspective. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 55(6), 959-966.
Buck, G., Tatsuoka, K., & Kostin, I. (1997). The subskills of reading: Rule‐space analysis of a multiple‐choice test of second language reading comprehension. Language Learning, 47(3), 423-466.
Burton, R. F. (2005). Multiple‐choice and true/false tests: Myths and misapprehensions. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(1), 65-72.
Burton, S. J., Sudweeks, R. R., Merrill, P. F., & Wood, B. (1991). How to prepare better multiple-choice test items: Guidelines for university faculty. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Testing Services.
Bush, M. (2001). A multiple choice test that rewards partial knowledge. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 25(2), 157-163.
Butler, A. C., Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger III, H. L. (2007). The effect of type and timing of feedback on learning from multiple-choice tests. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13(4), 273.
Butler, A. C., & Roediger, H. L. (2008). Feedback enhances the positive effects and reduces the negative effects of multiple-choice testing. Memory & Cognition, 36(3), 604-616.
Celce-Murcia, M., Kooshian, G. B., & Gosak, A. J. (1974). Goal: Good multiple-choice language test items. English Language Teaching 28(3), 257-262.
Cheng H.F.(2004). A comparison of multiple-choice and open ended formats for the assessment of listening proficiency in English. Foreign Language Annals, 37(4), 544-555. Retrieved from http://ltj.sagepub.com/content/27/4/471.full.pdf+html

Chiramanee, T., & Currie, M. (2010). The effect of the multiple-choice item format on the measurement of knowledge of language structure. Language Testing, 27(4), 471-491.

Cizek, G. J., & O'Day, D. M. (1994). Further investigation of nonfunctioning options in multiple-choice test items. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 54(4), 861-872.
Crocker, L., & Schmitt, A. (1987). Improving multiple-choice test performance for examinees with different levels of test anxiety. The Journal of Experimental Education, 55(4), 201-205.
Cross, L. H., & Frary, R. B. (1977). An empirical test of Lord's theoretical results regarding formula scoring of multiple‐choice tests. Journal of Educational Measurement, 14(4), 313-321.
Currie, M., & Chiramanee, T. (2010). The effect of the multiple-choice item format on the measurement of knowledge of language structure. Language Testing, 27(4), 471-479. Retrieved from http://ltj.sagepub.com/content/27/4/471.full.pdf+html
Daneman, M., & Hannon, B. (2001). Using working memory theory to investigate the construct validity of multiple-choice reading comprehension tests such as the SAT. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130(2), 208.
Davis, F. B. (1959). Estimation and use of scoring weights for each choice in multiple-choice test items. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 19(3), 291-298.
Delgado, A. R., & Prieto, G. (2003). The effect of item feedback on multiple‐choice test responses. British Journal of Psychology, 94(1), 73-85.
Divgi, D. R. (1986). Does the Rasch model really work for multiple choice items? Not if you look closely. Journal of Educational Measurement, 23(4), 283-298.
Dolly, J. P., & Williams, K. S. (1986). Using test-taking strategies to maximize multiple-choice test scores. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 46(3), 619-625.
Drasgow, F., Levine, M. V., Tsien, S., Williams, B., & Mead, A. D. (1995). Fitting polytomous item response theory models to multiple-choice tests. Applied Psychological Measurement, 19(2), 143-166.
Dressel, P. L., & Schmid, J. (1953). Some modifications of the multiple-choice item. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 13(4), 574-595.
Dudley, A. (2006). Multiple dichotomous-scored items in second language testing: Investigating the multiple true-false item type under norm-referenced conditions. Language Testing, 23(2), 198-227. Retrieved from http://ltj.sagepub.com/content/23/2/198.full.pdf+html

Ellsworth, R. A., Dunnell, P., & Duell, O. K. (1990). Multiple-choice test items: What are textbook authors telling teachers? The Journal of Educational Research, 83(5), 289-293.


Farley, J. K. (1989). The multiple-choice test: Writing the questions. Nurse Educator, 14(6), 10-12.
Farr, R., Pritchard, R., & Smitten, B. (1990). A description of what happens when an examinee takes a multiple‐choice reading comprehension test. Journal of Educational Measurement, 27(3), 209-226.
Frary, R. B. (1980). The effect of misinformation, partial information, and guessing on expected multiple-choice test item scores. Applied Psychological Measurement, 4(1), 79-90.
Frary, R. B. (1995). More multiple-choice item writing do's and don'ts. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 4(11). Retrieved from http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=4&n=11

Frary, R. B., Tideman, T. N., & Watts, T. M. (1977). Indices of cheating on multiple-choice tests. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 2(4), 235-256.

Frederick, R. I., & Foster, H. G. (1991). Multiple measures of malingering on a forced-choice test of cognitive ability. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 3(4), 596-602.
Freedle, R., & Kostin, I. (1999). Does the text matter in a multiple-choice test of comprehension? The case for the construct validity of TOEFL's minitalks. Language Testing, 16(1), 2-32.
Friedman, S. & Cook, G. (1995). Is an examinee’s cognitive style related to the impact of answer-changing on multiple-choice tests? Journal of Experimental Education, 63(3), 199-213.
Fuhrman, M. (1996). Developing good multiple-choice tests and test questions. Journal of Geoscience Education, 44(4), 379-84.
Geiger, M. (1991a). Changing multiple choice answers: A validation and extension. College Student Journal, 25(2), 181-186.

Geiger, M. (1991b). Changing multiple-choice answers: Do students accurately perceive their performance? The Journal of Experimental Education, 59(3), 250-257.

Geiger, M. (1996). On the benefits of changing multiple-choice answers: Student perception and performance. Education, 117, 108-116.

Green, K. (1981). Item-response changes on multiple-choice tests as a function of test anxiety. Journal of Experimental Education, 49(4), 225-228.

Haladyna, T. M., & Downing, S. M. (1989). Validity of a taxonomy of multiple-choice item-writing rules. Applied Measurement in Education, 2(1), 51-78.

Haladyna, T. M. (2012). Developing and validating multiple-choice test items. New York, NY: Routledge.


Haladyna, T. M., & Downing, S. M. (1989). A taxonomy of multiple-choice item-writing rules. Applied measurement in education, 2(1), 37-50.
Haladyna, T. M., & Downing, S. M. (1993). How many options is enough for a multiple-choice test item?. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53(4), 999-1010.
Haladyna, T. M., Downing, S. M., & Rodriguez, M. C. (2002). A review of multiple-choice item-writing guidelines for classroom assessment. Applied Measurement in Education, 15(3), 309-333.
Haladyna, T. M., & Shindoll, R. R. (1989). Item shells: A method for writing effective multiple-choice test items. Evaluation & the Health Professions, 12(1), 97-106.
Hambleton, R. K., Roberts, D. M., & Traub, R. E. (1970). A comparison of the reliability and validity of two methods for assessing partial knowledge on a multiple‐choice test. Journal of Educational Measurement, 7(2), 75-82.
Hancock, G. R. (1994). Cognitive complexity and the comparability of multiple-choice and constructed-response test formats. The Journal of Experimental Education, 62(2), 143-157.
Hansen, J. D., & Dexter, L. (1997). Quality multiple-choice test questions: Item-writing guidelines and an analysis of auditing testbanks. Journal of Education for Business, 73(2), 94-97.
Heim, A. W., & Watts, K. P. (1967). An experiment on multiple-choice versus open-ended answering in a vocabulary test. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 37(3), 339-346.
Helwig, R., Rozek-Tedesco, M. A., Tindal, G., Heath, B., & Almond, P. J. (1999). Reading as an access to mathematics problem solving on multiple-choice tests for sixth-grade students. The Journal of Educational Research, 93(2), 113-125.
Horst, P. (1933). The difficulty of a multiple choice test item. Journal of Educational Psychology, 24(3), 229-232.
In'nami, Y., & Koizumi, R. (2009). A meta-analysis of test format effects on reading and listening test performance: Focus on multiple-choice and open-ended formats. Language Testing, 26(2), 219-244. Retrieved from http://ltj.sagepub.com/content/26/2/219.full.+ html

Kehoe, J. (1995). Writing multiple-choice test items. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 4(9). Retrieved from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=4&n=9.

Kruglov, L. P. (1953). Qualitative differences in the vocabulary choices of children as revealed in a multiple-choice test. Journal of Educational Psychology, 44(4), 229-243.
Kulhavy, R. W., & Anderson, R. C. (1972). Delay-retention effect with multiple-choice tests. Journal of Educational Psychology, 63(5), 505-512.
Lehrl, S., Triebig, G., & Fischer, B. (1995). Multiple choice vocabulary test MWT as a valid and short test to estimate premorbid intelligence. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 91(5), 335-345.
Levine, M. V., & Rubin, D. B. (1979). Measuring the appropriateness of multiple-choice test scores. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 4(4), 269-290.
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Lord, F. M. (1952). The relation of the reliability of multiple-choice tests to the distribution of item difficulties. Psychometrika, 17(2), 181-194.


Lukhele, R., Thissen, D., & Wainer, H. (1994). On the relative value of multiple‐choice, constructed response, and examinee‐selected items on two achievement tests. Journal of Educational Measurement, 31(3), 234-250.
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Mason, V. (1984). Using multiple-choice tests to promote homogeneity of class ability levels in large EGP and ESP programs. System, 12(3), 263-271.

Mason, V. (1992). A good word for multiple-choice tests. CATESOL Journal, 5(2), 29-44.

Masters, J. C., Hulsmeyer, B. S., Pike, M. E., Leichty, K., Miller, M. T., & Verst, A. L. (2001). Assessment of multiple-choice questions in selected test banks accompanying text books used in nursing education. The Journal of Nursing Education, 40(1), 25-32.
McCoubrie, P. (2004). Improving the fairness of multiple-choice questions: A literature review. Medical Teacher, 26(8), 709-712.

Meara, P., & Buxton, B. (1987). An alternative to multiple choice vocabulary tests. Language Testing, 4(2), 142-154.


Mehrens, W.A. & Lehman, I.J. (1978). Measurement and evaluation in education and psychology (2nd edition). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Mitkov, R., An Ha, L., & Karamanis, N. (2006). A computer-aided environment for generating multiple-choice test items. Natural Language Engineering, 12(02), 177-194.
Morrison, S., & Free, K. W. (2001). Writing multiple-choice test items that promote and measure critical thinking. Journal of Nursing Education, 40(1), 17-24.
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Paxton, M. (2000). A linguistic perspective on multiple-choice questioning. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 25(2), 109-119.

Pressley, M., & Ghatala, E. S. (1988). Delusions about performance on multiple-choice comprehension tests. Reading Research Quarterly, 454-464.
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Smith, J.K. (1982). Converging on correct answers: A peculiarity of multiple-choice items. Journal of Educational Measurement, 19(3), 211-220.


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