DISTRACTORS: ONE CORRECT OR BEST RESPONSE (tests higher level learning) AND 3-4 ALTERNATIVES; ALL OF THE ABOVE OR NONE... ARE NOT SPECIFIC OPTIONS OR SOLUTIONS AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED
KEEP IT SIMPLE!
DO NOT PUT EXTRA, UNNECESSARY INFORMATION IN THE STEM: Mary, a 16-year old female with cerebral palsy, presents with a bruxing habit. Bruxism is the rhythmic grinding of teeth that can cause overdevelopment of a muscle of mastication. Which of the following muscles may be overdeveloped in a patient with bruxism?
POSITIVE - Usually more effective because the item tests what examinees know to be correct. Which of the following antibiotics is recommended for SBE coverage?
NEGATIVE - Sometimes appropriate to distinguish the incorrect response among several correct alternatives. All of the following congenital cardiac defects require antibiotic premedication prior to dental procedures except one. The EXCEPTION is ___?
RULESTO FOLLOW WHEN CREATINGALTERNATIVES
INCLUDE REPITITIOUS WORDS IN THE STEM TO AVOID REPEATING WORDS IN EVERY ALTERNATIVE.
ALTERNATIVES SHOULD BE SIMILAR IN CONSTRUCTION AND OF APPROXIMATELY EQUAL LENGTH
DISTRACTORS SHOULD BE PLAUSIBLE & MAY REPRESENT COMMONLY HELD MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT A SUBJECT
The correct answer is longer or more specific than the distractors:
All of the following determine the latent period’s degree of biologic effect except one. The EXCEPTION is ___?
a. The exposure time
b. The type of radiation
c. The type of tissue irradiated
d. The ability to cause substances to fluoresce *
HINT- Put “The” in the stem!
ADDITIONAL PRACTICES TO TO AVOID WHEN DESIGNING ALTERNATIVES FOR MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTIONS
The alternatives are not mutually exclusive (overlapping alternatives); if numbers, always list in ascending or descending order & if ranges, intervals should be equivalent: Which of the following I.Q. ranges is descriptive of a person with moderate mental retardation? a. 50-70 b. 35-50 c. 20-35 d. <20
Distractors are not plausible: Which of the following primary molars is a smaller replica of the permanent first molar: a. First b. Second c. Third
Grammatical clues in the stem suggest the correct answer:
Which of the following drugs is an antihypertensive agent?