Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963848 | Print ISBN: 9781412916882 | Online ISBN: 9781412963848| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Multiple-choice tests have perhaps the most popular testing format in education and elsewhere, and students are certainly aware of multiple-choice items. Multiple-choice test items begin with the problem typically expressed as an incomplete statement or question (also known as the stem ) followed by alternatives from which to select (the options). Certainly, multiple-choice testing is immensely popular in a huge variety of applications in education, psychology, and beyond. Educational psychologists have pioneered in applying multiple-choice testing for research, instruction, assessment/evaluation, prediction/selection/classification/placement, certification/licensure, and for other purposes. Furthermore, educational psychologists have led in conducting research about and development of multiple-choice testing, a short summary of which follows. This entry considers why and how one might use the multiple-choice form, general goals for test developers (including teachers), and more specific item-writing guidelines (especially for multiple-choice items). A multitude of scholars, including Thomas Haladyna and Steven Downing, have indicated a number of strengths ...