Three options are optimal for multiple-choice items: A meta-analysis of 80 years of research

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160 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiple-choice items are a mainstay of achievement testing. The need to adequately cover the content domain to certify achievement proficiency by producing meaningful precise scores requires many high-quality items. More 3-option items can be administered than 4- or 5-option items per testing time while improving content coverage, without detrimental effects on psychometric quality of test scores. Researchers have endorsed 3-option items for over 80 years with empirical evidence - the results of which have been synthesized in an effort to unify this endorsement and encourage its adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Measurement: Issues and Practice
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005

Keywords

  • Item analysis
  • Item writing
  • Meta-analysis
  • Multiple choice

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