Multiple-Choice Question

A multiple-choice question is a question type where the respondent is asked to choose one or more items from a limited list of choices.


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DEFINITION

formula definition A multiple-choice question consists of a stem, the correct answer, and distractorsThe stem is the beginning part of the item, that presents the item as a problem to be solved, a question, or an incomplete statement to be completed. The options are the possible answers you can choose from, with the correct answer called the key and the incorrect answers called distractors.

This guide will teach you:

  1. MCQs example
  2. Advantages of MCQs
  3. Disadvantages of MCQs
  4. MCQs question tips

1. MCQs example

Multiple choice question -example

You can select between two types of MCQs: Text choice and image choice. 

Multiple choice - explanation

TIP

formula tipThis complete guide on how to create efficient multiple-choice questions is a great resource if you want to use MC questions in your next survey. 

2. Advantages of MCQs

  • They have fast processing times
  • There's no room for subjectivity
  • You can ask more questions, as it takes less time to complete a multiple-choice question compared to an open question
  • Respondents don't have to formulate an answer but can focus on the content

3. Disadvantages of MCQs

  • While they are fast processed, they are time-consuming to create:  they require time to draw up effective stem questions and corresponding choices
  • They don't produce any qualitative data, solely quantitative
  • They limit the respondent in his answers, that's why it's important to provide an "other" option with a textbox

Multiple-Choice Question- ask more information

4. MCQs question tips

  • Use simple sentence structure and precise wording
  • Make all options plausible
  • Keep all answer choices the same length
  • Avoid double negatives
  • Keep the number of options consistent
  • Avoid tricking test-takers, you should test their knowledge, not their reading skills
  • Mix up the order of the correct answers (when testing knowledge)

Multiple-Choice Question- shuffle answers

TIP

formula tipCheck out the entire glossary list in a printable list.

What's next?

  • Smiley rating: A smiley rating question is a rating one, most often used to get a clear view of how someone likes your product, service, or business. It is a 5-point rating scale intended to represent a range of sentiments from negative to neutral to positive, making smiley ratings most useful when measuring emotions or feelings.
  • Rating scale questions: a rating scale is a method that requires the respondent to assign a value, sometimes numeric, to the rated object. Rating scales are popular in research because they offer the flexibility of response together with many possible types of quantitative analysis.
  • A radio button rating question allows the respondents to choose an answer between 0 and 10. Only a single answer can be chosen each time. You can use it if you want to get immediate post-purchase feedback, to ask employees to rate a training session or to check how well students feel they understood a lecture.
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