By Norman E. Gronlund
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Additional resources for Constructing Achievement Tests, 2nd Edition
Since any given test is likely to contain items of both types, it is important that the directions te11 the student to select the best answer. T h e above examples also illustrate the use of four alternatives. Multiple-choice items typically include either four or five choices. T h e 37 Constructing Objective Tests of Knowledge larger number will, of course, reduce the student's chances of obtaining the correct answer by guessing. Theoretically, with five alternatives he has only one chance in five of guessing the answer, whereas with four alternatives he has one chance in four.
Directions: Read eacli o£ tlie following statements. I£ tlie statement indicates a sound principle of acliievement testing, circle tlie S; if it indicates an unsound principle, circle tlie U. +S U 1. Tlie specific learning outcomes to be tested sliould be stated in terms of student beliavior. S U 2. 4cliievement testing sliould be limited to outcomes that can be measured objectively. +S U 3. Eacli acliievement-test item sliould measure a clearly defined subject-matter topic and a clearly defined student behavior.
T h e terrn "may" is rnther obvioiis i n this example, b u t this type of error is commori a n d appears frequently in a subtler form. r in thc distraclers enables students to eliminate tliem as possible arinvers, becaiise such terms ("always," "never," "all," "none," "only," a n d so on) are commonly nssociated with false statements. Tliis niakes the correct answer obvioiis. o r at least iiicreases the chances tliat the stiitlerits will guess it: Poor: Acliievemerit tests Iielp stiiderits improve tlieir Iearnirig by: A.
Constructing Achievement Tests, 2nd Edition by Norman E. Gronlund