22 Tips for Writing Great Quiz Questions and Response Options

If you’ve written quizzes in the past, you know how hard it is to write really great questions and realistic response options. It’s a tricky balance between something that’s an incorrect answer, but still plausible enough that the learner doesn’t dismiss it outright.

To make sure you get the best quiz questions and response options possible, refer to this checklist of 20+ tips when writing your quizzes:

  • All questions are related to learning objectives and course content
  • All questions present the learner with feedback that supports the correct answer
  • All questions avoid the use of humor, analogies, and cultural references
  • All questions avoid complex sentences, ambiguous terms, and slang
  • All questions avoid trick responses (this includes multiple correct responses, ambiguous answers, and overly abstract responses)
  • Avoid true-or-false questions, if possible
    Response options that do not begin with the same word (if so, this word should appear in the question)
  • Consistent number of response options for all questions
  • All questions have at least 3-4 response options
  • All questions and correct responses have been vetted by an SME or expert
  • Avoid use of “all of the above” and “none of the above” in response options
  • All response options are realistic and plausible
  • All response options follow correct sentence structure to fit with the question
  • All response options are approximately the same length
  • All response options are parallel in grammatical structure
  • All response options contain the same amount of detail
    Response options do not overlap or are too similar
  • Response options avoid the use of negative items (“Which of these items is NOT…”)
  • If response options must include negative items, negative words are all in CAPS
  • All correct response options are covered in the course material
  • Double-check all questions and response options for grammar, punctuation, spelling, formatting, contradictions, and use of active voice.
  • All questions and response options avoid the use of absolute terms like “always” and “only”

By checking all of your quiz questions and response options against this checklist, you can greatly improve the quality of your quizzes, and improve your learner’s experience taking your quiz.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share about writing more meaningful and relevant quiz questions and responses? If you do, please leave a comment!

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