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Institute of Accounting and Administration of Oporto, Oporto, Portugal


A MC (multiple-choice) question can be defined as a question in which students are asked to select one alternative from a given set of alternatives in response to a question stem. The objective of this paper is to analyse if MC questions may be considered as an interesting alternative for assessing knowledge, particularly in the mathematics area, as opposed to the traditional methods, such as open questions. We also present some guidelines with the intent of improving the quality of the MC questions. For that, we illustrate some researchers’ opinions in this area. The construction of good MC questions requires special care which needs the writing ability of test-makers and therefore time consuming. We are going to analyse the difficulties in the construction of MC questions as well as some advantages and limitations of this type of questions. We also are showing the frequent critics and worries, since the beginning of this objective format usage. We aim to give some examples of MC items in the mathematics area and illustrate how we can take advantage of and improve this kind of questions in this context.


mathematics, MC (multiple-choice) questions, technology in education, teaching methods

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