The Problem with Multiple Choice Question – MCQ Tests

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MCQ tests
Multiple Choice Question- MCQ

Multiple Choice Questions- MCQ

Multiple choice – MCQ tests are good for saving an examiner the time. They are straight to the point and even better considering the terrible writing by students. Recently, I went back to class and since I am a student, exams are mandatory. There was only one slight problem, the exam was underwhelming for a practical course. The whole paper was Multiple choice.

I remember marking the boxes randomly, and leaving the exam room within a record five minutes. That was the fastest exam I have ever done. I can’t even recall all the questions that I answered.

MCQ’s or Fixed response are a form of objective assessment, in which respondents select only correct answers out of the choices from a list. They have their place in education, I cannot dispute that. Most of our assessments at Eneza Education are in form of MCQ’s. We have to also bear in mind that for EdTech solutions to blend well with traditional learning, there has to be a distinction.

My thoughts on MCQ’s are that they are best suited for Tech solutions that aid in students’ memory. When it comes to a written exam, some questions have to test other levels of knowledge. There are different levels of knowledge that a learner should be tested on.

Problem with MCQ’s

  1. Only tests limited types of knowledge
  2. Encourages cramming rather than learning
  3. They are like a lottery, some students may not even read for MCQ exams.
  4. MCQ tests do not test for deep learning or in depth understanding.

Remember the Kenyan national primary school exams- KCPE? How many can say that it was a reflection of their genius? I would like to hear your views in the comments.

About the author

Juliet Otieno is the Communications Associate at Eneza Education. She is trained in journalism and Public Relations and is a blogger who likes to play with words.

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