Take Our Quiz on Writing Good Test Questions

howard-headshot-smallPosted by Howard Eisenberg

Questionmark Live has made it easier than ever for subject matter experts to write test questions. But since we’ve always thought that providing good learning resources is just as important as creating great testing and assessment software, we’ve put together this 11-question quiz to help anyone — SMEs included — brush up on their item writing skills and review best practices.

The quiz is based on research literature including Criterion-referenced Test Development by Sharon Shrock and Bill Coscarelli and Validating Multiple-Choice Tests Items by Thomas M. Haladyna. So the guidelines it offers relate to criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced score interpretations. Different domains might require different approaches. We regard resources like this quiz as a way of contributing to the ongoing process of learning about assessment. In that spirit, we welcome your suggestions and would be happy to modify our current learning resources and/or create new ones to address the needs of other domains.

Now on to the quiz! Be sure to look for your feedback after you have completed it!

19 Responses to Take Our Quiz on Writing Good Test Questions

  1. Stefanie says:

    Good test! I scored 100% 🙂

  2. Howard Eisenberg howard says:

    Thanks, Stefanie. Good to know that we agree on this subject. 🙂

  3. Silvester says:


    Nice little test. Fun to take.

    I’ll give you access to some of mine these days.

  4. David J A Lewis says:

    Only 9 out of 11 – grrrr!

    You might like to see our fun quiz on how to write good questions:

  5. Howard Eisenberg howard says:

    Very clever, David. Thanks for sharing. Shrock and Coscarelli developed something just like this and distributed it to the room at our most recent user’s conference. You should have seen the look on some people’s faces! Thanks for sharing. -Howard

  6. Kate Gonzer says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I got 100% I feel validated! Yeah!

  7. 10/11 hhmmmmm…

    Maybe QMP should automatically test the questions against these when they are entered!

  8. Rajiv says:

    I got 9/11 correct. For the first question, my answer was True. I believe there should be enough distracters. In many cases, we provide two attempts to the learners if scoring is not required. In those cases, providing only three options would not be a good idea.
    Then, in question number 11, the version 1 is better because the options are in continuity with the question stem. Whereas in version 2, the first two choices do not fit in the question and ruled out. They do not look like definitions and hence not good distracters.

  9. […] way to learn. One of the Questionmark blog’s most popular-ever entries was Howard Eisenberg’s Take our Quiz on Writing Good Test Questions, back in […]

  10. Mike says:

    Scored 100% on first 2 quizzes, as I expected. However, I don’t like the item about extraneous info. Having extraneous info is fine, in my opinion, but the purpose should not be to confuse or trick; the purpose is to see if tester can discern what is relevant to the item. So, the answer to this question is only correct based on the intent, not the practice.

  11. The terst questions didn’t show up on my screen

  12. admin says:

    Hi Michael,
    I suggest you reload the screen and try again.
    Good luck!

  13. Charles Appeadu says:

    Got 11/11 (100%). In line with how we write our questions. Thanks.

  14. admin says:

    Glad to hear it!

  15. Dawna says:

    Liked the test. Got me thinking of how I make mine.

  16. Huei-Jiuan says:

    I enjoy this type of learning!

  17. Kelly Judy says:


    It seems maybe a plugin for the quiz isn’t working? Neither I nor my student are able to view it on either of our computers.


  18. Sorry about that – and thank you for the heads-up! The quiz is visible again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *