Magna On-Demand Seminars

Writing Better Multiple-Choice Questions

Examine common question-writing pitfalls and learn item analysis, so you can examine the performance of your questions and determine how to refine them for next time.

writing multiple choice questions

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How effective are your multiple-choice questions?

With increasing instructor workloads, larger class sizes, and more responsibilities, many faculty are, understandably, turning to multiple-choice exams to ease their workload.

However, while multiple-choice questions can significantly lighten the grading and feedback workload of educators, poorly constructed multiple-choice exams can miss the mark by not engaging the students deeply in the content.

Among the criticisms of multiple-choice tests is that—by exposing the correct answer as one of the alternatives—such tests engage rudimentary recognition processes rather than the productive retrieval processes known to enhance later recall.

In Bob Bjork’s recent article, Multiple Choice Questions Exonerated, he has shown that exposing correct answers along with alternatives is actually better for learning then a simple short-answer question.

What Bjork’s article points to is the importance of writing great multiple-choice questions with well-constructed stems and plausible incorrect answers.

Helping you do this is exactly the goal of Writing Better Multiple-Choice Questions, a Magna Online Seminar developed and presented by Jim Sibley.


After this seminar, you’ll be able to write better multiple-choice questions that test a wider range of course material at a higher level of critical thinking. You’ll also be able to achieve proper construction of multiple-choice exams to ensure that your questions are challenging, relevant, and fair.

You will not only learn methods to write better multiple-choice questions, you will understand how to construct questions that move beyond the lower levels of comprehension and engage your students at a higher level thinking, in accordance with Blooms taxonomy. At the end of the seminar, you will have the knowledge and skills not only to write great multiple-choice questions but also to continually revise and refine them to fit your learning objectives.

Learning Goals

After attending Writing Better Multiple-Choice Questions, you will know how to independently:

  • Create multiple-choice questions that effectively target different cognitive levels
  • Write multiple-choice questions that do not simply engage recognition processes—they actually trigger retrieval learning processes that are known to enhance later recall
  • Achieve proper construction of multiple-choice questions
  • Continually revise, revamp, and improve your multiple-choice questions

Topics Covered

This seminar covers the fundamentals of writing multiple-choice questions and explores strategies to improve both their quality and effectiveness.

You will not only explore multiple-choice questions from an educators perspective, you will also get a glimpse into how a student responds to—and what a student expects from—multiple-choice question exams.

More specifically, learn how to:

  • Write better, more effective multiple-choice questions
  • Identify, analyze, and avoid common multiple-choice question pitfalls
  • Use Blooms taxonomy to more accurately target the cognitive level of multiple-choice questions
  • Apply item analysis to measure the effectiveness of multiple-choice questions


This seminar is valuable for any instructor who wants to write better multiple-choice questions and develop strategies to continually improve them.

Whether you are leading a class for the first time or are a veteran professor, you can strengthen your multiple-choice questions to probe deeper and to more accurately assess students.

Writing Better Multiple-Choice Questions would be particularly useful for the following people:

  • Assistant professors
  • Associate professors
  • Graduate teaching assistants
  • Postdoctoral scholars
  • Adjunct faculty
  • Lecturers
  • Instructors
  • Instructional designers
  • Teaching center directors
  • Educational consultants


Order today. We will guide you through the common question-writing pitfalls, and instruct you in item analysis, so you can examine the performance of your questions and determine how to refine them for next time.

Develop the skills to craft better multiple-choice questions that serve not simply to lighten your workload but also to challenge and engage your students in your subject and your classroom.

Product Code: PR14PA

Campus Access License

With the purchase of the optional Campus Access License, registrants are granted a license to download the program contents to a password-protected network, server, or website for additional staff use. You will receive information on downloading the contents of the program within 3-5 business days after payment has been received by Magna.

Meet Your Presenter

writing multiple choice questions

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*On-demand access begins on date of purchase.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may cancel the order within 30 days of purchase and receive a full refund.

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