None of the above

Students love multiple-choice questions because the odds are ever in their favor: one of those answers has to be the right choice. (They also like them because most of the questions are at the Remembering and Understanding levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. It’s possible to write multiple-choice questions for higher-order thinking skills, but that’s a blog post for another day. )

That’s why I included “none of the above” as one of the choices for every question on a multiple-choice test or quiz, or “none of these” when using an online quiz with scrambled answers. I also made sure that “none of the above” was the obvious correct answer to question #1. It signaled to students that they really had to know if an answer was correct.

The first time through students found it frustrating, even though I told them in advance to expect it. By the second time, though, they prepared better. That was my goal.

Note: professional test-writers advise against using “none of the above” as an option. Read more here (Adobe Reader required). Thanks to @DataDiva for bringing this document to my attention.



I’m participating in Kelly Hines’ Blogging Challenge. This is Day Five, “Give a tip for assessment.”

One thought on “None of the above

  1. That certainly ups the ante on MC tests. I will always remember that my 8th grade science teacher gave us a True False midterm where EVERY answer was false. I still remember (25 years later) the feeling of questioning myself and thinking, “There’s no way that they are ALL false.” Talk about having to be confidant!

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