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Suggestions for writing true/false questions

  • Include only one main idea in each item.
  • As in multiple choice questions generally, use negatives sparingly.
  • Try using in combination with other material, such as graphs, maps, written material. This combination allows for the testing of more advanced learning outcomes. (Gronlund 1988)
  • Use statements which are unequivocally true or false.
  • Avoid lifting statements directly from assigned reading, lecture notes or other course materials so that recall alone will not permit a correct answer.
  • Generally avoid the use of words which would signal the correct response to the test-wise student. Absolutes such as 'none', 'never', 'always', 'all', 'impossible' tend to be false, while qualifiers such as 'usually', 'generally', 'sometimes', 'often' are likely to be true.