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19 tips for creating better test questions

Improve the quality of your tests

If you have already had to create tests, then you know how difficult it is to come up with questions and appropriate possible answers - not too hard, not too easy, not too misleading.

Approximate reading time: 1m 17s

When designing your next e-learning course, you can use the tips below. They will help you improve the effectiveness of your tests.

Tip 1: Questions should be directly related to the learning objectives and course content.

Tip 2: All questions should incorporate feedback to guide the learner to the correct answer.

Tip 3: Questions should not contain analogies, cultural references, humour.

Tip 4: Questions should not consist of complex sentences, ambiguous phrases or jargon.

Tip 5: Questions should not be misleading - this includes questions with more than one correct answer, ambiguous or abstract possible answers.

Tip 6: If possible, avoid true/false questions.

Tip 7: Possible answers should begin with the same word - if you make an exception, the word you choose to begin any answer must be present in the question.

Tip 8: All questions must contain the same number of possible answers.

Tip 9: Questions must have at least 3-4 possible answers (only one correct answer).

Tip 10: It is not advisable for questions to contain possible answers such as 'all of the following' or 'none of the following'.

Tip 11: All possible answers should be realistic and plausible.

Tip 12: All possible answers should be in correct syntax and relevant to the question.

Tip 13: All possible answers should be approximately the same length.

Tip 14: All possible answers should be equally detailed.

Tip 15: Possible answers should not overlap or be too close.

Tip 16: Questions should not contain negative parts of speech - 'Which of the following terms does NOT...'. If you cannot avoid it, negative parts of speech should be capitalized.

Tip 17: All correct possible answers should be contained in the training material.

Tip 18: Check your questions and answers several times for spelling, grammatical, etc. errors.

Tip 19: Questions and possible answers should not contain absolute terms such as 'always' and 'only'.


NIT-New Internet Technologies Ltd. offers test development in electronic format. Depending on your needs and preferences, they can be of different designs - from classic test look to modern interactivity.

If you are interested in our services or have additional questions, you can contact us at +359 2 850 53 64, e-mail: office@nitbg.com or by filling in the contact form below.