Three Options Are Optimal for Multiple‐Choice Items: A Meta‐Analysis of 80 Years of Research

  title={Three Options Are Optimal for Multiple‐Choice Items: A Meta‐Analysis of 80 Years of Research},
  author={Michael C. Rodriguez},
  journal={Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice},
Multiple-choice items are a mainstay of achievement testing. The need to adequately cover the content domain to certify achievement proficiency by producing meaningful precise scores requires many high-quality items. More 3-option items can be administered than 4- or 5-option items per testing time while improving content coverage, without detrimental effects on psychometric quality of test scores. Researchers have endorsed 3-option items for over 80 years with empirical evidence—the results of… 

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Textbook writers often recommend four or five options per multiple-choice item, and most, if not all, testing programs in the United States also employ four or five options. Recent reviews of

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Traditionally, multiple choice tests have included four or five alternatives. Data from public sector employment tests are presented that indicate that tests composed of multiple choice items

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TVERSKY (1964) has presented mathematical proof that given a fixed number of alternatives on a multiple-choice type test, the use of three alternatives at each choice point will maximize the

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