Characteristics of true/false questions
- Used to measure ability to identify whether statements of facts, principles, generalizations, relationships, or evaluative statements are correct
- Can be factual or can be a thought question that requires reasoning
- Can be used in most disciplines
- Used to quickly poll a class as an introduction to a discussion or determine knowledge of topic
Example - good
The true/false item is also called an alternative-response item.
Example - bad
The true-false item, which is favored by all test experts, is also called an alternative-response item.
Main error: The question contains two ideas and therefore is confusing.
Advantages of true/false questions
- Quite easy to write
- Easy to score
- Scoring is objective
- More information is sampled from a lot of content
- Measures only low level of learning - facts, knowledge, comprehension
- Need a larger number of items to distinguish stronger and weaker knowledge levels.
- Students have a 50 percent chance of being correct, just by chance.
- May be perceived as an unfair judgment of learning
- Encourages guessing since there are only two alternatives.
Special thanks to The Schreyer Institute for their contributions to these documents.