Writing Better Multiple-Choice Questions

A couple of months ago, ISC2 chose me (and many others) to help expand the certification exam question pool for the CC certification (Certified in Cybersecurity).

The process is fascinating, and they even have a special training course to help exam item writers understand it.
Of course, because I signed a long and complex NDA, I’m not able to talk about its contents.

I already have hands-on experience writing certification exams based on multiple-choice questions, following the recommendations of some papers I found around and the precious book of Melissa Fein that I reviewed in this article: Do you need to develop a test and you do not have any clues?

The surprising and reassuring fact is that it is pretty similar to a methodology I created from scratch years ago to rewrite some certification exams when I joined the company I work for. That was proof I was not so much off the beaten path.

Anyway, I became even more interested in multiple-choice exam writing skills, so I searched for other material on this topic.

I found a fascinating book that I’d like to recommend: “Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions to Assess Learning: Measure What Matters—Evidence-Informed Tactics for Multiple-Choice Questions. by Patty Shank, PhD

The book is well structured, simple to read, based on scientific evidence, and includes exercises. It simplifies all the academic jargon around this complex topic. The author read all the most relevant papers and distilled the knowledge for you.

So, if you are interested in writing multiple-choice exams or if you’re already doing them, this book is definitely a must-read.

I found out that the author created a self-paced course about the topic, and it’s available here: https://dlaw.newzenler.com/courses/mcqsp.

The book is available on Amazon (at least I found it there 🙂 ) at this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09F1KMTSV.

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