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Multiple-choice Questions: Linking Teaching and Learning

This document provides criteria that may be considered when choosing and creating appropriate multiple choice questions.  Examples are drawn from the Social Studies 20 & 30 programs of study however the criteria and principles are applicable across programs of study.

Category 3: Rejected Questions

Sample Question

    Which set of nations and territories correctly reflects a result of the settlements concluding the First World War?






    Emerged as a new nation

    Re-emerged as an independent nation

    Became a league mandate territory

    Lost territory

















    The question was rejected because it focuses on recall of facts rather than on skills that frame knowledge as purposeful. Students are asked to recall detailed facts about countries such as Romania, Japan or Palestine rather than analyze the impacts of the pursuit of national self-determination using the successor states as an example. In addition, terminology should be changed from "nation" to "nation-state" to reflect the outcomes in the 2007 program of studies.

Sample Question

    Upon the conclusion of the Second World War, the first major action taken by the victorious allies was to:

    1. Introduce the Marshall Plan
    2. Divide Germany into four occupation zones
    3. Create the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    4. Establish the European Economic Community

    This question was rejected because it does not meet the criterion for testing knowledge and understanding outcomes and/or skills and processes outcomes in the 2007 program of studies. The question does not address outcomes in the 20-1 and 20-2 program of studies because these programs only include outcomes that relate to events that occurred up to the end of the Second World War.

Sample Question

Use the cartoon to answer the question.

    The action depicted in the cartoon represents Germany's attack on:

    1. France
    2. Poland
    3. Great Britain
    4. The Soviet Union

    In taking the action represented in the cartoon, Hitler was attempting to fulfill his goal of:

    1. Anschluss
    2. Lebensraum
    3. Self-determination
    4. National sovereignty

    These questions were rejected because they do not meet the criterion for testing understandings and concepts rather than factual detail. The first question tests students' recall of facts rather than concepts associated with Germany's attack on the Soviet Union. The second question does meet this criterion because it tests understandings and concepts rather than the recall of facts.

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Last updated: August 31, 2010 | (Revision History)
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