Effective Tips on Creating Matching Questions Test

When your task is to create a test using a matching format, it is always difficult to decide what terms should be located on the right and what terms should be presented on the left. Do you hesitate whether matching questions test is better than multiple choice test?

We offer you to read our answers and use our effective tips.

Using the Matching Format

Tests created using the matching format required from students to link the phrase, sentence or word in the column with a corresponding phrase, sentence or word provided in the other column. Words, phrases or sentences given in the first column are usually called premises and the items given in the second column are called responses. The objective of such task is to find the correct match of premises to responses.

When One Can Apply Matching Questions Format?

Matching questions test is usually applied to review and check the activities. Many instructors use such format in different tests and quizzes. They find them to be effective when students' ability to detect the association and relationship of similar terms or items must be measured. They can be used in case the content under discussion has a number of parallel concepts. For instance:

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Instructions to Construction

In case you need to apply matching format, do not hurry take your time and use only reliable and valid items.

Below are some instructions to proper test construction:

  1. Apply two-part direction. Remember that your directions in the beginning of each question must have two parts: 1) how to create the matching; 2) the base, which will match the premise with the response. In addition, you can allow re-using the items. However, it is not recommended and cannot be found in templates.
  2. Parallel essence. Try to apply the same approach in one matching item. For example, all scenarios and principles or all definitions and terms to which they may be applied.
  3. Possible answers. Make sure that all responses given in the second column are possible answers to the questions in the first column. In case you choose to do the opposite, your test will lose its reliability and some answers will become so called 'giveaways'.
  4. Free from clues. Make sure you do not give grammatical clues in your premises, for example, stating that the correct answer requires singular or plural form; or word choice clues, for instance, applying the very term in definition.
  5. Unequal number of responses. It is recommended to provide higher number of responses to make sure that the remaining responses do not help to find the right answer. However, if you use a template, it is not always the case.
  6. Limited number of premises. Note that the capacity of working memory is limited. That is why it is recommended to avoid long lists in the first column. The most commonly used number of premises given in the first column is six. You can use less than six and it will even be better. However, take into account the targeted audience and its characteristics.
  7. Single correct response. Remember that each and every premise should require only one correct response. Do not be lazy and double check whether only one response works for only one premise.

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Advantages and Disadvantages

Tests created using the matching format help you cover more information in a single question while multiple-choice tests do not provide such an opportunity. That is why matching questions tests are more effective for checking one's knowledge. They are considered to be an efficient way to test and assess the results. Moreover, they help to make your activities variable.

One of the cons of such tests is that it can be used to simply recall the content. Students are required to test and practice their thinking skills. That is why it is recommended not to limit the test application to just knowledge recall and try to use matching questions test for analysis and application. For example, providing a situation or scenario and finding the best solution to it.

When you decide to apply matching test, you need to think about its grading. Some instructors use partial credit in case not all answers are right.

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Multiple Choice Questions Test Fill in the Blank Questions Benefits of Timed Questions