Questions Used in Tests

Study Tips and Tricks
Dec 07, 2022 | 11 Minutes

The Types of Questions Used in Tests: Advantages and Disadvantages

It is worth taking a regular look at the benefits and downsides of the types of questions that are widely used in tests these days and at the question banks they now often come from.

Questions Used in Tests

Multiple-Choice Type Questions


  • easy and quick to score, either electronically or manually;
  • evaluate a broad range of skills, including high-level thinking ability;
  • cover a lot of subject matter but can still be answered in-class time.


  • test a student’s skills in literacy, e.g., if a student read questions carefully, they can recognize the correct answers without knowing much about the subject;
  • allow less-knowledgeable students to take a guess at the answer. If their guesses are correct, they are given credit for knowledge they have not got;
  • can expose the student to incorrect information, which may subsequently influence their thinking about a given subject;
  • require much time and considerable skill to develop good-quality test questions.

True or False Type Questions


  • easy and fast to grade;
  • test a large amount of course material.


  • unreliable type of assessment;
  • provide only two answer options, True or False, meaning that the student has a 50% chance to choose the correct answer;
  • encourage guesswork and reward it.

Short Answer Type Questions


  • easy and quick to create;
  • take a little time to grade.


  • encourage the learners to memorize details and terms, which means their understanding of a subject area remains superficial.

Essay Type Questions


  • provide a number of different ways for students to showcase their knowledge and skills;
  • improve the student’s writing skills, especially the ability to develop well-reasoned arguments supported with sound evidence.


  • require a lot of time to evaluate and grade;
  • can be graded according to subjective criteria;
  • require fast writing with little time for revision or planning when used as class assignments. This can negatively impact writing quality.

Questions that Come from Test Banks


  • reduce the amount of time, effort, and energy that tutors usually have to invest in developing exam questions;
  • use the same methods and terms found in related textbooks.


  • seldom include much evaluation, synthesis, analysis, or application (research shows that around 85 percent of test bank questions assess the participant’s recall abilities);
  • limit the scope of tests to the textbook content. It can lead students to believe that material taught in class is not important.

In addition to the above question types, there are other interesting variants. This article suggests one that begins with a question that should be revised and the answer provided in short form, e.g., a single word or phrase. This one question should not offer any optional answers, but an alphabetical list of possible answers should accompany it. The student then selects an answer from the list. Some answers can be reused, some are invalid, and the list contains more answer options than test questions. Essentially, this is a more sophisticated type of matching test. The test method is more challenging, and it reduces the possibility of answering correctly by guesswork.

Importantly, any new test format should be introduced to students before presenting it in an exam environment.

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The Different Types of Online Tests and their Requirements

There are several different types of online tests. The following are a few of them:

  1. Online tests are taken at home, in a school or college classroom, or at a technology resource center;
  2. Closed or open book;
  3. Timed or untimed;
  4. Scheduled or unscheduled;
  5. Continual or stored and returned to be completed;
  6. A component of a conventional classroom course, an online course, or a combination of both;
  7. Graded or ungraded;
  8. Immediately scored and returned to the student or posted at a later date.

What all these different types of tests have in common is technology. The following is a list of questions to consider if you want to master the art of taking online exams:

Your first priority should be understanding the technology and being able to use it:

  • Check that your computer is technically sound and has the right speed of Internet connection, especially if you are using a home computer. (An advantage of using a school or college computer is that there may be a technical expert on hand to help you). Some things to check on your computer are Internet connectivity, browser options, security settings, screen or monitor display, cache, etc.
  • Know how to log in to the test website. The middle of an exam is not the right time to begin navigating a website looking for a test or experimenting with passwords.
    • Is it possible to review all test-related instructions before starting the test?
    • Can you use your student login details or does the test require a special login to be set up?
    • Do you know the address (or URL) of the website running the test?
    • If the test is taking place in a controlled or secure environment, do you need identification? If so, what ID is needed?

If any assistance is required in order to take the test, let your tutor know in advance!

  • Read all instructions carefully when you reach the test page. This will help you manage your time and complete the test. For example:
    • Is time being tracked?
    • If it is, is there a timer or clock that allows you to keep track of your time?
    • If you get interrupted, is it possible to save your work and return to it later?
    • Should the questions be answered in sequential order?
    • Can the answers be altered later?
    • Does the test software have review functionality that allows you to check back on your answers or look for any questions you may have missed?
  • Once you have finished answering the questions, there are a few things you need to check:
    • Do you know how to save your work and exit the system so that your answers are not deleted or lost?
    • Is the method for saving your work and submitting it the same or is there a different procedure?
    • If you have missed any questions, will you get alerted?
    • What is the method for checking your score? Can you see it immediately, or do you have to access it separately?
    • Is it possible to make a hard or paper copy of your answers?
    • In the case of essay and short answer questions, can you type your answers in a word processor and then format and copy them into the test system?

The above guidelines are designed specifically for an online test’s technological and procedural aspects. Please refer to the “Exams” page on’s website for advice on taking other types of tests.

Question and Answer Essay


On some rare occasions, students will be given a short essay as a part of their assignment. Some things you need to know question answer format essay: Your introduction and conclusion should be brief, you are generally allowed to switch places of the questions to make your essay cohesive and make sure you do not duplicate information. While preparing this type of answer, make sure to:

  • read the questions carefully and analyze the expectation of your professor or instructor;
  • brainstorm all the ideas and cross out anything that is less relevant;
  • write down some key points and think of the ways to connect them;
  • place each idea in a separate paragraph, and while writing leave a line or two in case you would like to add something later.

As you can see, the question-answer format of assessment is not the hardest one, however, it is the test stress many students struggle with. Pay attention to the way questions are asked, manage your time properly and make sure you return back to the questions you have skipped.

If you feel like this is too much pressure for you to handle on your own, you can always opt for professional assistance while having to pass a test with questions and answers. Here is what offer:

  • While placing your order, you will be able to choose the academic level needed as well as upload any files our expert may need to successfully pass the test on your behalf;
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We will provide you with answers to your questions in a timely manner, and our professional help does not come with a heavy price tag attached.  Save yourself some time to focus on what really matters in your life and let us handle your academic assignments.

Question and Answer Examples

  • Question: The formal amendment process is one means by which the Constitution can be changed.  However, other means of constitutional change exist as well.  Write an essay in which you (I) explain the various means of formal change and discuss some of the problems associated with them,; (II) indicate what the formal amendment process has achieved; and (III) discuss some of the other means of constitutional change and how they have been developed. 

There are various ways through which the constitution can be changed.  The formal amendment process is one of them and can be in various ways. It can be done by proposing amendments or ratifying amendments. For a proposed amendment there is a process that is usually followed. The proposed amendment can be either by the congress or by a constitutional convention. The congress will propose the amendment which is in a joint resolution form. The document is taken to the archives and record archivist for publication and processing. The proposals are then forwarded to the states. This is by sending notification letters to the governors with more information regarding the same.

The states can ratify a given amendment by sending the changes to the archivist for transmission to the federal register director. The proposed amendment is adopted when it is accepted by three fourths of all the states. The archivist certifies that the amendment is valid and has become a part of the national constitution. The problem with this process is that it is not easy to get the required quorum to make it a law.

Ratification is another process of amending the constitution. It is however not very common based on several factors. For a ratification to be valid it has to be within reasonable time from the time the proposal was first made. This can be up to a period of seven years. For any ratification to be law it has to be approved by three fourths of state legislators. It must also be approved by three fourths of all the states (Epps, 2008).

The formal amendment process has enabled changes to be made that reflect the desires of the people. Certain laws were made in the past that did not take into account present factors such as technology or modern day crime. Amendments to the laws ensures that such areas are also covered I the constitution and so everybody is protected by the law.

Judicial review is another means by which the constitution can be changed. This came about due to the fact that some areas were not within the law. This left grey areas that were exploited by individuals for personal benefit. The courts, therefore, came up with rulings that set precedents to be used in future cases (Epps, 2008).This can take to be a means of constitutional change. An example is a series of laws related to terrorism acts that were not in place but were necessitated by the situation in the world.

  • Question: How would you account for the fact that throughout most of American history national elections have been characterized by relatively stable two-party competition?  Why haven’t third or minor parties also enjoyed electoral success?  Do minor parties nevertheless at times play an important role in American elections?  Cite relevant examples.

Elections form an important part of any given democracy. They have been part of our history since the inception of the constitution. What makes our elections unique is that our elections are normally a two party affair. This can be due to a number of factors, beginning with our uniqueness as a nation.

Political parties symbolize peoples’ beliefs. A party usually has its own agenda and is made up of people who subscribe to the same agenda. Because of this, a lot of loyalty is put into political parties. In the United States, the Democratic Party and Republican Party are the most predominant parties. Affiliation to these parties is usually based on family ties, economic position and also the region that one was brought up in (Grants, 2012).

Each of these two parties has their own agenda and the people who subscribe to the same beliefs in whichever side number in millions. You are either of one view or the other. As such it will be difficult for someone to come up with a third party that might have a very alternate view and expect to get the same following. These two parties also have substantial financial support that helps them promote their ideals and candidates. This has made them very popular throughout the country (Grants, 2012).

Minor parties on the other hand do not have these minor advantages. They are usually composed of just a bunch of individuals and do not have mass appeal. It is usually seen that they are composed of a bunch of people who want to gain popularity.  They also lack the financial muscle to actively market their candidates during elections.

The importance of minor parties is that they enhance democracy by giving the members an opportunity to express their views on an open platform. They get to air their views and vote for their candidate which is their constitutional right. The Justice party and the American Freedom Movement are an example of parties formed by individuals with a common aim. They, however, do not have nationwide following and are minor parties (Grants, 2012). Given this circumstances, everybody becomes satisfied with the electoral process.

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