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What is the full form of MCQ

MCQ : Multiple Choice Question

MCQ stands for Multiple Choice Question. It is a sort of objective assessment known as multiple choice (MC), objective response, or MCQ (for multiple choice questions) asks respondents to choose just the right responses from a list of options. When a person must select amongst a variety of candidates, parties, or policies in an election or market research study, the multiple-choice format has been most usually utilized.

MCQ full form

Although E. L. Thorndike pioneered a systematic approach to student testing, Benjamin D. Wood, one of his assistants, is credited with creating the multiple-choice test. In the middle of the 20th century, when scanning and data-processing devices were developed to evaluate the results, multiple-choice testing gained popularity. On such a Sharp Mz 80 computer in 1982, Christopher P. Sole devised the first multiple-choice test for computers. Latin plant names can be challenging to comprehend and write. Thus, it was created to help persons with dyslexia deal with agricultural subjects.


The components of multiple-choice questions are a stem and a number of potential answers. A question to be asked, a problem to be answered, or an unfinished statement to be finished makes up the stem. The alternatives are the potential responses that the test-taker can select from; the key is the right response, while the distractors are the incorrect ones. There can be only one accurate response entered. In contrast, multiple response items allow for more than one right answer to be keyed in. Typically, a correct response yields a certain amount of points towards the final grade, while a false response yields none. To deter students from speculating, examinations may also give partial credit for unsolved questions or deduct points for bad responses. The SAT Subject tests, for instance, deduct the fourth point from the exam taker's score for each wrong response.

The stem for more complex items, such as an applied information item, may include more than one component. The stem can incorporate further information or supporting documents, such as vignettes, case studies, graphs, tables, or in-depth descriptions with numerous components. Anything may be incorporated as far as it is required to guarantee the item's maximum legitimacy and authenticity. A lead-in question that explains how the responder must answer concludes the stem. What is the most common diagnosis? Could be the lead-in question for a medical multiple-choice question. Similarly, in the context of a previously stated case study, "What virus is the most common explanation?"

Multiple choice test items are frequently incorrectly referred to as "questions" because many of them are not written in the form of a question. They might be presented as partial claims, analogies, or mathematical equations, for instance. Therefore, "item" is a much more acceptable descriptor due to its greater generality. In an item bank, items are kept.


The multiple choice question (MCQ) must ideally be presented as a "stem" with options that are reasonable, such as:

i) What is the a+b if a=1 and b=2?

  1. 12
  2. 3
  3. 4
  4. 12

ii) Solve for x in the equation 2x+3=4.

  1. 4
  2. 10
  3. 0.5
  4. 1.5
  5. 4

iii) The city dubbed "India's IT capital" is

  1. Bangalore
  2. Mumbai
  3. Karachi
  4. Hyderabad

B, C, and A are the proper responses, accordingly.

In order for the question to make sense when read for each of the distractors and also with the correct answer, a properly-written multiple-choice question avoids glaring incorrect or implausible distractors (Karachi included in the third example).

The following is a more challenging and well-written multiple-choice question:

Think about the following:

  1. a chessboard that is eight by eight.
  2. a chessboard that is eight by eight but has two opposite corners cut off.
  3. a chessboard that is eight by eight but has no corners.

Which of these could be tiled using two-by-one dominoes (all dominoes must fit on the board without any overlaps or gaps)?

  1. I alone
  2. II alone
  3. I and II alone
  4. I and III alone
  5. I, II, and III


The use of multiple-choice tests has a number of benefits. It can be a highly powerful assessment method if authors are well-trained and things are quality assured. Students will score better on tests if they are informed about how the item format functions and test-related myths are dispelled. It has been demonstrated that reliability increases with the number of items on the test in various assessments and that total test dependability can be further raised with effective sampling and attention to case specificity.

For a given quantity of stuff, multiple-choice examinations frequently take less time to conduct than tests that need written replies. There is less chance of teacher prejudice in the outcomes because this type of test does not need the teacher to interpret responses; instead, test-takers are scored only on their selections. In a multiple-choice test, factors unrelated to the examined material (including handwriting and presenting clarity) are not taken into account; the candidate is evaluated only on their understanding of the subject. Finally, test-takers answers can be depended upon with clarity, provided they know about using answer sheets and online assessment tick boxes. Comparing numerous assessment methods, including case studies, written assignments, simulation games, and in-class participation, multiple-choice tests are generally the best at predicting overall student achievement.


The fact that just a few categories of knowledge may be evaluated via multiple-choice tests is the biggest drawback. The best applications for multiple-choice tests are for evaluating clearly delineated or lower-order skills. Short-answer and essay assessments are better at evaluating higher-order reasoning and problem-solving abilities. However, multiple-choice exams are frequently used because they are more reasonably priced for assessing a lot of students. This is particularly true in the US and India since multiple-choice exams are the most popular high-stakes testing format and the test taker sample sizes are both substantial.

The potential for uncertainty in the examinee's perception of the item is another drawback of multiple-choice tests. Even though the test taker's answer is potentially right, an "incorrect" response can be the result of failing to understand the meanings as the test creator intended. This situation has been referred to as "multiple guesses" since test-takers might try and guess rather than figure out the right answer. A free answer test enables the test-taker to defend their point of view and could result in a credit.

Additionally, if students choose the incorrect response and the item is evaluated dichotomously, even if they have some understanding of the question, they will not be given credit for that knowledge. Free response questions, however, can let a test taker show they only partially comprehend the material and get partial credit. Additionally, if more questions are asked to build a larger sample on a certain subject or topic, numerically, their degree of awareness will statistically be more accurately reflected in the proportion of correct responses and results.

The fact that a student who is unable to respond to a specific question can just choose a random response and yet have a chance of obtaining credit for it is another drawback of multiple-choice exams. On a question with four possible answers, there is typically a 25% probability that the guess will be accurate. Many examinations, including the SAT and the Australian Mathematics Competition, have mechanisms in place to counteract this, in this case by making it equally advantageous to select a random response or to provide none of the above as an option.

Formula grading, in which a score is proportionately reduced based on the number of erroneous responses as well as the number of possible choices, is another method of counteracting the impacts of random selection. According to this technique, the score is decreased by the ratio of the number of incorrect answers to the test's average number of potential answers, or w/(c - 1), where c represents the test's average number of answer options and w the number of incorrect responses. Guessing is taken into account in the item response theory three-parameter model for all exams. Additionally, this is typically not a big problem because there is very little chance that a student will get a large grade by guessing when there are four or more options offered.

Furthermore, it's crucial to remember that questions with unclear wording may make test-takers confused. It is widely acknowledged as multiple-choice questions only permit one response, even if that response includes a number of prior possibilities. Unaware of this, some test designers could anticipate the student to choose many options without explicitly authorizing it or offering the following encapsulation options.

Changing Answers

On a multiple-choice test, the idea that students should follow their gut feeling and stick with their first response is a misconception that has to be debunked. Although some people think that altering answers is undesirable, researchers have discovered that it typically raises test scores. Data from 20 different research show that the proportion of "wrong into right" changes is 18.6%, compared to 20.2 per cent for "right to wrong" changes. It will be more painful & memorable to switch from "right to incorrect" (Von Restorff effect), although it is usually a good thing to alter your response if more consideration reveals that a different decision may have been taken.

In reality, a person may first be drawn to a certain response choice because it seems plausible on the surface, which the test writer purposefully incorporated into a distraction technique (or wrong answer choice). The creators of test items are required to make these distractions reasonable while still being obviously false. Thus, a test taker's first choice as a distraction is frequently a response that should be reconsidered in light of a comprehensive analysis of each of the available answer options. Even though certain test-takers could have good first impressions regarding a specific exam item, others might find the same test item to be unfavourable or difficult.

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