Creating Tests to Appropriately Assess Student Learning

Subjective verses Objective Test Questions

Subjective questions include short answer and essay.  These questions allow for very fine nuances to be seen between various student understandings of the course content.   Objective questions include multiple choice, true/false, matching, etc. Any question where the student has to choose a solution rather than develop a solution to a problem/question.  Both types of questions have pros and cons to them.  As the instructor, you will need to choose which type of questions accurately assesses your students mastery of the course content. Here are some resources to help you develop good  test questions and assess the effectiveness of current questions.


To get a feel for which questions are better in certain situations, check out this resource. It explains how and when to use questions type like True/ False, Matching, Multiple Choice, Short Answer, and Essays.  It also discusses grading student performance using Oral exams, Student Portfolios and in class performance.

More resources


There are various ways that students cheat.  Research shows however, that Universities that have an honor code have less cheating.