Matching questions consist of a column of key words presented on the left side of the page and a column of options placed on the right side of the page. Students are required to match the options associated with a given key word(s).
- Simple to construct.
- Short reading and response time, allowing more content to be included in a given set of matching questions.
- Highly reliable exam scores.
- Well-suited to measure associations between facts.
- Reduces the effects of guessing.
- Difficult to measure learning objectives requiring more than simple recall of information.
- Difficult to construct due to the problem of selecting a common set of key words and options.
- If options cannot be used more than once, the questions are not mutually exclusive; therefore, getting one answer incorrect automatically means a second question is incorrect.
- Tips for writing matching questions
- Provide more possible options than questions.
- Use longer phrases as questions and shorter phrases as options.
- Keep questions and options short and homogeneous.
- Avoid verbal cues and specific determiners (e.g., the, a, an).
- Number each question and use alphabetical letters for the options.
- Specify in the directions the basis for matching and whether or not responses can be used more than once.
- Make all questions and all options the same type (e.g., a list of events to be matched with a list of dates).
Problems with the original question:
- Neither the questions nor the options are homogeneous. The former call for answers that are both dates and names; the latter necessarily are a mixture of both.
- There are an equal number of premises and alternatives.
- The introductory statement fails to offer an adequate frame of reference for responding.