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Determining the best time frames for multiple choice exams
It is difficult to advise on how many questions to present on any given exam and how much time to allow for exam completion. Here are a few things to consider to help guide your planning.
- Consider the difficulty of your questions. Some questions will require more time than others; simple recall questions for example may require less time.
- Consider using Universal Design for Learning (UDL); some students may need more time than others to answer the same question. Slow readers for example should not be penalized.
- Consider having a colleague take the test; log the times to help determine the testing time.
- At the university level, 60-90 seconds are generally allotted for multiple-choice questions.
Snow, H., Monk, A., & Thompson, P. (1996) Guidelines for the use of multiple-choice and computer presented tests for university assessment. Psychology Software News, 7, p. 4-8. Retrieved from https://www-users.york.ac.uk/~am1/HowtoMC.PDF