- Keep stems and statements as short as possible and use clear, concise language.
- Use questions whenever possible (What, Who, When, Where, Why and How).
- Maintain grammatical consistency to avoid cueing
- List choices in a logical order.
- Avoid negatives, especially double negatives.
- Avoid unnecessary modifiers, especially absolutes (e.g. always, never, etc.).
- Avoid "All of the above" and use of "None of the above" with caution.
- Avoid vague pronouns (e.g. it, they).
- Avoid conflicting alternatives.
- Avoid syllogistic reasoning choices (e.g. "both a and b are correct") unless absolutely necessary.
- Avoid providing cues to correct answer in the stem.
- Avoid providing clues to the answer of one question in another question."
Writing Effective Questions to Promote Learning (Penn State)
This detailed website provides "easy-to-follow, quick-to-read guidance for creating questions of varied types: 1-minute essay, short essay, short-answer, check-all-that-apply, matching, along with the traditional multiple-choice and true-false."
Each question type has three sections: an overview (description & samples), construction (how to write them effectively), and check yourself (how to spot faults in your own questions).