A true-false questions is a specialised form of the multiple-choice format
in which there are only two possible alternatives. These questions can
be used when the test-designer wishes to measure a student's ability to
identify whether statements of fact are accurate or not.
a true/false question
|T F         A poem with the following
rhyme scheme could be correctly referred to as an English sonnet:
abab cdcd efef gg.
T F         All eukaryotic genes are
organized into operons.
True-false questions offer lecturers a very efficient method of testing
a wide range of material in a short period of time. They can also be combined
within a multiple-choice to create the more complex assertion-reason item.
However, true-false questions do have a number of limitations:
– a student has a 1 in 2 chance of guessing the correct answer of
be difficult to write a statement which is unambiguously true or false
– particularly for complex material.
does not discriminate among students of different abilities as well
as other question types.
Suggestions for writing true-false questions:
only one main idea in each item.
As in multiple
choice questions generally, use negatives sparingly.
in combination with other material, such as graphs, maps, written
material. This combination allows for the testing of more advanced
learning outcomes. (Gronlund
which are unequivocally true or false.
statements directly from assigned reading, lecture notes or other
course materials so that recall alone will not permit a correct answer.
avoid the use of words which would signal the correct response to
the test-wise student. Absolutes such as "none", "never", "always",
"all", "impossible" tend to be false, while qualifiers such as "usually",
"generally", "sometimes" "often" are likely to be true.