9 Rules You Need to Know for Creating Effective MCQs in E-learning

9 Rules You Need to Know for Creating Effective MCQs in E-learning

In the previous blog, we have looked at the different types of assessments used in eLearning. In this blog, we’ll look at the rules for constructing multiple choice questions.

Multiple choice questions are one of the question types used in eLearning,where learners are asked to select the best possible answer (or answers) from a list of options given.MCQs make evaluation of the learner performance easier and are more effective, when compared to true-or-false questions.MCQs can be either single select or multiple select.

A well-structured question contains:

  • Question stem: The stem is the first part of the question that presents a problem to be solved.
  • Options: The options include the correct and incorrect answers. The incorrect answers are called distracters.
  • Feedback: The feedback is the information you provide to learners after they have selected the options. Feedback helps reinforce learning.

For example:


Here are some effective tips and rules for constructing MCQs.

Rule 1: 

Avoid using incomplete statements.


Rule 2: 

Avoid negatives in the question stem. If they are necessary, highlight (NOT, NEVER, EXCEPT, ONLY) by either by capitalizing them or indicating them in bold letters.


Rule 3: 

Include the main idea in the question stem itself; the learner should be able to clearly define the problem without having to read the options.


Rule 4: 

Keep all the answers of an MCQ as short as possible. And Don’t repeat the same words within each response option, rewrite the stem to remove the repetitive content from the response options.


 Rule 5: 

Avoid beginning with blank space. It is better to place the blank at the end, when using ‘fill in the blanks’.


Rule 6:

Ensure that all options provided for an MCQ are of the same length.This avoids giving a clue to the learner.


Rule 7: 

Use ‘All of the Above’ and ‘None of the Above’ with caution as they maynot promote a sound instruction. For instance, if the learner identifies a wrong answer, he immediately eliminates the ‘all of the above’ option.

It is better not to use ‘All of the Above’ and ‘None of the Above’ as they are not best of the options.


Rule 8: 

Avoid overlapping content in the response options, as it reveals the answer.


Rule 9: 

Give a clear instruction to the learner, when using multiple select.


Always align assessments with learning objectives to reinforce learning and help learners recall concepts effectively. Hope you find this blog informative. Do share your views.

View ebook on Measuring Training Outcomes with Effective Online Assessments