Efficient in testing recall and comprehension of a broader content area relative to other testing strategies
Well suited to test recall, comprehension of simple logic or understanding, as with "if-then" "causal/because" statements
Not appropriate to test the ability to read or interpret complex sentences or understand complex thoughts
Sufficiently reliable and valid instrument:
Its ability to include the most test items in a time frame increases its reliability.
True false tests are less reliable than multiple choice tests unless relatively more test items are used
Useful for automated scoring
Useful for item analysis, internal and over time
Ideal test items
Critical content should be readily apparent and identified for analysis, avoiding cleverness, trickery, and verbal complexity
Use simple, direct language in declarative sentences
Present the correct part of the statement first,
and vary the truth or falsity of the second part if the statement expresses a relationship (cause, effect--if, then)
Statements must be absolute without qualification,
subject to the true/false dichotomy without exceptions
Every part of a true sentence must be "true"
If any one part of the sentence is false,
the whole sentence is false despite many other true statements.
Paraphrase, and do not directly quote,
course content to avoid burdening students with detailed verbal analyses, maintain focus on differentiating, as well as avoid copyright issues
Include background, qualifications, and context as necesary:
"According to...., ...."
In developing a question with a qualifier, negative or absolute word,
substitute or experiment with variations to find the best phrase and assessment
Unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts
Long strings of statements
Ambiguous statements and generalizations
that are open to interpretation
Indefinite or subjective terms
that are open to interpretation
"a very large part" "a long time ago" "most"
Negative words and phrases: they can be confusing
IF negatives are necessary, they are emphasized with underlined, bolded, CAPITALIZED, italicized, and/or colored indicators
e.g.: "no" "not" "cannot"
Drop the negative and read what remains to test your item
Absolute words restrict possibilities.
These imply the statement must be true 100% of the time and usually cue a "false" answer
e.g.: "No" "never" "none" "always" "every" "entirely" "only"
Relative and qualifying words restrict or open up general statements.
They make modest claims, are more likely to reflect reality, and usually cue a "true" answer.
e.g. "usually" "often" "seldom" "sometimes" "often" "frequently" "ordinarily" "generally"
Pay close attention to
negatives, qualifiers, absolutes, and long strings of statements
Variations in answers:
Base questions upon introductory material,
as graphs, images, descriptions, problems, mediated objects, etc. to
Enhance assessment value
Accommodate and empower those with alternative learning styles
Evoke higher level thinking, analysis, or problem solving
Add an option to "True" "False" possibility, as "Opinion"
Ask for an elaboration on the answer, as
If so, Why?
Ask for a correction to false statements
Before the test, give clear, proactive instructions
on what content is covered,
level of detail, and what type of questions will be asked:
Encourage comprehension: cause and effect, if/then, sequences,
Detail exactly what must be exactly memorized:
dates, locations, proper names, sequences
Be consistent in test administration over time
Have students indicate their answers by circling
complete words of "true" "false" (not "t" "f")
Do not have students write their response of t/f or true/false to (avoids distinguishing/problems of hand writing and sloppiness)
Avoid plus or minus signs "+" of "-"
Indicate how the test is scored:
total right, or total right minus wrong?
How to develop a true/false test:
Write out essential content statements
Convert half to false, though not negative, statements
Make true and false statements equal in length
Group questions by content
Build up to difficulty
(encourage with simpler questions first)
Randomize sequences of T/F responses
Avoid a discernable pattern
Vary the quantity of true/false statements from test to test
recognizing that "true" is marked more often in guessing, and
that assessing false statements tends to be more challenging
Scoring tends to be high
since guessing yields a 50-50 score (half right half wrong) as a base. i.e. if there are 100 items, and the student knows the correct answer to 50, and guesses on the other half, the score will be 75 knowing only half the material.
Since the stem can cue a correct answer,
guessing is enhanced without really understanding the question
The format does not provide diagnostic information
on why a student got it wrong