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In order for scores to accurately represent the degree to which a student has attained an
educational objective, it is essential that the form of test item used in the assessment be suitable
for the objective. Multiple-choice test items are often advantageous to use, but they are not the
best form of test item for every circumstance. In general, they are appropriate to use when the
attainment of the educational objective can be measured by having the student select his or her
response from a list of several alternative responses.

If the attainment of the educational objective can be better measured by having the student
supply his response, a short-answer item or essay question may be appropriate.

If there are several homogeneous test items, it may be possible to combine them into a
single matching item for more efficient use of testing time.

If the attainment of the objective can be better measured by having the student do
something, a performance test should be considered.
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