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Multiple Choice Law School Exams?

They’re uncommon, but they are not a myth. My Evidence Final Exam, in fact, was multiple choice. If I recall correctly, it was a challenging test, and the multiple choice format didn’t make it any easier to take or easier to prepare.

In any event, over at The Social Science Research Network, Janet Fisher at Suffolk University Law School has prepared a paper on the very topic of multiple choice law school testing.

Here’s the abstract…

Multiple-Choice: Choosing the Best Options for More Effective and Less Frustrating Law School Testing

Multiple-choice testing presents challenges and frustrations not only for the students who take the tests, but also for the doctrinal faculty who prepare and score the tests and for the academic support faculty who work with students having difficulty with multiple-choice tests. This article discusses means by which the multiple-choice testing experience in law school could be improved for both students and faculty. After a brief overview of the history of multiple-choice testing, the article describes problems that arise in connection with multiple-choice testing and the possible effects of flawed multiple-choice questions. The article then reviews basic multiple-choice item-writing guidelines and some general principles of test validity. For this, the article draws upon the work of law professor Michael Josephson and testing authority Thomas Haladyna. Finally, the article evaluates appeal and answer-justification procedures that could be used to enhance multiple-choice testing.

Those with a strong interest in this topic can download the paper (in handy pdf format) at SSRN.


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