Educator's blueprint: A how-to guide for developing high-quality multiple-choice questions

Michael Gottlieb*, John Bailitz, Megan Fix, Eric Shappell, Mary Jo Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple-choice questions are commonly used for assessing learners' knowledge, as part of educational programs and scholarly endeavors. To ensure that questions accurately assess the learners and provide meaningful data, it is important to understand best practices in multiple-choice question design. This Educator's Blueprint paper provides 10 strategies for developing high-quality multiple-choice questions. These strategies include determining the purpose, objectives, and scope of the question; assembling a writing team; writing succinctly; asking questions that assess knowledge and comprehension rather than test-taking ability; ensuring consistent and independent answer choices; using plausible foils; avoiding grouped options; selecting the ideal response number and order; writing high-quality explanations; and gathering validity evidence before and evaluating the questions after use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10836
JournalAEM Education and Training
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Education
  • Emergency


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