Does correction for guessing reduce students' performance on multiple-choice examinations? Yes? No? Sometimes?

Betts, L.R. ORCID: 0000-0002-6147-8089, Elder, T.J., Hartley, J. and Trueman, M., 2009. Does correction for guessing reduce students' performance on multiple-choice examinations? Yes? No? Sometimes? Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 34 (1), pp. 1-15. ISSN 0260-2938

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Abstract

Multiple-choice (MC) examinations are becoming increasingly popular in higher education because they can be used effectively to assess breadth of knowledge in large cohorts of students. This present research investigated Psychology students' performance on, and experiences of, MC examinations with and without correction for guessing. In Study 1, data were collected from two cohorts of students across three Psychology MC examinations. The results revealed that students scored higher, and left fewer questions unanswered, when there was no correction for guessing. Furthermore, when the correction for guessing was removed from the theory MC examination, students who were told there was no correction for guessing did better than those told there was a correction. In addition, there was limited evidence of gender differences, with female students performing significantly better on one MC examination than males. In Study 2, a further set of first-year Psychology students reported their experiences of correction for guessing on open-book and closed-book MC examinations. Students reported feeling less anxious and more confident on the open-book MC examination. The findings of both of these studies have implications for instructors deciding whether or not correction for guessing is appropriate, and for the advice to be given to students preparing for MC examinations.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Multiple-choice examinations in psychology [running title]
Publication Title: Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Creators: Betts, L.R., Elder, T.J., Hartley, J. and Trueman, M.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2009
Volume: 34
Number: 1
ISSN: 0260-2938
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/02602930701773091DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:53
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:43
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19661

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