Evaluation of Multiple-Choice Questions in Secondary School Certificate Examination in Bangladesh

Page: 9-19

Muhammad Kamal Uddin and Tasnuva Tazrin Mullick

University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Many people believe today that the quality of education has drastically fallen and one of the reasons being Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). The present study addressed the issue by evaluating the quality of MCQs used in Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examination, one of the most important public examinations in Bangladesh. The evaluation was made by computing item difficulty, item discriminability, and distracter’s functionality. A total of 987 examinees’ responses on 5 compulsory subjects namely Bangla 1st paper, Bangla 2nd paper, Mathematics, Islam & Moral Education (IME), and Physical Education, Health Science & Sports (PEHSS) were collected. The mean item difficulty (p) ranged from .55 to .73 (.62, .55, .65, .62 and .73, respectively). The mean item discrimination ( ) was fair for Bangla 1st paper and PHESS (.29 and .27 respectively), good for IME (.32), and excellent for Bangla 2nd paper and Mathematics (.42 and .44 respectively). Bangla 2nd paper and Mathematics had highest percentages of functional distracters (100%) followed by Bangla 1st paper and IME (97.5% and 97.37%, respectively) and then by PHESS (94.29%). The findings suggest that though the popular belief is not correct more care in constructing MCQs should be taken especially for Bangla 1st paper and PHESS to improve the quality of student assessment. The findings have implications for teachers, students, educators, policy makers, and school psychologists.

Keywords: MCQ, difficulty, discriminability, distracters’ functionality

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