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Psychon Bull Rev. 2007 Apr;14(2):194-9.

The memorial consequences of multiple-choice testing.

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Department of Psychology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0086, USA.


The present article addresses whether multiple-choice tests may change knowledge even as they attempt to measure it. Overall, taking a multiple-choice test boosts performance on later tests, as compared with non-tested control conditions. This benefit is not limited to simple definitional questions, but holds true for SAT II questions and for items designed to tap concepts at a higher level in Bloom's (1956) taxonomy of educational objectives. Students, however, can also learn false facts from multiple-choice tests; testing leads to persistence of some multiple-choice lures on later general knowledge tests. Such persistence appears due to faulty reasoning rather than to an increase in the familiarity of lures. Even though students may learn false facts from multiple-choice tests, the positive effects of testing outweigh this cost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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