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Tool: Writing good true-false items

True-false items have the advantages of simplicity and compactness. Use these questions to assess your true-false items:

  1. Is each statement simple and unambiguous?
  2. Is each item limited to just one main point?
  3. Have you avoided the use of negatives and double-negatives?
  4. Have you avoided items that test for trivial information?
  5. Are the true items about the same length as the false items?

You can use this checklist to revise the items below or to evaluate or write an assessment for your own class:

T F Asia is a wet continent.

T F Because of the tectonic plates, much of Asia is subject to occasional earthquakes and these earthquakes have a powerful effect on the Asian outlook on life.

T F Many Asian countries are archipelagoes.

T F Unlike the other Asian countries, Japan lacks large deposits of iron and coal and so the Japanese have had to build their top-ranked industrial empire without the help of some key resources.

T F The residents of Hong Kong experienced trepidation when contemplating the impending Chinese takeover of their colony.

T F China does not have fewer people than Taiwan.