Writing Multiple Choice Questions to Assess Application


 Here are some tips to consider when writing Multiple Choice Test Questions to assess Bloom’s learning objective, Application (Bloom and Krathwohl, 1956.)

  • When testing application, the candidate will now be required to apply their knowledge of a subject to new or foreign subject matter. This may be in the case of theories, rules, laws, methods etc.
  • In the case of application, it is advised that you do not inform the candidate  of the details of the correct process to carry out in the question to assist them in reaching the correct answer, although the name of the process can be highlighted if required or if the question would be ambiguous without certain clarification. 
  • In a multiple choice question assessing the application of knowledge, the problem or situation presented in the stem should guide the candidate into taking the most appropriate course of action.
  • When writing these questions, you may choose to use verbs such as manipulate, calculate, determine or predict. Attempt to tailor the verb appropriately to the required action.


Multiple choice questions which require application are often used when asking a candidate to use a formula to solve a mathematical problem or when applying scientific principles or theories to situations that cannot be foreseen and answered by memory recall alone.

Note: The purpose of these articles is to provide you with general advice in the fields of assessment and testing. These articles are not intended to replace any regulations or instructions provided by your organisation, but may be used in conjunction with these materials to support the assessment process.


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