Multiple Choice Scoring

Delivered efficiently and accurately

Multiple choice tests are a popular method of providing reliable and valid measures of achievement in many courses. TSQS uses Optical Mark Reader (OMR) technology to capture and score responses on appropriate OMR forms, and offers a comprehensive array of analysis and reporting procedures.

What services are offered for multiple choice test scoring?

Accurate and efficient, exam results are processed within 24 hours, and may include:

  • Raw scores printed on each answer sheet
  • Class lists with names, id numbers and scores
  • Comprehensive item analysis reports
  • Comma-delimited results files suitable for opening in Excel or uploading to eClass
  • Merging results from alternate forms of a test into a single report
  • Combining (weighted) scores from sub-sections of a test into a single score
  • Formula (right minus wrong) scoring
  • Rescaling scores to percentages or other totals, or to specified means and standard deviations
  • Reports of right and wrong answers given by each student

How do I submit a test for scoring?

To submit a test for scoring, please complete a Request for Service Form through the Online Request Website.

How does test scoring work?

The following list provides an overview of the steps involved in the test scoring process:

  1. Select scoring options.
  2. Select appropriate answer sheet for your test: Answer Sheet Style 1, Answer Sheet Style 2.
  3. Obtain answer sheets. The UAlberta Bookstore has answer sheets available for purchase if more than 100 are required. Otherwise, you can obtain them from the TSQS office located at GSB 240.
  4. Complete the answer sheet key.
  5. After your test is done, gather the students answer sheets ensuring that all the answer sheets are included.
  6. Complete a Request for Service Form.
  7. Send a printed copy of the Request for Service Form, answer key, and answer sheets to the TSQS office (GSB 240).
  8. After TSQS processes your exam, you will receive an email including: Class list, Item Analysis, and any other files requested.
  9. The exam will be ready for pickup or sent by mail to your office.

What scoring options are available?

There are several scoring options available including General Purpose Scoring Program (GPSCOR), Multiple Response Scoring Program (MRSCOR) and alternate test versions.

GPSCOR is the most common type of exam. This format requires students to choose only one answer for each question asked. In the event that your exam has some questions that contain more than one possible answer, and students are asked to select one answer only, GPSCOR is also able to accommodate this.

In using GPSCOR, up to eight key sheets may be used to generate scores, or subscale scores, on various sets of items in the test. Scores may be computed as the sum of the number of correct answers, or the sum of the number of incorrect answers. Incorrect answers are only counted for those items having a correct answer indicated on the key. The absence of a response to an item is not counted as an incorrect answer. For additional information on GPSCOR options, view the guide.

MRSCOR is provided for situations where students are allowed or expected to respond with more than one answer per question. MRSCOR also provides a variety of scoring options (in all cases, only a single key sheet is used). For additional information on MRSCOR options, view the guide.

Alternate Test Versions
A popular practice in many departments is to create multiple versions of a test to administer in larger classes. This is usually done by reordering items in the test. In order to analyze all forms of a test as a single set, mapping instructions must be provided so that the items can be aligned to correspond from one version to another before proceeding with the item analysis. Refer to this example.

What results from test scoring are available?

Two reporting options are available: class lists and item analysis.

A class list is a report that shows student name, ID and score, see example here. Additional columns may be added, such as an itemized list of questions that were incorrectly answered by each student and scored responses which provide a list of item numbers that correspond to incorrect responses to all test questions. View the guide on how to generate this list.

An item analysis is a comprehensive report which depicts an overview of the test results and includes a histogram which shows the distribution of test scores, see example here. This report breaks down each question to show performance from the class as a whole, including a score breakdown for the highest, middle and lowest performing students.

How do I import TSQS scored grades into eclass Moodle?

To learn how to import TSQS scored grades into eClass, read our step-by-step guide.

For more information and additional reading material to learn more about multiple choice test scoring, refer to the following:

  • Haladyna, Thomas M. Developing and Validating Multiple-Choice Test Items. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994.
  • Haladyna, Thomas M. Writing Test Items to Evaluate Higher Order Thinking. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1997.
  • Jacobs, Lucy Cheser & Chase, Clinton I. Developing and Using Tests Effectively: a Guide for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 1992.
  • Osterlind, Steven J. Constructing Test Items. 2nd ed. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.
    Jacobs, Lucy C. How to Write Better Tests: A Handbook for Improving Test Construction Skills. Indiana University, Bloomington
  • IDEA Papers from Kansas State University such as No. 16: Improving Multiple-Choice Tests


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