EMS Education Tips

Multiple Choice Quiz Writing: Terminology

As with anything, quiz question writing has its own set of jargon.

Stem – The question.

  • Avoid negative in the stem. “Which of the terms is NOT important?”
  • Match your stems to your objectives. List the objectives on the assessment and write questions for each objective.
  • Write clear and concise stems that the learner should not have to reread multiple times to understand what you are asking.
Responses – The choices.
  • Ensure that you include a correct response.
  • Avoid responses that include: A and B, Only A and B, None of the Above, and All of the Above. These are often confusing and cause unnecessary student analysis.
  • Make all responses approximately the same length visually.
  • Do not include obvious fluff responses that are clearly not the correct response.
  • Do not attempt to trick or tempt your students into answering incorrectly.
  • Remember one answer needs to be clearly correct.
Remember, well written stems and responses aid you in assessing the knowledge that your learners have gained.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.