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Should teachers give multiple choice tests for novels? I usually try to prepare my students for all of the types of assessments and activities they will face in the future.  I know some people believe that all tests in an English classroom should be written, not multiple choice.  Do you agree?

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is nothing illegitimate about giving a multiple choice test for a novel, as long as it is well written and accurately reflects a students' knowledge.  It is sometimes more difficult to assess student work with multiple choice only, and I think, often times, teachers tend to lean towards use of the MC test because it is very easy to grade.  Essays are, in general, more indicative of a range of student skills and knowledge, and I prefer them over multiple choice.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I do not like giving multiple choice tests. Multiple choice tests teach one thing--the process of elimination. I do not want...

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tosi1ae | Student

I agree that multiple choice tests are needed in order to prepare students for high stakes tests like the SAT. When it comes to showing if they understand the what they have read I think it is really hard to show higher level thinking by just picking the correct answer. I think that literature tests should contain both types of questions so that you can gage student understanding of the text as well as prepare them for multiple choice questions they will see on high stakes tests.

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