The Art of the Quiz

Since I wrote a quiz script in php, I have found quite a few uses for it. It seems to me a good way to allow the reader to test their retention of knowledge imparted in a particular article.

I haven’t put it to extensive use. I originally created it for a BabySitting Tips website a couple of years ago. Most recently, I have been trying it out on some history pages on InDepthInfo. This is a quiz on the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

Making up the quiz made me realize that there is a certain art to making up questions and more specifically answers to a quiz. You want the questions to pertain to the material, of course, but you also want them to dig down to the nub of the material, only asking questions that relate to the most important facts on the page.

Answers are even more interesting. I try to include answers which might seem like a viable possibility, only occasionally throwing in an ironic response. Don’t make the answer too obvious, but at the same time two or more possibilities should not be made so close that they become confusing. A test writer does not want the quiz to appear to be unfair.

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