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The Anatomy of a Question

The typical multiple choice test question (also referred to as a multiple guess by the unprepared) consists of an objective question with four alternative responses from which the correct answer(s) will be selected. Generally, these test questions are commonly referred to as items, and the item may be in the form of a question or a statement.

A test item consists of a stem and options. The stem is the question or statement. Usually only one of the options is the correct response. This correct option is normally identified as the key. The incorrect options are aptly identified as distracters.