The proliferation of multiple-choice assessments in educational measurement is likely due to the relative ease, objectivity, and cost-efficiency of scoring, particularly when assessment is conducted on a large scale, with a short timeline for reporting scores, or on a tight budget. Although assessment has been occurring for millennia, the multiple-choice question is a relative newcomer; its first large-scale use is generally regarded as the Army Alpha, an aptitude test used to screen military recruits in World War I and assign them to military jobs. Multiple-choice items are common in educational assessments used to meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, originally passed in 1965, which [Page 1114]requires assessment every year in multiple subjects for students from Grade 3 to high school. Multiple-choice ...
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