Fill-in-the-Blank Items

Fill-in-the-blank items are assessment questions in which test takers must hand enter a response, rather than select from a list of predetermined answer choices. Generally, a sentence or paragraph is presented to the examinee with key components replaced by blank spaces where the student must fill in the response that completes the sentence. Fill-in-the-blank items are also known as cloze items or completion questions. With this item type, correct answers are generally limited in length such as a single number, word, or phrase. After an example of a basic fill-in-the-blank item format, the rest of this entry examines the potential benefits and drawbacks of utilizing this specific assessment question, reviews a variation of the item type, and highlights best practices for constructing fill-in-the-blank items.

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