U081 – Scoring policy in multiple choice

How many points does a student get when they mark certain answers in a multiple choice question with multiple correct answers? What is the total score of your question? You'll find out how it works in this article.

This article specifically applies to the question types Text multiple choice / multiple answers question and Picture multi select question, both of which are found in the Quiz, Worksheet, and Split Worksheet widgets.

Let's assume an exercise where the question is: 'Which of the following are mammals?', and where the multiple choice options are:

  • cat
  • dog
  • monkey
  • goldfish
  • mosquito

Assume a student correctly marks "dog" and "monkey", and incorrectly marks "goldfish". The scoring weight is set to 1. The wrong answer weight, if applicable, is set to 0.25.

Now, both the question's total score as the points your students will be awarded for their answers depend on the scoring policy you configure for the widget. The setting you're looking for is Scoring options > Scoring policy. You can select one of three settings. In the working example described above, the results will be as follows in accordance to the policy you select:

Score points when all answers are correct

Description This is a 'black and white' setting: a student is awarded the maximum only when all answers are correct, or otherwise nothing at all.
Question's score The question's score equals the set scoring weight.
Pros and cons There is no room for nuance; a partial score is not possible. A students obtains either all points or no points.
Working example Question scores: 1 point Student obtains: 0/1

Score points for each correct answer

Description Students are allotted points according to the answers they've marked. BookWidgets distinguishes 4 'states' that a multiple choice option can have:
– a correct answer that the student has marked (point)
– a correct answer that the student has left unmarked (no point);
– a wrong answer that the student has marked (no point);
– a wrong answer that the student has left unmarked (point).
Question's score The question's score will equal the scoring weight multiplied by the number of multiple choice options.
Pros and cons An advantage of this option is that students don't know how many answers they have to mark.

A disadvantage is that the scoring calculation may quickly lead to a high scoring total, which may skew (overstate) the importance of this MC question within the bigger picture of a test.

Note that if a student fully ignores the question, i.e. doesn't mark any of the answers, then this setting will still award them a part of the full score points (namely for all the options they weren't supposed to mark and didn't).
Working example Question scores: 5 points Student obtains: 3/5

Add points for each correct answer, deduct points for each wrong answer. Minimum score 0

Description A policy that discourages guessing behaviour. Next to the normal scoring weight, you can also set a wrong answer weight here. Please make sure to set a positive number. Students can never obtain less than 0 points for the question.
Question's score The question's total score equals the scoring weight multiplied by the number of correct answers.
Pros and cons Guessing behaviour is discouraged. This setting usually allows students to deduct how many answers need to be marked, which is beneficial if that is what you'd like.

Note that setting the wrong answer weight to 0 will entail that a student may carelessly mark all MC options and they will achieve maximum score.
Working example Question scores: 3 points Student obtains: 1.75/3

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