We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Are the Different Types of Standardized Test Questions?

Jessica Ellis
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

Standardized tests include any type of test where there is little variation between individual tests, testing procedures are the same for all test-takers, and scoring methods are consistent. There are many different types of standardized test questions that may appear on different tests, including essay questions, multiple choice questions, true-false questions, and timed questions. Some tests may include only one type of standardized test questions, while others may use a blend of questions to test aptitude comprehensively.

Standardized test questions that call for an essay help measure a student's writing ability, language fluency, grammar, and comprehension. These questions are usually timed, and ask the test-takers to complete an essay of a certain length. Essay questions are usually based on a general topic, or a prompt that includes specific information that needs to be analyzed in the bulk of the essay. Essays are somewhat controversial as standardized test questions, since a greater opportunity for scoring subjectivity may be present. Scoring procedures for essay questions usually involve multiple readers and an averaged score, to try to prevent subjectivity from skewing results.

Multiple choice questions are frequently used on standardized tests, since they are very easy to score. To answer a multiple choice question, the test-taker must choose the correct answer out of a set of several possibilities. Well-designed questions will have only one correct answer, though answer choices may sometimes include an “all of the above” or “none of the above” option. Some test-takers prefer multiple choice questions, particularly in math, because the answers can be plugged back into the question to be tested for correctness. When an answer is not immediately apparent, this method can improve chances of getting the question correct.

True-false standardized test questions are similar to multiple choice questions, but only permit two possible answers. In these questions, the test-taker is presented with a premise, which might be a factual statement, mathematical equation, or logic problem, and must choose whether the conclusion offered by the premise is true or false. Like multiple choice questions, there is only one correct answer, which makes true-false standardized test questions easy to score.

Timed questions help determine a test-takers speed and accuracy, and may be applied in many different ways. Often, standardized tests have a total time limit, with suggested time limits for each section, in order to preserve fairness for all test-takers. Timed questions may also be used specifically to determine speed in certain areas, such as by testing how fast a test-taker can complete ten basic math problems, type a sentence, or write a complete answer to a short essay question.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for Practical Adult Insights. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.