Definition (multiple-choice). “Classic” type of vocabulary item consists of a test word followed by several possible definitions or synonyms. Nap A. a brief sleep B. a happy song C. a sharp rock D. a short meeting A variation of the foregoing reverses the order and places the definition first. A. Nap B. Yawn C. Stroll D. Hug Both versions of the definitions item type have the advantages of being highly economical in terms both of the number of items that can be included on a printed page and of the number of problems that can be answered in a short period of testing time. Of the two versions, the second is generally preferable in that it permits the testing of several problem words per item. Moreover, version 2 items are more difficult to “compromise” by examinees who attempt systematically to memorize questions in order to reconstruct the test later. On the negative side, tests consisting entirely of either version have one serious limitation: many words do not lend themselves to short, exact definitions or synonyms and cannot, therefore, be effectively tested by the above devices.
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