23 August 2015

Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions (MCQs) have always been popular in some parts of the world. They're rarely used in maths in England and Wales, so it was a surprise (in my opinion, a nice surprise) to see MCQs on AQA's sample assessment materials for the new GCSE.

Technology such as Quick Key and Plickers has led to an increased demand for MCQs that teachers can use in the classroom. Some teachers have been asking where they can find MCQs that are aligned with our curriculum. I've listed some sources below - if you have anything to add, please email me.

1. Foundation and Higher GCSE Multiple Choice Questions by Topic
Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.
I found these multiple choice quizzes at work - I believe they were written by Julie Bolter, probably to accompany a textbook. There's quizzes for a number of topics including sequences, standard form and coordinates.
When I first discovered Quick Key I adapted one of these quizzes to make a Significant Figures Quick Key Quiz with Quick Ticket included. I intended to make more of these but didn't find Quick Key as easy to use as I'd hoped (I think I just need practice!).

2. Foundation and Higher GCSE Multiple Choice Revision Questions
Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.
There's a large selection of multiple choice questions here, both in PowerPoint and Word. The topics are mixed so these would be useful for exam revision. Thanks to Mitesh Patel for sending me these. We don't know the original source so please tweet or email me if you know.
3. Diagnostic Questions
Suitable for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.
This fantastic website has a huge range of multiple choice questions, contributed by users. You can quickly create quizzes for use with Plickers, mini-whiteboards or voting cards. The most powerful aspect of this website is the opportunity for teachers to read explanations and therefore analyse students' thinking. Students can log in using their phones, tablets or laptops, allowing their responses and explanations to be instantly collected and processed.
Craig Barton has very helpfully made a collection of ready-made GCSE quizzes from Diagnostic Questions. There's also a set of excellent Year 7 baseline tests.  

4. SQA
Suitable for Key Stage 5.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority used to set Objective Tests for Higher Mathematics. These contain lovely questions for Year 12 and 13, covering topics such as calculus, trigonometry, sequences, vectors and the equation of a circle. Thanks to Helen Dey for sharing these with me. Thanks also to @mrallanmaths for sharing this editable bank of Objective Test questions.
This book contains practice multiple choice questions by topic so would be a useful purchase for Key Stage 5 teachers looking to create multiple choice tests. 

5. Integral
Suitable for Key Stage 5.
MEI provides a great selection of multiple choice tests for A level Maths and Further Maths on Integral (school login required). The example below is from a Normal Distribution assessment for Edexcel S1.
6. 30 Number Starters
Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.
Ben Cooper (@bcoops_online) on TES provides a PowerPoint of 30 multiple choice quizzes for various number topics including fractions, decimals and percentages. These would work well with Plickers or mini-whiteboards. Ben's resources include a number of other multiple choice quizzes.
7. Functional MCQs
Suitable for Key Stage 2 and 3.
Thanks to Jon Treby for this set of Functional Multiple Choice Questions. They are split by topic and all questions are contextual.
8. Foundation of Advanced Mathematics 
Suitable for Key Stage 4.
Stuart Price (@sxpmaths) wrote a post about using multiple choice questions from Foundation of Advanced Mathematics exams for Year 10 revision competitions. There's a number of past papers to draw questions from - most of the topics are from GCSE and the questions are suitable for extension in Year 10 and 11.
More please!
When I was experimenting with Quick Key and Plickers last year, I made a couple of multiple choice tests myself (here's my Quadratics Test). I found it really time consuming to make the tests and I had mixed success with both Quick Key and Plickers so I took a break from multiple choice questions. But I still think there's a lot of value in the question format and I do intend to try both apps again.

Thanks to @MrsOClee for sending me this Simultaneous Equations Quiz. It would be great to have a large bank of editable multiple choice quizzes by topic that teachers could draw on, but it's a big task! Please email anything you have to resourceaholic@gmail.com.


  1. Thanks to @stroevey for providing a large set of MCQs from Australia. There's loads here that I need to look through but at first glance I saw MCQs suitable for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

  2. After this post was published Don Steward started producing multiple choice questions - http://mediandonsteward.blogspot.co.uk/.