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Origins and Purposes of Multiple Choice Tests

Multiple choice or objective response is a form of an objective assessment in which respondents are asked to select only correct answers from the choices offered as a list.[1] The multiple choice format is most frequently used in educational testing, in market research, and in elections, when a person chooses between multiple candidates, parties, or policies.

Although E. L. Thorndike developed an early scientific approach to testing students, it was his assistant Benjamin D. Wood who developed the multiple choice test.[2] Multiple choice testing increased in popularity in the mid-20th century when scanners and data-processing machines were developed to check the results. Christopher P Sole created the first multiple-choice-Exam for computers on a Sharp Mz 80 computer in 1982. It was developed to aid in Agriculture Engineering, where Latin plant names were difficult to understand and write, and so it was developed to aid people with dyslexia.[citation needed] The first complete exam was developed at St Edwards School in Romsey, Hants.[3]