Here is a typical multiple-choice question and the terms
we’ll use to refer to its various parts:
and , what does b equal?
The sentence containing the question is the stem. The
lettered options below the stem are the answer choices.
Numerical answer choices are always listed in order from smallest
to largest or largest to smallest. Only one of these answer choices
is correct. The other four answers are called distractors, because
that’s exactly what they’re designed to do: distract attention
from the correct answer. The stem and answer choices grouped together
is called an item. An entire multiple-choice section,
comprised of several items, is called a set.