Data Analysis, Statistics & Probability
Multiple Choice
Here is a typical multiple-choice question and the terms we’ll use to refer to its parts:
3. What month saw the greatest increase in enrollments?
(A) October
(B) November
(C) December
(D) January
(E) February
The sentence containing the question is the stem. The lettered options below the stem are called the answer choices. Numerical answer choices are always listed in order from smallest to largest or largest to smallest. Only one of the answer choices is correct; the other four answer choices are called distractors, because that is exactly what they are designed to do—distract attention from the correct answer. The stem and answer choices grouped together are called an item. An entire multiple-choice section comprised of several items is called a set.
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