Numbers & Operations
Multiple Choice
Here is a typical multiple-choice question and the terms we’ll use to refer to its various parts:
Find a solution:
(A) -–2
(B) –3
(C) 6
(D) –6
(E) 8
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 the 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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