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As a Project Manager in ExamDeveloper, you can improve the quality of items using Exam Advisor™.

Exam Advisor™ helps in enforcing certain best practices in item creation.

Train users before using Exam Advisor™

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It is very important that users are properly trained on the formatting guidelines associated with the Exam Advisor™ settings that you enable. Users should know ahead of time which settings you intend to enable so they avoid submitting items that violate those rules. Otherwise, users will become frustrated when their items are rejected by the system.

Access the Exam Advisor™ page

Select the Manage → ProjectExam Advisor™ menu.  

  

Exam Advisor™ displays several settings that can be enabled for each project:

Exam Advisor

Description

All of the above

These are not allowed in items.

Both A and B, etc.

Items cannot have two Answer Options labels stated together as an answer in a separate Answer Option. Thus, an item cannot have an Answer Option C with text "A & B" as the correct answer.

Negatively Worded Stems

All of the following, except, and are not are typical of negatively worded stems; these cannot be used.

Comparable option length

Answer Options must be comparable in length as vastly different Option lengths can give away correct answers. Specifically:

  • If the longest Option is greater than 100 characters, the longest Option should not be more than twice the length of the shortest Option.
  • If the longest Option is less than 100 characters, the longest Option should not be more than three times the length of the shortest Option.

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    This feature is disabled for items with very short Options (i.e., if all Options are less than 35 characters).

Excessive option length

Answer Options must not be excessively long. The average length of the Options should not be greater than 125 characters.

Options with same first words

Items should not have all of their Options beginning with the same two words. It is recommended to place those words into the stem to reduce the length of the Options.

True/False

True-False type items are not allowed with this setting.

Sequentially ordered options

If all Options are numeric, it is recommended that they be listed in sequential order - either ascending or descending.

Avoid Always or Never

Items cannot use the words Always or Never with this setting enabled. These words are usually an indicator of a correct or an incorrect response.

Format stem as a Question

The stem must always be framed as an item, not as a statement when this setting is enabled.

Inconsistent Capitalization

Ensures that all Options begin either with an upper-case letter or lower-case letter for consistency. Also informs the user when printing an exam with inconsistent capitalization across items.

Inconsistent Punctuation

Ensures that all options either end with a period or none of them do. Also informs the user when printing an exam with inconsistent punctuation across items.

None of the aboveThis is not allowed in Options/distractors.
Check for option punctuation with sentence completion stemsEnsure that all Options end with a period (.) when the Stem ends in a colon (:).
Check for stem punctuation

This is related to the how item Stem should end.

If the Stem should end with a Question mark (?), then select the check box available for Question mark (?) .
If the stem should end with a colon (:), then select the check box available for (:) .
If the stem should end with some custom symbol other than a Question mark (?) or colon (:), select the Custom Type Character check box and enter the symbol within the text box, which is enabled only when this check box is selected .
Check for spaces between sentences

A single white space must be present after item Stem or Answer Option ends with a period, when these consist of multiple sentences. This is applicable for all except the last sentence.

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Error messages in red text are displayed and the item cannot be submitted when the item Stem or Option contains sentences with no space between them and when the Check for spaces between sentences check box is selected. In other words, there has to be a space after a full stop/period at the end of a sentence and before the start of the subsequent sentence.

The error messages are also displayed if you try to save an existing item meeting the above conditions.

 

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Error messages in red text are displayed and the G-Type Case cannot be Finished (saved) when the item Stem or Option of the item contained in the case contains sentences with no space between them and when the Check for spaces between sentences checkbox is checked. In other words, there has to be a space after a full stop/period at the end of a sentence and before the start of the subsequent sentence.

These error messages are also displayed if you try to save an existing case meeting the above condition.

No error message is displayed if there are sentences in the case Lead-in which meet the above condition. 

 

The above error messages are also displayed when editing and saving a Draft item and while importing items, if the aforementioned conditions are met.

Allow options with similar text (case-insensitive)Items with multiple Answer Options having similar text are allowed, as long as the case of the similar text is different.
Disallow Empty OptionsMCQ type items are not allowed with blank options.

 

To select any of these settings for your project, select the box for each setting and click Update.

 

Have suggestions for other Exam Advisor™ Settings?

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We would love to hear about additional Exam Advisor™ configurations. Our goal is to put in as many settings as possible to maximize the quality of your exams. Please contact Pearson with your suggestions.

 

 

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