More Evidence in Favor of Three-Option Multiple-Choice Tests
Students from two consecutive semesters were given multiple-choice tests over five units of an undergraduate course in psychology. During the first semester, students were given five 50-question 4-option multiple-choice tests, and during the second semester students were given five 50-question 3-option multiple-choice tests. One-hundred and forty-four (57.6%) of the questions were identical between semesters except for second semester test items having only 3 options. Results indicate that students performed significantly better on 3-option items than on 4-option items (corrected for chance guessing), and that this improvement may be due to improved validity of the test items.
Landrum, R. Eric; Cashin, Jeffrey R.; and Theis, Kristina S.. (1993). "More Evidence in Favor of Three-Option Multiple-Choice Tests". Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53(3), 771-778.