With the continued growth in popularity of professional certification examinations has come increasing interest in the composition and equity of the questions on such tests. Multiple-choice (MC) questions are easier to grade than constructed response (CR) questions, but are MC questions the best type of question to use on important certification examinations? This paper attempts to answer this question, using sample data from a number of university accounting classes. In an empirical study across a sample domain of 10 separate classes and nearly 450 students, we found only a weak relationship between performance on the MC and CR portions of the tests. Consequently, the findings from this study suggest that certification examinations based solely on MC questions may not be testing applicants at the same level as CR tests might. Gender bias did not appear to be an issue in this study.


Download Article