Constructed-Response Test Items: Completion (Fill-in-the-Blank) and Essay
With constructed-response items, the test-taker supplies an answer rather than selecting from options already provided. Since students supply the answers, this type of item reduces the chance of guessing. Constructed-response items include completion and essay.
Completion items, or fill-in-the-blank, are test questions that can be answered by a word, phrase, or number. Short-answer items are similar to completion, but they typically ask a question that the student answer in a few words or phrases rather than by filling in the blank. In an essay item, the student develops a more extended response to a question. Essay tests and written assignments use writing as the means of expressing ideas although with essay items the focus of evaluation is the content of the answer rather than the writing ability. Completion, including the short-answer format, and essay items are described in this chapter.
Completion, also referred to as fill-in-the-blank, and short-answer items can be answered by a word, phrase, or number. They are essentially the same type of test item except for format. Completion items consist of a statement with a key word or words missing; students fill in the blank to complete it. Other types of completion items ask students to perform a calculation and record the answer, or to order a list of responses.
Completion items are appropriate for recall of facts and specific information and for calculations. To complete the statement, the student recalls missing