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What Is It With All These Ridiculous Tricky Questions in Multiple Choice Tests?

//What Is It With All These Ridiculous Tricky Questions in Multiple Choice Tests?

Have you noticed the attempts of those who create multiple choice tests to focus more on tripping you up on the questions, rather than trying to test your actual knowledge, talent, or experience? Boy, I have, and now that I recall, this nonsense has been going on far too long. Indeed, it even goes on in grade school, remember?

What does this teach our young superstars and geniuses? It teaches them not to trust authority and to fear they will get the wrong answer even if they study. Thus, as they grow disrespectful of authority, and if they are smarter than the other kids, it could even turn them off to learning. And it’s not that they need this inferior school system we’ve created, a practical babysitting location, but that we need these young up and coming kids to propel our nation forward.

Now then, all those smart kids we’ve alienated still exist in our society, and yes, it’s obvious we still need them now more than ever, but as adults now, what do we have we done? We do the same stupid thing with these [CYA time; this part is opinion] moronic multiple choice tests. That’s right – we have tricky questions for real estate licenses, insurance licenses, driver’s licenses, and just about every government test which is out there.

This can only mean one thing; It’s not about knowledge; It’s about control, fear, and authority.

Indeed, this is a slap in the face to those professionals who are entering a field, or the poor first time driver who is merely trying to get a driver’s license so they can have transportation and get a job. This complete and utter disrespect for the individual is unfair, and it is un-American. If the government wants to make sure someone has knowledge prior to work in a profession, just ask the question, we don’t need to make a tricky question to try to trip them up.

Why not just make the questions harder?

One theory is because then fewer people could pass them, and by tripping people up on the questions, many of which with double negatives, the test scores come out closer together, even though the level of talent, knowledge, know how, and experience is quite spread out (Consider the 80/20 rule here). Thus, by using this bad strategy when creating these tests, it means dumb people can do as well, or at least be in the ballpark with smart people who read too much into the question due to its ambiguity, double meaning, and impossible discernment.

So, what is happening is smart people are learning they cannot trust authority (not exactly the folks you want as adversaries), and dumb people are getting a leg up or an advantage on the test which they don’t deserve, as well as easier questions than should be allowed for that given space. In that case, why have the test at all? Again, authority and fear based control. Yet, at the same time it is making a statement that those in charge of the licensing cannot be trusted, and can take your license away anytime they want!

FEAR, can you see it?

Really, this is just about control, and petty power trips. On one hand you are not free to do the career of your choice until you pass a test, but the test attempts to trick you using trick questions which technically cannot be answered at all, yet, the makers have a specific answer they are looking for. Not long ago, I took such a multiple choice test, and it was in an industry where I have 25-years experience, seriously, I am the best of the best, and know the subject hands down.

Indeed, I was amazed at the number of questions which had exceptions, circumstances, and potential issues which would make none of the answers correct, or a couple of the answers right in some cases, even though you could only choose one. See the problem. Surely, we can do better than this, but I doubt that will ever happen. What we have is too much bureaucracy, too many nonsensical rules, too many licenses, too much on-going education, too much red tape, too many lawyers, too many tests, and may I ask where has it gotten us?

All it has done is slowed business creation, prevented jobs, added costs, added time, created criminals (non-licensees), and created a whole new industry of testing companies, working in cahoots with bureaucracies and lawyers, who now lobby for even more of the same. And unfortunately, the credibility of the entire system is gone and has been for a long-long-time.

Of course, the regulators love it, and use this as justification to show they are doing their jobs? Oh really? And where has all this business regulation really gotten us? The regulators don’t enforce the rules, they play politics, and favorites in the marketplace. It’s obvious to me that there are well-intentioned regulators who care, but it is also obvious and evident that the system is corrupt.

Am, I suggesting someone needs to take these test makers and slap them upside the head? No, that wouldn’t do any good, they are just doing their job in the bureaucracy too, the problem is the bureaucracy and this test problem permeates all sectors of our society; from education to business, and from non-profits to government.

We need some changes from these multiple choice tricky tests, and we need to start at the beginning, elementary school. Please consider this.