University of Oulu

Eeva S.H. Haataja, Asko Tolvanen, Henna Vilppu, Manne Kallio, Jouni Peltonen, Riitta-Leena Metsäpelto, Measuring higher-order cognitive skills with multiple choice questions –potentials and pitfalls of Finnish teacher education entrance, Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 122, 2023, 103943, ISSN 0742-051X,

Measuring higher-order cognitive skills with multiple choice questions : potentials and pitfalls of Finnish teacher education entrance

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Author: Haataja, Eeva S. H.1; Tolvanen, Asko2; Vilppu, Henna3;
Organizations: 1University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences, P.O. Box 9, University of Helsinki, 00014, Finland
2University of Jyväskylä, Alvar Aallon Katu 9, 40600, Jyväskylä, Finland
3University of Turku, Department of Teacher Education, Assistentinkatu 5, 20014, Turku, Finland
4University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, P.O. Box 2000, University of Oulu, 90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-05-08


This mixed methods study examines the structure of the multiple-choice exam for student selection in Finnish teacher education. Through qualitative content analysis, we categorized multiple-choice questions into items that assessed lower- and higher-order cognitive processes based on the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses yielded four factors that represented lower- and higher-order cognitive processing skills and comprehension of empirical and theoretical items. These were associated with matriculation examination grades, especially with the average grade and the mother tongue grade. When developing future multiple-choice exams for admissions, we recommend emphasizing higher-order processing skills and the role of source materials.

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Series: Teaching and teacher education. An international journal of research and studies
ISSN: 0742-051X
ISSN-E: 1879-2480
ISSN-L: 0742-051X
Volume: 122
Article number: 103943
DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2022.103943
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This study was a part of the SITE consortium project of University of Jyväskylä and University of Turku and was funded by the Academy of Finland (project number 342191).
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (