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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: preparing multiple choice questions

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg63370] Re: preparing multiple choice questions
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 04:42:40 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 12/26/05 at 4:59 AM, berbas at anadolu.edu.tr (Baris Erbas) wrote:

>I have been trying to prepare a test of 30 question with multiple
>choices ranging from a-e.

>I want to automatically assign the question numbers and and the
>correct answers using mathematica. All correct answers should be in
>equal quantity, i.e. 6 a, 6 b, . 6 e.

>I tried to use Random with Table however it doesnt produce equal
>number of correct answers. I also tried to look into the
>Statistical packages.

>Is there a way of doing this in Mathematica? Could you please
>froward me to a link if you already know one?

The techniques you tried above will not work since the requirement the frequency of each choice be equal is incompatible with randomness. A uniform distribution over the integers 1 to 5 with enough samples will result in *apporoximately* equal numbers of each but not *exactly* equal numbers of each integer.

If you require equal numbers of each sample, you can achieve some semblence of randomness by using a random permutation. This could be done as follows

In[2]:=
ans = {a, b, c, d, e}; 
<< "DiscreteMath`"

In[4]:=
Flatten[ans[[#]]&/@ 
   Partition[
    RandomPermutation[Mod[Range[30], 5, 1]], 5]]

Out[4]=
{d, a, e, b, a, c, b, e, e, 
  c, a, b, e, c, b, a, c, d, 
  c, d, c, a, a, d, b, e, d, 
  e, b, d}
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