Books, articles and book chapters on item writing

Language Testing

Alderson, J. C., Clapham, C., & Wall, D. (1995). Language test construction and evaluation. Cambridge University Press.

Banerjee, J., Lestari, S.B., & Rossi, O. (2021). Choosing test formats and task types. In P. Winke and T. Brunfaut (Eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Language Testing (pp.78-89), Taylor & Frances.

Beauchamp, D., & Constantinou, F. (2020). Using corpus linguistics tools to identify instances of low linguistic accessibility in tests. Research Matter, 29, 10-16. (free download)

Carroll, B.J.& Hall, P.J. (1985). Make your own language tests: A practical guide to writing language performance tests. Oxford: Pergamon.

 Fulcher, G. (2010). Practical language testing. Hodder Education.

Green, A. (2014). Exploring language assessment and testing: Language in action. Routledge.

Holzknecht, F., McCray, G., Eberharter, K., Kremmel, B., Zehentner, M., Spiby, R., & Dunlea, J. (2021). The effect of response order on candidate viewing behaviour and item difficulty in a multiple-choice listening test. Language Testing, 38(1), 41-61. (open access)

Hughes, A., & Hughes, J. (2020). Testing for language teachers (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Jones, G. (2020). Designing multiple-choice test items. In P. Winke and T. Brunfaut (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition and language testing (pp.90-101). Routledge.

Kroll, B., & Reid, J. (1994). Guidelines for designing writing prompts: Clarifications, caveats, and cautions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 3(3), 231-255.

 March, D.M., Perrett, D., & Hubbard, C. (2019). An evidence-based approach to distractor generation in multiple-choice language tests. Research Notes, 72. (free download)

O’Grady, S. (2021). Adapting multiple-choice comprehension question formats in a test of second language listening comprehension. Language Teaching Research, 1-23.

Plakans, L. (2021). Writing integrated tasks. In G.Fulcher and L.Hardling (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of language testing (pp.357-371).  Taylor & Frances.

Rossi, O., & Brunfaut, T. (2019). Test item writers. In J.I. Liontas (Ed.), The TESOL Encyclopaedia of English Language Teaching, (pp.1-7). John Wiley & Sons.

Rossi, O., & Brunfaut, T. (2021). Text authenticity in listening assessment: Can item writers be trained to produce authentic-sounding texts? Language Assessment Quarterly, 18(4), 398-418.

Shi, D. (2021). Item writing and item writers. In G.Fulcher and L.Hardling (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of language testing (pp.341-356). Taylor & Frances.

Spaan, M. (2006). Test and item specifications development. Language Assessment Quarterly, 3(1), 71-79.

Spaan, M. (2007). Evolution of a test item. Language Assessment Quarterly, 4(3), 279-293.

 Weir, C.J. (1993). Understanding and developing language tests. Prentice Hall.

Educational Measurement

Bristol, T., & Liners Brett, A.N. (2015). Test item writing: 3Cs for successful tests. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 10, 100-103.

Brown, A.S., Schilling, H.E.H., Hockensmith, M.L. (1999). The negative suggestion effect: Pondering incorrect alternatives many be hazardous to your knowledge. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 756-764.   

Burton, S.J., Sudweeks, R.R., Merrill, P.F., & Wood, B. (1991). How to prepare better multiple-choice test items: Guidelines for university faculty. Brigham Young University Testing Services. (free download)

Costello, E., Holland, J.C., & Kirwan, C. (2018). Evaluation of MCQs from MOOCs for common item writing flaws. BMC Research Notes, 11, 1-3.  (open access)

Crehan, K., & Haladyna, T.M. (1991). The validity of two item-writing rules. The Journal of Experimental Education, 59(2), 183-192.

Downing, S.M., & Haladyna, T.M. (1997). Test item development: Validity evidence from quality assurance procedures. Applied Measurement in Education, 10(1), 61-82.

Downing, S.M. (2005). The effect of violating standard item writing principles on tests and students: The consequences of using flawed test items on achievement examinations in medical education. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 10, 133-143.

Frary, R. B. (1995). More multiple-choice item writing do’s and don’ts. Practical Assessment Research &Evaluation, 4(11), 1–3.

Frey, B.B., Petersen, S., Edwards, L.M., Pedrotti, J.T., & Peyton, V. (2005). Item-writing rules: Collective wisdom. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 357-364.

Grosse, M. E., & Wright, B. D. (1985). Validity and reliability of true-false tests. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 45(1), 1–13.

Haladyna, T. M. (2004). Developing and validating multiple-choice test items. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Haladyna, T. M., & Downing, S. M. (1989). A taxonomy of multiple-choice item-writing rules. Applied Measurement in Education, 2(1), 37.  

Haladyna, T.M., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2013). Developing and validating test items. Taylor & Frances.

Haladyna, T.M., Downing, S.M., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2002). A review of multiple-choice item-writing guidelines for classroom assessment. Applied Measurement in Education, 15(3), 309-333.

Karthikeyan, S., O’Connor, E., & Hu, W. (2019). Barriers and facilitators to writing quality items for medical school assessments – a scoping review. BMC Medical Education, 19(123), 1-11. (open access)

Merritt, S. (2006). Mastering multiple choice. The Brain Ranch.

Miller, M.D., Linn, R.L., & Gronlund, N.E. (2009). Measurement and assessment in teaching. Pearson.

Rodriguez, M. C. (2003). Construct equivalence of multiple-choice and constructed-response items: A random effects synthesis of correlations. Journal of Educational Measurement, 40(2), 163–184.

Language Testing Associations

The Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand

Open access resources on the ALTAANZ website:

  • Papers in Language Testing and Assessment (all issues)
  • Newsletter: Language Assessment Matters (all issues)

Association of Language Testers in Europe

Open access resources on the ALTE website:

  • Language testing guides and reference materials
  • Code of Practice
  • Conference proceedings
  • Videos

British Association of EAP lecturers: Testing, Assessment and Feedback Special Interest Group (TAFSIG)

Open access resources on the TAFSIG website:

  • Blog
  • Videos and slides from past events
  • TAFSIG Item Piloting Network

European Association for Language Testing and Assessment

Open access resources on the EALTA website:

  • Selected reports
  • Council of Europe materials
  • Past webinar videos

International Language Testing Association

Open access resources on the ILTA website:

  • ILTA Code of Ethics
  • ILTA Guidelines for Practice

IATEFL Testing, Evaluation and Assessment Special Interest Group (TEA SIG)

Open access resources on the TEASIG website:

  • A collection of selected links

UK Association for Language Testing and Assessment

Language Testing websites

Assessment research publications by the British Council Assessment Research Group

A collection of open access resources by the Language Testing Research Group, Lancaster University

Language Testing Resources website by Prof. Glenn Fulcher

Research Notes series by Cambridge Assessment English

Teachers’ Assessment Literacy Enhancement (TALE) project