Rules in Constructing Matching Type and Supply Type of Tests

The matching type items may be considered as modified multiple-choice type items where the choices progressively reduce as one successfully matches the items on the left with the items on the right.

Example: Match the items in column A with the items in column B.


_________1. Magellan
_________2. Mabini
_________3. Rizal
_________4. Lapu-Lapu
_________5. Aguinaldo


a. First President of the Republic
b. National Hero
c. Discovered the Philippines
d. Brain of Katiputian
e. The great painter
f. Defended Limasawa island 

Normally, column B will contain more items than column A to prevent guessing on the part of the students. Matching type items, unfortunately, often test lower order thinking skills (knowledge level) and are unable to test higher order thinking skills such as application and judgement skills.

A variant of the matching type items is the data sufficiency and comparison type of test illustrated below:

Example: Write G if the item on the left is greater than the item on the right; L if the item on the left is less than the item on the right; E if the item on the left equals the item on the right and D if the relationship cannot be determined.


  1. Square root of 9 ______
  2. Square root of 25 ______
  3. 36 inches ______
  4. 4 feet ______
  5. 1 kilogram ______


a. -3
b. 615
c. 3 meters
d. 48 inches
e. 1 pound

The data sufficiency test above can, if properly constructed, test higher-order thinking skills. Each item goes beyond simple recall of facts and, in fact, requires the students to make decisions.

Another useful device for testing lower-order thinking skills is the supply type of tests. Like the multiple-choice test, the items in this kind of test consist of a stem and a blank where the students would write the correct answer.

Example: The study of life and living organisms is called ____________.

Supply type tests depend heavily on the way that the stems are constructed. These tests allow for one and only one answer and, hence, often test only the students’ knowledge. It is , however, possible to construct supply type of tests that will test higher order thinking as the following example shows:

Example: Write an appropriate synonym for each of the following. Each blank corresponds to a letter:

Metamorphose: _ _ _ _ _ _
Flourish: _ _ _ _

The appropriate synonym for the first is CHANGE with six(6) letters while the appropriate synonym for the second is GROW with four (4) letters. Notice that these questions require not only mere recall of words but also understanding of these words.