Select-all-that-apply (SATA) questions are available for all students. These questions are multiple-choice but could have one or more choices that are correct. This article will show you what these questions look like and how you can incorporate them into your assessments.
SATA Question Types
This question type is harder than our regular multiple-choice assessment questions. They are also exclusive to assessments. Students will not see these questions during training.
There are two different types of SATA questions.
- SATA Sentences: these questions are available for students on the Middle/High School and High School word lists. The answer choices are full sentences, and the student must determine if the target word is being used properly. These questions asses their understanding of the accurate application of the word and their ability to differentiate between accurate and inaccurate usages in comparative sentences.
- SATA Fragments: these questions are available to students on all 3 word lists. The answer choices are fragments, and the student must determine which ones give an example or the meaning of the target word. These questions assess their ability to analyze nuance in the meaning of words with similar denotations, including degree intensity among words with similar core meanings.
Grading SATA Questions
The student must check all of the correct answers and only the correct answers to receive credit for the question. No partial credit is given. For example, the following question is answered incorrectly, so the student receives no credit. They selected a sentence that did not use the word properly.
The following question is also answered incorrectly. The student did not select one of the answers that uses the word properly. They receive no credit.
Why We Don't Give Partial Credit
Some students get frustrated with these questions because they feel they deserve partial credit for getting some of the answers correct. Before assigning a quiz, we recommend discussing this question type and how it is scored. Here are the reasons why we don't give partial credit:
- It defeats the purpose of being able to select all that apply and only those that apply, which is the point of this question type.
- Most standardized tests do not offer partial credit on multi-select questions. We do not want to give students the impression that they will receive partial credit when they encounter such questions on standardized tests.
- These questions are meant to be challenging. Struggle is good for memory, and it's okay to get some questions wrong. SATA questions require students to slow down and think critically.
- Students may try to "beat the system." Students who do not know the answer could select all of the answers to get some credit, as opposed to answering incorrectly and receiving no credit. Therefore, it would make more sense for a student who isn't certain of their answer to simply select everything instead of trying to puzzle out the answer. They know the answers are in there somewhere, and selecting all of them ensures some credit that they may not have otherwise received.
- Teachers may offer their partial credit in different ways. If the question has 2 correct responses and the student selects all 4, should that be 50%? What if there is only 1 correct answer and all 4 are selected; is that a 50% as well, or only 25%? Allowing partial credit to be awarded would invite students to argue about their scores, which results in more headaches for you.
If you are still compelled to offer partial credit, keep it simple for yourself and remove SATA questions from your quizzes altogether.
Lower Middle School and ESL/Remedial Students
SATA questions are extremely challenging for all students. Students on the Lower Middle School word list and students marked as ESL/Remedial are even more likely to struggle with them. With that in mind, these students will be provided with the definition of the target word on all SATA questions.
If more than half of a class is on the Lower Middle School word list or if a class is marked ESL/Remedial, the number of SATA questions included on a quiz is defaulted to 0. You will need to add these questions in if you'd like them included.
How to Include These Questions
SATA questions are optional. You will have the ability to add or remove them upon creating the assessment and can choose how many you would like to include.