Multiple choice questions (MCQ) native in Anki

Hello everyone, as long as I began to accompany the forum I observe that the issue always reappears and always the same arguments are placed on the table, in synthesis, that MQCs are ineffective for the study by the ability to “cheat” taking the tip directly from the alternatives . Summarizing the arguments here Multiple choice questions - Frequently Asked Questions.

As much as the general idea is that MQC’s are not good for keeping information in memory because they are too easy, I imagine there are uses for them with very close concepts that instead of leaving the question easier, add a new layer of difficulty that improves information retention.

See that I do not make peremptory affirmations here, I only expose an empirical experience about the utility that I retreat from the approach using MQC (for close and confused concepts in alternatives). Several people who do not use Anki studies by doing past multiple choice tests, learning information and subsequently going well in future tests.

To put in a simple way: we do not know in reality the greater or lesser effectiveness of a basic question-response or an MCQ question-alternative, and what appears the difference rests more in the type of information that is wanted to learn than in the substrate in which it lays. That is, traditional questions-answers or in MCQ format are not better or worse than others, it all depends on the type of information you want to learn.

In this way, without scientific certainty about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the best or worse technique (any of them using SRS) so we keep information in memory (also how information is worked before turning into a flashcard), the negative of deployment MCQ natively in Anki bumps more into a technical coding problem than the utility of technique itself.

If such a suggestion is not very complicated, I would very much like to see this in a next Anki update, letting users choose whether or not they want to use the technique instead of discarding it as inappropriate without scientific certainty.

I imagine that several Anki users think in a similar way, because if that were not the case there would be no incredible add-ons that make functionality available (Multiple Choice for Anki - AnkiWeb) or templates that allow it (edit: removed hyperlink), both of which I use.

“Why post this as a suggestion if you already use templates and add-on that solve the problem?” Because they may not be compatible with the next versions of Anki and not all users are able to use them.

Thank you all for the time. Anki is changing my life.


My vote.

1 Like

Definitely. I like to use MC questions for things I tend to get mixed up and it helps a lot, because I’m regularly forced to think about the differences.


I don’t really use MCQ format for my own study, but to as to the discussion, I think is useful for discriminating between closely related concepts tay would be a source of interference. Wozniak would probably say it would cause a convergence of the two offending items until the two concepts are almost back-to-back.

What you are really practicing with the multiple choice is the algorithm that guides you to the correct answer. As long as MCQ doesn’t present you with semantic cues but rather force you to use the algorithm, it should be alright, but that takes a lot of effort in formulating your questions.