Multiple choice tests for each topic

Why these tests are necessary

Since Paper 1 consists entirely of multiple choice questions it makes sense to give students plenty of practice at doing these types of questions. This can be particularly helpful if you teach students for whom English is not their first language as they need as much exposure as possible to these type of questions where the precise meaning of words if often crucial. It can be useful to give them as a test after you have finished teaching a topic as it is a quick and easy way to check how much students have understood.  There are plenty of past official IB questions available. You can either get them from past examination papers (in which case they are not organised by topic) or you can purchase the IB question bank ($199.99 for ten users) from Follets which contains some past questions organised by topic. There are also the multiple choice questions (together with the answers) at the end of each topic which can be found in my Study Guide. However there are two big problems with using past questions. One is that if the questions come from examinations prior to May 2016 then you will need to check that the questions are still testing material that is on the current syllabus (although note that the questions in my latest Study Guide are written specifically for the syllabus with first exams in 2016). The second problem with using past questions is that students may already have come across them. 

All the multiple choice questions on this site are totally new questions written exclusively for this site and for the current programme to follow closely the IB style of questions so they will be completely new to students. The multiple choice questions on this site are of two types. There are ten quiz questions ready made for each sub-topic which can be found on each sub-topic page (e.g. MC test: Electron configuration) or readily accessed through Fast track to tests & questions. These quiz questions on the sub-topics, which have the answers explained, can also be controlled directly by you Using qBank (accessed through Using student access).  The second type are the multiple choice tests on each main topic as explained below. All the questions on the topic multiple choice tests are completely different to the quiz multiple choice questions on each of the sub-topics. In total there are well over 1000 multiple choice questions on this site which are unavailable elsewhere.

Setting and marking the tests

What I have done is produce multiple choice tests on each topic containing exactly twenty questions each. To train them in time management students should be allowed exactly half an hour to complete each test.  They are arranged by topic in separate sections under Standard Level and Higher Level. For all the tests students should have access to a periodic table (Section 6 from the IB Data Booklet) but must not have the Data Booklet itself or a calculator. If your students do not have English as their first language then they should also be allowed a simple translating dictionary.

The actual number of questions on each main topic in Paper 1 is related to the amount of time spent on the topic so for the bigger topics I have devised two 20 question tests. Both tests have questions on the whole topic and I suggest you either give one for students to practice with beforehand and the other as a test; or give one as a test and use the other for students to do in the own time afterwards for them to check if they have learned from their mistakes.

In this computer age it would make sense to design the tests so they are paperless and can be taken and marked on each student’s laptop. This is, of course, more environmentally friendly than printing the tests out as hard copies and is exactly what happens with the sub-topic quizzes. In fact, if you use the qBank to make up your own tests the marks can be transferred directly to your online mark book (see Managing student accounts & mark book). However, at present the actual IB exams still use ‘old’ fashioned’ technology and require students to complete a multiple choice answers sheet mechanically so it makes sense to give students practice in using answer sheets. I have tried to organise it so the tests are as user-friendly to teachers as possible.  On each link on the left of the Standard and Higher level pages I have given the test and the answers at the end so you can look through the test beforehand if you wish. At the bottom of this page you can download the blank multiple choice answer grid.  If you photocopy this, then students can use one of these sheets to answers all the different tests. At the end of each link on the left I have put the actual test in pdf form for you to download and give to students (the answers have been removed). You can either pass this on as a digital attachment or print it out and give it to each student as copy. I have also included the master answer grid for each test. All you need to do is cut out the blocked out answers on the grid (I use a scalpel or a sharp pair of nail scissors to do this - you could also use a cork borer) and then place it over the students answers. You can then quickly see how many they have got correct and if you mark these with a coloured (red?) pen then the students will be able to see which ones  (if any!) they failed to get correct.

For those of you that prefer pictures the sequence is:

1.  Give students a copy of the test (left) and a blank multiple choice answer sheet (right).

They should have access to a periodic table and a pencil but not the data booklet or a calculator. A simple translating dictionary is allowed for students who do not have English as their first language.

 2.  Students fill in the title of the test and their name then have half an hour to give the best answer to each question by placing a cross through the appropriate letter (left).

3. Download the answer sheet for the appropriate test and cut out the blanked out answers (right).

4.  Place your master grid over the student’s answers and read off which ones they have got correct. Put a tick by each correct cross (answer). (Don’t forget to check that they have only given one answer for each question!) (left).

5. Indicate to the student which answers are correct and which are wrong answers and return the sheet to the student (right).


I have tried hard to make sure that the tests and markschemes are error free. However, there are over 450 different multiple choice questions (and 880 quiz questions) so I may have made some ‘printing errors’ or even chemistry errors. If you do spot any please let me know. The great thing about a website is that it is very easy to correct any errors quickly once they have been pointed out.

  Standard Level Higher Level Download the blank MC answer sheet  to give to students

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