Matching matrix question

Matching-matrix question within digital assessment

Have you ever read or heard of the matching-matrix question? It is a question type used in test and exam preparation to test candidates’ knowledge and skills. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the matching-matrix question, what it is, how to use it and its advantages and disadvantages.

What is a matching-matrix question?

A matching-matrix question is a question that requires candidates to make multiple choices and match them with the correct answers in a matrix. It is a challenging question that forces the candidate to apply knowledge at a deeper level.

Unlike a traditional matching question, where the answers are in a list, in a matching-matrix question candidates must find the right combination of the correct answer and the correct choice on their own. This question can be used to test different types of knowledge and skills, such as applying concepts, recognizing patterns and making analyses.

Example and score distribution of a matching-matrix question?

Below is an example of a matching-matrix question:

Which country belongs to which capital city?


  1. France
  2. Germany
  3. Italy


  1. Rome
  2. Paris
  3. Berlin

In this example, candidates must match the countries with the correct capital cities. For example, France match with Paris. For each correct match, the candidate gets one point.

What are the benefits?

A matching-matrix question has several advantages over other question types:

  • Testing deeper understanding of lesson material – A matching-matrix question tests candidates’ deeper understanding. Thus, one must not only choose the correct answers, but also match them with the correct choices. This requires a deeper level of knowledge and understanding of the lesson material.
  • Test application of knowledge – This question type tests not only whether candidates have understood the knowledge, but also whether they can apply it. Thus, candidates must use the knowledge gained to find the right combination of answers and choices.
  • Efficient knowledge measurement – A matching-matrix question is an efficient way to test knowledge and skills. It combines more different parts of learning, so it takes less time to other than, for example, open question types.
  • Automatic assessment – as with other closed question types, appropriate assessment software can automatically assess this question type.

What are the drawbacks?

In addition to advantages, there are also disadvantages to using a matching-matrix question:

  • Limited applicability – This question type is not suitable for every subject or level. It may be difficult to create a matrix suitable for every subject and level.
  • Possibility to guess – In some cases, candidates can guess the answers by eliminating the choices to find the correct combination. This can reduce the validity of the question. Of course, this does not only apply to this question type.
  • Limited feedback opportunities – the question type provides limited feedback to candidates. If someone did not answer the question correctly, they do not know where the mistake was made and what needs to be improved.

Tips for creating a matching-matrix question

Setting up a good matching-matrix question requires some planning and preparation. Below are some tips to help you prepare this type of question:

  • Define the purpose and topic of the question – Before you begin drafting the question, you should clearly know what you want to test. Define the purpose and topic of the question and consider what knowledge and skills you want to find out.
  • List the choices and answers – List the choices and answers you want to use in the question. Make sure the number of choices matches and there are as many choices as answers.
  • Make the question and choices clear – Make sure the question and choices are as clear as possible and the candidate understands what is expected of them.
  • Check the question – Check the question to make sure the question is not too difficult or too easy.

Conclusion: the matching-matrix question in digital assessments

The matching-matrix question is a challenging and efficient way to test candidates’ knowledge and skills. It is important to know what you want to test and what choices and answers to use when creating the question. Along with the advantages, there are also disadvantages, such as limited applicability and the possibility of guessing. If you keep these disadvantages in mind and follow the tips when creating the question, you can create an effective and valid matching-matrix question for your digital test! Need help with this? Optimum Assessment is your partner in digital assessment. Meet our support services.

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