Time Limits on Tests:Updating the 1-Minute Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Teachers of psychology and their students have been advised to allocate 1 min for each multiple-choice item on tests. Is this a realistic and useful rule? How much time do students actually take to complete multiple-choice tests and how do individual differences and item characteristics affect it? This article reports the results of four studies involving low and high stakes multiple-choice tests delivered online in proctored and unproctored environments. I provide test taking time data so that instructors can make better choices and give better advice to students about allocating time for tests. These results also suggest that students take about the same amount of time to answer multiple-choice questions as did students nearly a century ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-292
Number of pages5
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • online tests
  • test time limits


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