Diagnostic Questions – A Tribute

The brilliant Diagnostic Questions website has been live for a few months now.  After using it once, I’ve completely convinced of its profound positive potential in my classroom.  Craig Barton and Simon Woodhead really have outdone themselves in creating a database of diagnostic questions.  If you have struggled with anticipating student responses or identifying sources of errors, this resource is a total winner.  The site allows teachers to quickly create quizzes that identify student misconceptions.  For example, here is a question from the ‘Probability – Experimental’ section:


All of these answers are carefully crafted so that the teacher can see what students aren’t grasping. Here is an example of student work:


Now I’m able to see how this student got 13, rather than just marking it wrong and moving on.  Obviously this isn’t a new phenomenon to have students explain their answers to multiple choice questions.  However, two key features of this website make it noteworthy above other sites that feature multiple choice questions:

1.  The deliberate multiple choice answers chosen to manifest misconceptions

2.  The easy-to-use format of the site allowing teachers to quickly create, administer, and grade these quizzes.

Thank you, Mr. Barton and Mr. Woodhead for this tremendously helpful tool.  I look forward to contributing questions to your database in the near future.


  1. At the risk of sounding mean and snarky – the question you highlight above has a typo in it. Lose has one O in it, not two. Also, when I click on the link to Diagnostic questions, I get an error message.

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