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Why Use Multiple Choice Quiz Questions?

Why Use Multiple Choice Quiz Questions?


The use of multiple choice trivia questions in any trivia event can be a bone of contention. Some more serious players don’t like the fact options are provided, preferring to rely on knowledge alone. Other players, may those taking it less seriously, prefer multiple choice trivia questions as it gives them a chance at least to compete with the “professionals” in the corner! As a writer and host of trivia you therefore have the tough job of finding the right balance. Done correctly and you can find that multiple choice trivia questions can add to your quiz and enrich the whole experience of the evening. Done badly and multiple choice trivia questions can ruin otherwise solid quiz nights. So what is best to do and what should be avoided?

When thinking about putting together multiple choice trivia questions the list of what to avoid is much easier than it seems. Follow these golden rules of multiple choice trivia questions and you will ensure your players aren’t sighing at their desk –



  • Avoid the obvious. One sure fire way of your multiple choice trivia questions is if they are TOO easier. If this happens it will bore players, it will make players frustrated and it will be essentially giving away a free point. I have seen questions such as “When was Barack Obama born? A. 1960 b. 1999 C. 1900 d. 1874 – An utterly pointless question due to the ease of the trivia concerned


  • Avoid the obscure. Another common flaw in multiple choice trivia questions is that they tend to take on obscure themes. I literally had a question along these lines once “What was the San Francisco 49ers average attendance in the 1988 Season? A: 77,839 B. 76, 543 C. 73,999 or D. 72,000 – Firstly, the subject is dull. Secondly, you aren’t giving your players a chance and thirdly who cares? Guess work like this is definitely the worse use of multiple choice trivia questions.

So how do you make multiple choice trivia questions interesting and how can multiple choice trivia questions enhance your quiz. Give your players something to work out, give them something they are going to want to work out. Offer them credible alternatives.

Personally, I find the type of multiple choice trivia questions work are when players have to think about all the options you have given them.

For example, pick a subject and a set of answers that your average player will have at least heard of. Perhaps something like this–

“Which of these films, which won the Best Picture Academy Award, was released the Earliest?”

  1. The Silence of the Lambs
  2. Forrest Gump
  3. Braveheart
  4. The English Patient

Why are these style of multiple choice trivia questions so good I hear you ask? Firstly it’s a subject people are interested in, they are answers people will have heard of it and rather than waste a point giving an answer everyone will know, this requires some working out. To answer this style of multiple choice trivia question players will have to think about when films were out, relate it to their own lives and this will make reaching the correct answer more satisfying and ultimately give your players a better experience in your Trivia night all round. People in teams may argue, everyone will be able to have input and very few people will be 100% sure until you read that answer out. A perfect example of multiple choice trivia questions adding enjoyment and an extra dimension to your trivia night.

So before you dismiss multiple choice trivia questions, put some time and effort into choosing just the right ones and your players will appreciate you all the more for it!

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