Free Response

Free response is a type of question used in tests in education, workplace, and government. Most free response questions ask a require the test-taker to state a belief, opinion, or write a short essay and back it up with facts, examples, or other evidence. However, few tests solely rely on these types of problems, and tend to work in conjunction with other types, such as multiple choice. Free response questions generally test more than straight knowledge and ask for a "big picture" type of response. Also, they usually allow the taker to choose an area in which they are familiar.

Supporters argue that this type of question on tests is that it gives a better indication of the competence and intelligence of the test taker than other more standardized responses, which are claimed to often only measure test-taking ability. However, critics charge that the quality of a free response answer is often determined more by ability with the language in which it is given than competence or intelligence.

Example:

Choose two of the following areas and write a well-developed essay in which you analyze change over time and continuities on how technological advances affected the regions between 1914 and 1945:

China
United States
Russia (Soviet Union)
Middle East

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