Pay Rates for Multiple-Choice Questions

by John Soares on September 29, 2011

The pay rates for multiple-choice questions that you write for a textbook or a learning manual can vary greatly. I recently answered the following forum question inside the Freelance Writers Den:

“I have a potential opportunity to write 250 multiple-choice questions about a topic I know well, but I have no idea how long this kind of thing might take or how much too charge. Any insights? (Questions have to include an explanation for the right answer.) Thanks!”

Here’s my answer, with a bit of added detail…
Rates typically range from $3 – $10 per multiple-choice question. I’ve actually been paid as high as $15 per question, but it was for very specialized material. Let’s look at…

Important Factors That Affect Pay for Multiple-Choice Questions

What’s offered depends on the company and how much work is involved.

Do you have to write five potential answers or only four?

And how detailed does the explanation have to be? Just one or two short sentences, or over 100 words? Those explanations can take a long time.

Also ask if there’s anything else, like linking to learning objectives or designating Bloom’s taxonomy categories.

Another factor: is this from a textbook or online material? How much material is there relative to the number of questions? It’s usually much easier to write many questions on a smaller amount of material; if it’s a lot of material and relatively few questions, you have to read everything and then come up with just the best questions = harder and more time-consuming.

Estimate how many you think you can do in an hour and use your minimum hourly rate to get a bottom estimate. Then ask for a bit more and be ready to negotiate. Writing good multiple-choice questions isn’t easy.

About the Freelance Writers Den

So far I’m very impressed with the quality of the information inside the Freelance Writers Den and how active and useful the forums are. Read my review of the Freelance Writers Den for more information.

Your Take

What’s been your experience with pay rates for multiple-choice questions?

Like this post? Then please help me out and share it on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and elsewhere. And don't miss any Writing College Textbook Supplements posts: subscribe by e-mail or subscribe by RSS.

    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    Leave a Comment

    { 2 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post: