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Not all quizzes are created equal. I am giving this quiz as part of the class in Adult Faith Formation tonight, and was amazed that some of the questions were confusing.

Check out question #3 and question #5 and tell me what you think.

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Seventy-three men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay Rolled off of their ship, and here's what they had to say "We're callin' everyone to ride along to another shore We can laugh our lives away and be free... Read More


Fr. Jeff: Yes, both 3 and 5 are confusing. First, the typical way to answer multiple choice questions is to circle or in some designated way mark the chosen letter. In these cases, "e" seems to call for something else. Are the test takers supposed to write in the answer? If they mark "e" only, all you learn is that they think there is more than one incorect answer but they don't have to specify what it is.
Second, The text following "e" is not parallel with the others. It doesn't give a fact for the test taker to evaluate. It gives the test taker another instruction, and the instruction is not very clear.
I can't think of a good way to improve these two items. You could state for item e "b,c, d above" (or whatever the correct response would be for #5). The problem with that is that item e stands out as being quite different than the other four. A situation like that often causes the test taker to choose the one that stands out. The choice is guesswork and not based on what s/he knows.

The question #3 is “Which statement is not correct?? Their answer would be correct if the question was “Which statement is correct??

The question #5 is “Which is false?? Their answer would be correct if the question was “Which is true??

If there is no change in the quiz we could actually say the quiz is teaching heresy.

#3 and #5 are tricky, all right.

Dealing with false statements is a subtle task at times. You've probably experienced this in reading old papal documents that condemn certain doctrinal errors. Some of these documents contain long lists of statements which express the various points of heresy to be avoided.

Reading those lists is a form of mental gymnastics. First you take in each statement very carefully, in order to understand what the proposition means. Those propositions are often stated in a particular way that sounds plausible. (If they didn't sound plausible, no pope would need to condemn the errors.)

However, because of some philosophical or theological nuance in the statement, often an exaggeration of some sort, the statement is false, and once you grasp what this difficult proposition means, you have to then reject it!

Anyway, which of the stated items are supposed to be true: 3c and 5b (in a sense)?

Now I've discovered that one can click the links and see the USCCB's answers, but in my hardly-ever-humble opinion, (3a) is not true: our Lady is called Seat of Wisdom not -- at least not primarily -- for the reason stated, but because she carried within her womb Jesus Christ, who is wisdom Incarnate ("the power and the wisdom of God"). This meaning is plain from the title's iconographic representation of Mary with the infant Jesus seated upon her lap. I guess this also makes Our Lady the Seat of Power! :-)

On #5, I don't like to be arguing with the Catechism, but I don't quite like (5c) and (5d), because I think the revelation of the Trinity and the kairos-start of the last days are both aspects of the Annunciation.

Question 8 is also confusing. It lists numbers for answers instead of letters. Whoever makes these quizzes ought to proof them.

No wonder that although they gave us the quizzes on Father and Son (and a number of other topics) in my RCIA class, they didn't use this one. This one is just plain confusing!

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This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on March 28, 2006 5:25 PM.

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